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  • 1. Kristiansson, Magnus
    et al.
    Tralau, Johan
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Government.
    Hobbes’s Hidden Monster: A New Interpretation of the Frontispiece of Leviathan2014In: European Journal of Political Theory, ISSN 1474-8851, E-ISSN 1741-2730, Vol. 13, no 3, p. 299-320Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In recent years, much work has been done on the role of images in Hobbes. But there is an unsolved riddle with regard to the famous frontispiece of Leviathan (1651). Why is there nothing monstrous in the sovereign body depicted, despite the fact that it is named for a Biblical sea monster? In this article it is argued that there is a monster just barely hidden in the image and that the iconographical tradition helps us rediscover this creature. We argue that this monstrosity serves a theoretical and political purpose pertaining to fear and imagery within Hobbes’s overall project and in the political con- text of his time. Moreover, we argue that the discovery of the hitherto unknown monster should make political theory and intellectual history sensitive to the role played by physical images in Hobbes as well as in political thought at large.

  • 2.
    Tralau, Johan
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Government.
    A Portrait of the Warrior as a Beast: Hunter, Soldier, Man and Animal in Sophokles’ Trachiniai and Schwarzenegger’s Predator2016In: Transforming Warriors: The Ritual Organization of Military Force / [ed] Peter Haldén & Peter Jackson, Routledge, 2016Chapter in book (Refereed)
  • 3.
    Tralau, Johan
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Government.
    Cannibalism, Vegetarianism and the Community of Sacrifice: Rediscovering Euripides’ Cretans and the Beginnings of Political Philosophy2017In: Classical Philology, ISSN 0009-837X, E-ISSN 1546-072X, Vol. 112, no 4, p. 435-455Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 4.
    Tralau, Johan
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Government.
    Deception, Politics and Aesthetics: The Importance of Hobbes’s Concept of Metaphor2014In: Contemporary Political Theory, ISSN 1470-8914, E-ISSN 1476-9336, Vol. 13, no 2, p. 112-129Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In recent years, we have witnessed renewed interest in metaphors in political theory. In this context, Hobbes’s theory of metaphor is of great importance as it helps us understand aesthetic qualities in theory and politics. This article argues that in the work of Hobbes – often portrayed as hostile to the use of metaphor, especially so by himself – there is a remarkable discrepancy between his professed enmity to metaphor and his own use of the very word ‘metaphor’. In a philosopher who censures conceptual imprecision, we ␣nd a fundamentally inconsistent and ever-changing use of this key term. This inconsistency can be accounted for if we relate it to Hobbes’s own often neglected poetics and his theory of the need for conceptual innovation. This will help solve riddles that have haunted Hobbes studies. Moreover, we must discover Hobbes’s theory of metaphor as a source of potential insights into the way in which political and theoretical languages operate with regard to aesthetic pleasure through linguistic change. Hobbes’s theory can thus make us understand the importance of something being new, that is, how theoretical languages need novelty in order to be pleasant and persuasive.

  • 5.
    Tralau, Johan
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Government.
    Den autonoma individen i Hegels rättsfilosofi2008In: Statsvetare ifrågasätter: Uppsalamiljön vid tiden för professorsskiftet den 31 mars 2008, Uppsala: Acta universitatis upsaliensis , 2008, p. 59-68Chapter in book (Other academic)
  • 6.
    Tralau, Johan
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Government.
    Draksådd: den grekiska tragedin som politiskt tänkande2010Book (Other academic)
  • 7.
    Tralau, Johan
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Government.
    El Leviatán de Hobbes: La destrucción del Estado, Cristo y el vientre del cocodrilo2013In: Foro Interno : Anuario de Teoría Política, ISSN 1578-4576, E-ISSN 1988-2920, Vol. 13, p. 119-138Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In this article, the author addresses the question why Thomas Hobbes named his philosophical magnum opus for the Biblical monster Leviathan (1651). It is argued that Hobbes was acutely aware of the political power of images. Moreover, the author claims that the image of Leviathan as the state alludes to a contemporaneous interpretation of Leviathan as a crocodile. By reconstructing the history of the crocodile in European thought, from Aristotle via Diodoros Siculus to influential Christian animal allegories, we can discover the kind of images conjured up by Hobbes’s use of the Leviathan. More specifically, it is shown that the crocodile was interpreted as an image of the Devil. According to influential ancient authors, the crocodile can be defeated by a little animal, the ichneumōn, that is devoured by the crocodile yet defeats it from within. Ancient and mediaeval bestiaries allegorically interpreted the animal as an image of the Christ. Furthermore, Hobbes, by many considered an atheist or deist, constructs metaphors and similes likening the Christian religion to something that is swallowed. By having the crocodile represent the state, Hobbes thus esoterically indicates his disagreements with Christianity and his belief that the Christian doctrine is destructive to the state and inferior to the pagan empires with regard to its capability of inducing law-abiding behaviour on the part of citizens.

