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This little-known late writing of Hobbes reveals an unexplored dimension of his famous doctrine of sovereignty. The essay was first published posthumously in 1681, and from 1840 to 1971 only a generally unreliable edition has been in print. This edition provides the first dependable and easily accessible text of Hobbes's Dialogue. In the Dialogue, Hobbes sets forth his mature reflections of the relation between reason and law, reflections more "liberal" than those found in Leviathan and his other well-known writings. Hobbes proposes a separation of the functions of government in the interest of common sense and humaneness without visibly violating his dictum that the sharing or division of sovereignty is an absurdity. This new edition of the Dialogue is a significant contribution to our understanding of seventeenth-century political philosophy.
"Hobbes students are indebted to Professor Cropsey for this scholarly and accessible edition of Dialogue."—J. Roland Pennock, American Political Science Review
"An invaluable aid to the study of Hobbes."—Review of Metaphysics
Of the Law of Reason
Of Soveraign Power
Of Crimes Capital