Bruno Accarino

Acoustic alarm: Notes on the parabola of the wolfish in Hobbes

  • Abstract

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Keywords: Animal World; Lycanthropy; Melancholy; Sovereignty.

The present essay aims to show that the presence of the wolfish is in Hobbes much wider and differentiated than is suggested by the famous statement "homo homini lupus". The question of animality must be interpreted in the light of two processes whose strategic relevance becomes clear in their entanglement: lycanthropy and melancholy. It is therefore not sufficient to take note of the distance of Hobbes from Aristotle regarding the intrinsic political character of animal communities. The decisive path is accomplished through steps of medical-political pathology, especially in Chapter 29 of "Leviathan". Only in this way is it possible to understand why, even after the birth of the artificial machine of the Leviathan, there are many dangers that make sovereignity precarious, and why the animal world in Hobbes can never be put aside, not even through the specificity and the power of human language. This is the framework in which Hobbes provides his contribution to the critique of anthropocentrism and challenges human exceptionalism, especially when, at the opening of his "opus magnum", he evokes the role of the Capitol geese.

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