  • 8.
    Tralau, Johan
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Government.
    Familjehemligheter i den liberala staten2008In: Hållbara värden?: Åtta essäer om tingens ordning och idéers bärkraft, Göteborg: Makadam , 2008, p. 81-98Chapter in book (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
  • 9.
    Tralau, Johan
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Government.
    Gobierno subliminal: Lecciones secretas de la teoría hobbesiana de las imágenes, la representación y la política2016In: Las Torres de Lucca. Revista Internacional de Filosofia Política, ISSN 2255-3827, Vol. 5, no 9, p. 61-89Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Recent research on Hobbes has paid great attention to his use of images. Yet a serious possible objection remains: it could be argued that Hobbes relates his own production of imagery neither to politics nor to his theory of perception, and that we have hence no reason to believe that his images are an application of such a doctrine. The purpose of this paper is to show that Hobbes does indeed —in an implicit way— link his image-making and his psychological theory to political order. First, the paper reconstructs Hobbes’s theory of perception and its implications. Second, it is shown that Leviathan covertly establishes the link between the theory of images and political images, by implication including the ones created by Hobbes himself. Third, it is shown that Hobbes’s Leviathan on rare occasions uncovers its role as a device for seeing, for making the reader see the images that Hobbes considers necessary. Finally, we discuss the implications of this discovery for our understanding of Hobbes and for the understanding of visuality and images in political thought.

  • 10.
    Tralau, Johan
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Government.
    Hesiod, Ouranos, Kronos, and the Emasculation at the Beginning of Time2018In: The Classical world, ISSN 0009-8418, E-ISSN 1558-9234, Vol. 111, no 4, p. 459-484Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In this article, it is argued that Kronos' emasculation of Ouranos in Hesiod's Theogony is depicted as the genesis of the seasons and years. Hesiod insistently speaks of "afterwards" in the context of the emasculation, suggesting that this "afterwards" is brought about by the deed. Moreover, Hesiod depicts the seed as the beginning of agriculture, fertility, change, justice, and the future. Furthermore, expressions designating duration and changing time are only employed after the emasculation. Finally, it is pointed out that there are historically pertinent cases of analogous time-creation in the Babylonian Enuma Elis and in Ovid's Metamorphoses. The account of the beginning of time in Hesiod is thus an astonishing feat of intellectual abstraction.

  • 11.
    Tralau, Johan
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Government.
    Hobbes Contra Liberty of Conscience2011In: Political theory, ISSN 0090-5917, E-ISSN 1552-7476, Vol. 39, no 1, p. 58-84Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    It has often been argued that, notwithstanding his commitment to the authoritarian state, Thomas Hobbes is a champion of the “minimal” version of liberty of conscience: namely, the freedom of citizens to think whatever they like as long as they obey the law. Such an interpretation renders Hobbes’s philosophy more palatable to contemporary society. Yet the claim is incorrect. Alongside his notion of “private” conscience, namely, Hobbes develops a conception of conscience as a public phenomenon. In the following, it is argued that this inconsistency serves the purpose of deception: it holds out the possibility of dissent while making it impossible to utilise. Arguably, moreover, this is the proper hermeneutical approach to take to Hobbes’s inconsistencies in general. Indeed, said inconsistencies ought to alert contemporary normative theorists to the instability of the “minimal” version of liberty of conscience attributed to Hobbes: Hobbes himself, namely, shows that it is insufficient

  • 12.
    Tralau, Johan
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Government.
    Inbjudan till politisk teori2012Book (Other academic)
    Abstract [sv]

    Med denna bok bjuder författaren in läsaren till att själv bedriva politisk teori: boken visar hur man kan resonera och argumentera på ett rationellt och kritiskt sätt även om de mest svåra moraliska och politiska frågorna, och hur man kan föra genuina och kritiska diskussioner även kring de mest olikartade politisk-filosofiska principer och ståndpunkter.

    Boken klargör de olika typer av kritik som kan anföras mot en politisk argumentation. Är det fel på slutledningen? Eller är en av premisserna falsk? Därtill visas hur även de mer grundläggande filosofiska principer som ofta figurerar i dessa argument själva går att kritiskt diskutera, trots deras abstraktionsnivå och ibland väsensskilda utgångspunkter.

    Sammantaget framkommer tjusningen med disciplinen, och varför bokens ”inbjudan” till ämnet kan te sig lockande: den som väljer att ägna sig åt politisk teori ger sig in i ett verkligt givande samtal; inte ett som präglas av löst tyckande utan ett samtal med utgångspunkten att det kan finnas goda skäl för båda parter att revidera sina ståndpunkter, att det finns bättre och sämre argument, och att vissa ståndpunkter kan vara mer välgrundade än andra.

