The World Explored, the World Suffered Education Issue Nr. 19 June 2019 - Page 16

passions which need to be tamed if civilization is to be established: pride and fear of death. These two passions rule our attempts to live communally together in civilizations in the best of times and the worst of times. Laws are the means the sovereign of the state uses to tame these passions. The picture is of a restless spirit which rests only in death. Hobbes was together with Descartes a hostile critic of Aristotle. He was a political realist who scoffed at the idealism of life in a state that prized knowledge and recommended the examined life. For Hobbes life was a business and if man possessed reason it was for the purposes of calculating his advantages and the economic value of life. Man should live a commodious life. These ideas are the source of the image of the spider which is sometimes also used as an image of the modern academic. Hobbes's philosophy was also aimed at dismantling Aristotle's influence in the university system. he recommended that his works should replace those of Aristotle. Descartes philosophical meditations were also aimed at the dismantling of our trust in all authorities in general but Aristotle's influence in particular and together these two philosophers sought to transform Universities into "modern" institutions where Aristotle's ideas were no longer taught. Scholars were forced to become "specialists" plotting and spinning their ideas in their study-dens, critically trusting nothing and no one in a landscape in which the sciences proliferated and the humanities, the truly universal branch of knowledge became imprisoned in a web of specialties.