The Leviathan

The Leviathan

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by Thomas Hobbes, John Charles Gaskin
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0192834983

ISBN-13: 9780192834980

Pub. Date: 07/28/1998

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

After the publication of his masterpiece of political theory, Leviathan, Or the Matter, and Power of Commonwealth Ecclesiastic and Civil, in 1651, opponents charged Thomas Hobbes with atheism and banned and burned his books. The English Parliament, in a search for scapegoats, even claimed that the theories found in Leviathan were a likely cause of the Plague of 1665

Overview

After the publication of his masterpiece of political theory, Leviathan, Or the Matter, and Power of Commonwealth Ecclesiastic and Civil, in 1651, opponents charged Thomas Hobbes with atheism and banned and burned his books. The English Parliament, in a search for scapegoats, even claimed that the theories found in Leviathan were a likely cause of the Plague of 1665 and the Great Fire of 1666.

For the modern reader, though, Hobbes is more recognized for his popular belief that humanity's natural condition is a state of perpetual war, with life being "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short." Despite frequent challenges by other philosophers, Leviathan's secular theory of absolutism no longer stands out as particularly objectionable. In the description of the organization of states, moreover, we see Hobbes as strikingly current in his use of concepts that we still employ today, including the ideas of natural law, natural rights, and the social contract. Based on this work, one could even argue that Hobbes created English-language philosophy, insofar as Leviathan was the first great philosophical work written in English and one whose impact continues to the present day.


About the Author:
Thomas Hobbes was born on Good Friday in 1588. Despite growing up in an impoverished clerical family, he was precociously intelligent and completed a classical education at Oxford. He decided not to follow in his father's footsteps, though, and instead became a tutor within an aristocratic family. When these royalist political connections and a number of personal writings in support of monarchical authority got Hobbes centrally involved in the turmoil of the English Civil War, he feared for his safety and fled to France in 1640. It was while in exile in France that he wrote Leviathan, the work that cemented Hobbes' philosophical reputation as the pre-eminent modern theorist of secular absolutism.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780192834980
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
07/28/1998
Series:
Oxford World's Classics Series
Pages:
576
Product dimensions:
7.70(w) x 5.10(h) x 1.10(d)

Table of Contents

Part 1Of Man
1Of Sense3
2Of Imagination4
3Of the Consequence or Train of Imaginations8
4Of Speech12
5Of Reason and Science18
6Of the Interiour Beginnings of Voluntary Motions Commonly Called the Passions; and the Speeches by which They Are Expressed23
7Of the Ends or Resolutions of Discourse30
8Of the Vertues, Commonly Called Intellectual, and Their Contrary Defects32
9Of the Severall Subjects of Knowledge41
10Of Power, Worth, Dignity, Honour, and Worthinesse43
11Of the Difference of Manners49
12Of Religion54
13Of the Naturall Condition of Mankind as Concerning Their Felicity and Misery63
14Of the First and Second Naturall Lawes and of Contract66
15Of Other Laws of Nature74
16Of Persons, Authors, and Things Personated83
Part 2Of Common-Wealth
17Of the Causes, Generation, and Definition of a Common-wealth87
18Of the Rights of Soveraignes by Institution90
19Of Severall Kinds of Common-wealth by Institution; and of Succession to the Soveraign Power96
20Of Dominion Parternall and Despoticall104
21Of the Liberty of Subjects110
22Of Systems Subject, Politicall, and Private117
23Of the Publique Ministers of Soveraign Power126
24Of the Nutrition, and Procreation of a Common-wealth130
25Of Counsell134
26Of Civill Lawes140
27Of Crimes, Excuses, and Extenuations154
28Of Punishments, and Rewards164
29Of Those Things that Weaken, or Tend to the Dissolution of a Common-wealth170
30Of the Office of the Soveraign Representative178
31Of the Kingdome of God by Nature189

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