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Al Martinich

ProfessorPhD, University of California at San Diego

Roy Allison Vaughan Centennial Professor in Philosophy
Al Martinich



A specialist in the history of modern philosophy and the philosophy of language, his books include Communication and Reference (1984), The Two Gods of Leviathan (Cambridge, 1992), A Hobbes Dictionary (Blackwell, 1995), and Thomas Hobbes (St. Martin's, 1997). His book, Hobbes: A Biography (Cambridge, 1999) won the Robert W. Hamilton Faculty Book Award for 2000. He has also translated Hobbes' Computatio sive logica: Part One of De Corpore (1981), is co-editor with David Sosa of the leading anthology on The Philosophy of Language (sixth edition, Oxford, 2013), and also co-editor with David Sosa of Analytic Philosophy: An Anthology (second edition, Wiley, 2012) and A Companion to Analytic Philosophy (Blackwell, 2001). He is Vice-President of the Board of Directors of The Journal of the History of Philosophy, and has twice held NEH Fellowships. He has lectuerd extensively in Chine and has published articles in which he applies analytic philosophy to Chinese philosophy.


T C 302 • Uses And Abuses Of The Bible

43380 • Fall 2014
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm CLA 0.122

TC 302: Uses and Abuses of the Bible

Room: CRD007B                   Time: 2:00-3:30

Fall, 2014

Office hours: to be determined. at Einstein Bros. Bagels on the Drag, and by appointment.

Professor A. Martinich, WAG 416A,


Description: The Bible has influenced political, literary, and philosophical works for two thousand years. In addition to reading and discussing large part of the Bible, parts of the Qur'an, John Milton’s Paradise Lost, and Thomas Hobbes’s Leviathan, will be among the major works read and discussed. The Bible both prescribes standards of ethical conduct and challenges some. Some of the most compelling stories in the Bible are about the nature of human beings and how they should behave.

We begin by reading Genesis, Exodus, parts of the books of Samuel and Kings, Job, the Gospel  according to Matthew and the one according to Mark. We want to understand what the authors of these books meant; and we want to look at some ways that they were used and understood by later ages. This includes some ancient works about related events that were not included in the Bible.

Mohammed believed that Moses and Jesus were prophets, but some of the Qur’an’s stories conflict with those in the Bible. Thomas Hobbes tried to reconcile the Bible with modern scientific theory; and John Milton used the Bible to create the greatest epic poem in English. Students may explore related topics or authors, according to their interests.

This course contains a substantial writing component.



Genesis (New Oxford Study Bible); Exodus 1-24;  Job (cc. 1-3; 38-42); Gospels According to Mark and Matthew, and of John (cc. 1, 8, 21-22); 1 Corintians 15; selections from the Apocrypha; Qur’an (suras 1-5, 7, 10-14, 19-20, 37, 101-114),Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan (cc. 31-39, and 44), John Milton, Paradise Lost (books 1, 3-5, 9, 12), and A. P. Martinich, Philosophical Writing 3rd edition.



Essay assignment 1: due Sep 4: 5%

Essay 2: due Oct 2 (in two versions: 100-200 words and 500-700 words): 10%

Essay 3: due Nov 4 (in two versions: 200-300 words and 1,200-2,000 words: 20%

Essay 4: due Dec. 5 2,000-3,300: 35% (The final essay must be a revision of essay 2 or 3 and must be 1000-2000 words longer than the original essay.)

Class discussion: 20%

Final examination: 10 %


A. P. Martinich, Roy Allison Vaughan Centennial Professor in Philosophy, Professor of History and Government, is the author or editor of more than fifteen books. His book Hobbes: A Biography (Cambridge University Press) won the Roy Hamilton Best Book Award in 2000. His book The Philosophy of Language 5th edition (Oxford University Press) has been the standard text in the field for twenty-five years. He is currently editing The Oxford Handbook of Hobbes. He is vice-president of the Board of Directors of The Journal of the History of Philosophy.He received the Chet Oliver Teaching Award in 2008.  


T C 302 • Uses And Abuses Of The Bible

42790 • Fall 2010
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm CRD 007A

This course has a writing flag.


We will study some representative cases of the ways the Bible has been used, and sometimes abused, through the centuries. We begin with Genesis, Exodus, parts of the books of Samuel and Kings, Job, the gospel of Mark, and parts of the gospel of John in order to understand what the original authors meant by their works. Because popular books, like The Da Vinci Code and Adam, Eve and the Serpent, have renewed interest in ancient writings that did not get included in the Bible, we will read a selection of these, including The Life of Adam and Eve, The Gospel of Thomas, and the Infancy Gospel of Thomas. These will be followed by selections from the Qur’an, which contains variations on the biblical stories. We will then read two seventeenth century authors, Thomas Hobbes and John Milton, who used biblical themes and problems in their philosophy, literature, and politics. We will end with a selection of other uses/abuses of the Bible, possibly feminist, Native American, or anti-slavery interpretations.




Selections from the Apocrypha

Exodus 1-24                          


Renita Weems, “The Hebrew Women Are not Like the Egyptian Women: The Ideology of Race, Gender and Sexual Reproduction in Exodus 1” handout

1 Samuel 17-1 Kings 2        

John Milton, Paradise Lost

Job (cc. 1-3; 38-42)                 

Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan cc. 33-38, and 44



Gospel of Mark

Gospel of John 8, 21-22



Essay: Feb. 13 (in two versions: 100-200 words and 300-700 words) - 15%

Essay: (in two versions: 150-300 words, and 1,200-2,000 words) - 20%

Essay: 1,200-3,300 words (The final essay must be a revision of essay 2 or 3 and must be 1000-2000 words longer than the revised essay.) - 35%

Class discussion: 20%                                    

Final examination: 10%


About the Professor

A. P. Martinich, Roy Allison Vaughan Centennial Professor of Philosophy and Professor of History and Government, is the author or editor of fifteen books and many articles, most of which concern language, religion, politics, or the philosophy of Thomas Hobbes.  His book, Hobbes: a Biography was awarded the Robert Hamilton Faculty Book Award (2000). He was awarded the Plan II Honors Chet Oliver Teaching Award, in 2008 He was a Faculty Fellow for many years and was twice named Faculty Fellow of the Year.

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