ICYMI: Gordon Hull, University of North Carolina, Charlotte, Department of Philosophy, has published Building Better Citizens: Hobbes against the Ontological Illusion at 20 Epoche 105 (2015). Here is the abstract.
By way of a discussion of the demonology chapter in Leviathan, this paper analyzes Hobbes’s political arguments against what I call the “ontological illusion,” the constitutive human tendency to take presentations of the imagination as extramental entities. Hobbes’s claim, made primarily in part four of Leviathan, is that managing this tendency is critical for the stability of the state. The first section describes the psychology of fear in Hobbes. The second describes the process of the ontological illusion and ties it to Hobbes’s discussion of demonology as a political problem. The third indicates the importance of witchcraft persecutions to Hobbes, particularly given Leviathan’s target audience. The fourth brings all of these together to emphasize the reasons why Hobbes thinks witchcraft persecutions, which elevate the ontological illusion to state policy and in so doing evidence the mismanagement of human passions, are disastrous policy.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.