David Kearns

David Kearns

David Kearns is an intellectual historian working in Canberra. He received his PhD from the University of Sydney in 2020, and an MPhil in Political Thought and Intellectual History from the University of Cambridge in 2015. David’s work focuses on the history of the early modern common law, including debates over the relationship between the common law, state, and sovereignty, and the Australian reception of these debates.

David Kearns reviews 'Confronting Leviathan: A history of ideas' by David Runciman

January–February 2022, no. 439 20 December 2021
David Kearns reviews 'Confronting Leviathan: A history of ideas' by David Runciman
In ‘that great LEVIATHAN called a COMMON-WEALTH, or STATE’, wrote Thomas Hobbes, ‘Soveraignty is an Artificiall Soul … giving life and motion to the whole body’. This ‘Artificiall man’ was to ensure ‘the peoples safety’, and the means at its disposal were limitless. The sovereign was ‘not subject to the Civill Lawes’ and could abrogate any ‘Lawes that trouble him’. Leviat ... (read more)

David Kearns reviews 'Wollstonecraft: Philosophy, passion, and politics' by Sylvana Tomaselli

May 2021, no. 431 26 April 2021
David Kearns reviews 'Wollstonecraft: Philosophy, passion, and politics' by Sylvana Tomaselli
The first statue commemorating Mary Wollstonecraft (1759–97), a swirling tower of forms coalescing into a single naked figure at its apex by British artist Maggi Hambling, was unveiled in London last year. Responding to accusations that the statue was ‘mad’ and ‘insulting’, Hambling defended it as ‘not a conventional heroic or heroinic likeness’ but ‘a sculpture about it now’. Ag ... (read more)