Thomas Hobbes and the Natural Law Tradition / Edition 2

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Pre-eminent among European political philosophers, Norberto Bobbio has throughout his career turned to the political theory of Thomas Hobbes. Gathered here for the first time are the most important of his essays which together provide both a valuable introduction to Hobbes's thought and a fresh understanding of Hobbes's place in the theory of modern politics.

Tracing Hobbes's work through De Cive and Leviathan, Bobbio identifies the philosopher's relation to the tradition of natural law. That Hobbes must now be understood in both this tradition as well as in the seemingly contradictory positivist tradition becomes clear for the first time in Bobbio's account. Bobbio also demonstrates that Hobbes cannot be easily labelled "liberal" or "totalitarian"; in Bobbio's provocative analysis of Hobbes's justification of the state, Hobbes emerges as a true conservative.

Though his primary concern is to reconstruct the inner logic of Hobbes's thought, Bobbio is also attentive to the philosopher's biography and weaves into his analysis details of Hobbes's life and world—his exile in France, his relation with the Mersenne circle, his disputes with Anglican bishops, and accusations of heresy leveled against him. The result is a revealing, thoroughly new portrait of the first theorist of the modern state.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780226062488
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press
  • Publication date: 3/28/1993
  • Edition description: 1
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 246
  • Sales rank: 541,106
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Table of Contents

Author's Note
1 The Conceptual Model of Natural Law Theory 1
1 Elements of the Model 1
2 Variations on the Theme 3
3 The Alternative Model 5
4 Elements of the Alternative Model 8
5 The Conceptual Model of Natural Law Theory and Bourgeois Society 10
6 The Family and the State of Nature 13
7 The Family in the Conceptual Model of Natural Law Theory 15
8 The Bourgeois Family 18
9 A Proof "to the Contrary" 20
10 The End of the Model 23
2 Hobbes's Political Theory 26
1 Works 26
2 The Leading Idea 29
3 The Method 32
4 Artificial Man 35
5 The State of Nature 38
6 The War of All against All 41
7 The Dictates of Right Reason 44
8 The Covenant of Union 46
9 Sovereignty Is Irrevocable 49
10 Sovereignty Is Absolute 53
11 Civil Laws 56
12 Sovereignty Is Indivisible 60
13 Church and State 63
14 Hobbes and His Critics 66
15 Hobbes Interpreted 69
3 Introduction to De Cive 74
Appendix: Introduction to A Dialogue between a Philosopher and a Student of the Common Law of England 107
4 Natural Law and Civil Law in the Political Philosophy of Hobbes 114
5 Hobbes and Natural Law Theory 149
6 Hobbes and Partial Societies 172
7 By Way of Conclusion 197
Appendix 201
Considerations upon the Reputation, Loyalty, Manners and Religion of Thomas Hobbes of Malmesbury 201
A Brief History of Hobbesian Historiography 205
Three Books on Hobbes 212
Index 221
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