  • 13.
    Tralau, Johan
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Government.
    Incest and Liberal Neutrality*2013In: The Journal of Political Philosophy, ISSN 0963-8016, E-ISSN 1467-9760, Vol. 21, no 1, p. 87-105Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 14.
    Tralau, Johan
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Government.
    Introduksjon til politisk teori2013Book (Other academic)
    Abstract [no]

    Tanken med denne boken er å forklare hvordan prinsipper fungerer som grunnlag for politisk tenkning.

    Dessuten hva begrepsanalyse, empiriske observasjoner av virkeligheten og tolkning av eldre og nyere ideer kan bidra med i politisk teori.

    Politisk teori handler om å lære å gi gjennomtenkte svar på vanskelige politiske, samfunnsmessige og moralske problemer. Da er det viktig ikke å la ens egne politiske overbevisninger styres av lettvint synsing eller vage følelser, men heller gi seg i kast med dem ved hjelp av intellektet. I boken vises det hvordan argumenter om riktig og galt i politiske saker kan bygges opp, og videre hvordan slike argumenter kan diskuteres og kritiseres, forkastes eller beholdes.

  • 15.
    Tralau, Johan
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Government.
    Leviathan, the Beast of Myth: Medusa, Dionysos, and the Riddle of Hobbes’s Sovereign Monster2007In: Cambridge Companion to Hobbes’s Leviathan, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press , 2007, p. 61-81Chapter in book (Other academic)
  • 16.
    Tralau, Johan
    Uppsala University, Humanistisk-samhällsvetenskapliga vetenskapsområdet, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Government.
    Leviathan, the Beast of Myth: Medusa, Dionysos, and the Riddle of Hobbes's Sovereign Monster2007In: The Cambridge Companion to Hobbes's Leviathan, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge , 2007Chapter in book (Other scientific)
  • 17.
    Tralau, Johan
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Government.
    L’icona del terrore e dell’ambiguità: Il legame mancante tra Hobbes ed il suo Leviatano2013In: Lo Sguardo – Rivista di Filosofia, ISSN 2036-6558, Vol. XIII, no 3, p. 183-196Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Hobbes named his work Leviathan for a Biblical monster, yet he mentioned it only three times in the book itself. Curiously, in those three passages Hobbes speaks of Leviathan in wildly divergent ways: as a machine, man, sovereign, state, and god. In this article, the author argues that we can make sense of this radical ambiguity from a perspective found in the late Antique work Peri hermeneias. Specifically, ambiguity is taken to be conducive to fear, and Hobbes thus employs it as an instrument for the purpose of political obedience.

  • 18.
    Tralau, Johan
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Government.
    Menschendämmerung: Karl Marx, Ernst Jünger und der Untergang des Selbst2005Book (Other academic)
  • 19.
    Tralau, Johan
    Uppsala University, Humanistisk-samhällsvetenskapliga vetenskapsområdet, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Government.
    Menschendämmerung: Karl Marx, Ernst Jünger und der Untergang des Selbst2005Book (Other scientific)
    Abstract [en]

    In one of the most controversial scholarly works published in Sweden during the last couple of years, Johan Tralau shows the relevance of alienation as a problem for political philosophy. In modernity, a conception of utopia has been influential in which there is supposed to be no alienation in relation to nature, technology or other people. In contradistinction to the traditional interpretation of the young Karl Marx, Tralau shows that the attempt to do away with alienation entails the dissolution of the individual. In that respect, this utopia can be compared to the totalitarian Worker’s state depicted by the young Ernst Jünger. Tralau argues that Jünger’s vision of the future contains a secret nihilist doctrine according to which his own utopia is an illusion, i. e., a mythological fiction that is supposed to enable man to escape from the alienation inherent in the modern world. On the basis of these destructive historical attempts at liberation from alienation, Tralau expounds an anti-utopian defence of the alienated condition, arguing that alienation is a prerequisite of liberty.

  • 20.
    Tralau, Johan
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Government.
    Monstret i mig: Myter om gränser och vilddjur2015Book (Other academic)
  • 21.
    Tralau, Johan
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Government.
    Nihilismus als Geheimlehre:: Ernst Jünger, Nietzsche und die ästhetische Flucht nach vorn im Arbeiter2007In: Zeitschrift für Ästhetik und Allegemeine Kunstwissenschaft, ISSN 0044-2186, Vol. LIII, no 2, p. 277-294Article in journal (Other academic)
  • 22.
    Tralau, Johan
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Government.
    Om statens undergång, Kristus och krokodilens mage: Thomas Hobbes Leviathan i ljuset av en reptilallegori2010In: Svensk teologisk kvartalskrift, ISSN 0039-6761, Vol. 86, no 1, p. 29-40Article in journal (Other academic)
  • 23.
    Tralau, Johan
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Government.
    Order, the ocean, and Satan: Schmitt's Hobbes and the enigmatic ambiguity of friend and foe2010In: Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy, ISSN 1369-8230, E-ISSN 1743-8772, Vol. 13, no 2-3, p. 435-452Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 24.
    Tralau, Johan
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Government.
    Skräck, stat och suveränitet: Carl Schmitt, Demetrios från Faleron och den felande länken mellan Thomas Hobbes och hans monster Leviathan2012In: Vän eller fiende?: En antologi om Carl Schmitts politiska tänkande / [ed] Jon Wittrock & Hjalmar Falk, Göteborg: Daidalos, 2012, p. 79-98Chapter in book (Other academic)
  • 25.
    Tralau, Johan
    Uppsala University, Humanistisk-samhällsvetenskapliga vetenskapsområdet, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Government.
    The Effaced Self in the Utopia of the Young Karl Marx2005In: European Journal of Political Theory, ISSN 1474-8851, Vol. IV, no 4, p. 393-412Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article attempts to present a reconstructive interpretation of the utopian self as portrayed in the writings of the young Marx. The main currents of interpretation claim that utopian society enhances individual liberty. However, the argument of this paper is that Marx’s utopia entails the opposite, namely, the dissolution of the self. If human alienation in relation to nature is to be overcome, then the difference between man and nature must simply be annihilated. Thus, the utopian self appropriates and masters nature completely and turns it into something that is identical to man himself. Likewise, the alienation inherent in human relations is eliminated through the disappearance of the differences between people. This means that individuality is annihilated in the utopian society; if the supersession of alienation means doing away with the difference between the self, the others, and nature, then it also means the end of human liberty.

  • 26.
    Tralau, Johan
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Government.
    The Effaced Self in the Writings of the Young Karl Marx2005In: European Journal of Political Theory, ISSN 1474-8851, E-ISSN 1741-2730, Vol. IV, no 4, p. 393-412Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 27.
    Tralau, Johan
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Government.
    The Justice of the Chimaira: Goat, Snake, Lion, and Almost the Entire Oresteia in a Little Monstrous Image2016In: Arion, ISSN 0095-5809, E-ISSN 2327-6436, Vol. 24, no 2, p. 41-67Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 28.
    Tralau, Johan
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Government.
    The revolt of images: Mutual guilt in the parodos of Sophokles' 'Antigone'2008In: Greek, Roman and Byzantine Studies, ISSN 0017-3916, E-ISSN 2159-3159, Vol. 48, no 3, p. 237-257Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 29.
    Tralau, Johan
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Government.
    Thomas Hobbes and Carl Schmitt: The politics of order and myth2011Book (Other academic)
  • 30.
    Tralau, Johan
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Government.
    Tragedy as Political Theory: The Self-Destruction of Antigone’s Laws2005In: History of Political Thought, ISSN 0143-781X, E-ISSN 2051-2988, Vol. XXVI, no 3, p. 377-396Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 31.
    Tralau, Johan
    Uppsala University, Humanistisk-samhällsvetenskapliga vetenskapsområdet, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Government.
    Tragedy as Political Theory: The Self-Destruction of Antigone's Laws2005In: History of Political Thought, ISSN 0143-781X, Vol. XXVI, no 3, p. 377-396Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper attempts to save Hegel’s claim that tragedy involves mutual guilt on the part of the adversaries in the drama. More specifically, it is claimed that a reading interested in the political theory of tragedy has to work in a different way than has hitherto often been the case. For the claims regarding the ‘subjectivity’ of interpretation can be countered if the interpretation of the play is based on an internal critique, i.e. in a normative assessment proceeding from the principles stated by the adversaries themselves. Hence it is argued that in Sophokles’ Antigone not only Kreon, but also Antigone herself is inconsistent in her attachment to the bonds of philia, of the community of the ‘one womb’ that she wishes to protect. This implies that the tragedy itself shows the self-destructive nature of Antigone’s ‘laws’ and that this normative reading can developed out of the work of art itself.

  • 32.
    Tralau, Johan
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Government.
    Unabhängigkeit als "Furie des Zerstörens": Die Dialektik der Selbstbestimmung bei Hegel, Stirner und Marx2010In: Philosophisches Jahrbuch, ISSN 0031-8183, Vol. 117, p. 251-261Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 33.
    Tralau, Johan
    Uppsala University, Humanistisk-samhällsvetenskapliga vetenskapsområdet, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Government.
    Unterirdische Territorien der Moderne: Die Auflösung des Subjekts in Ernst Jüngers Der Arbeiter1997In: Jahrbuch für Philosophie des Forschungsinstituts für Philosophie Hannover, ISSN 1022-3274, Vol. IX, p. 163-190Article in journal (Other scientific)
1 - 33 of 33
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