Leviathan

Front Cover
Oxford University Press, 1996 - Philosophy - 508 pages
He that is to govern a whole nation, must read in himself, not this, or that particular man; but mankind. Leviathan is both a magnificent literary achievement and the greatest work of political philosophy in the English language. Permanently challenging, it has found new applications and new refutations in every generation. Hobbes argues that human beings are first and foremost concerned with their own individual desires and fears. He shows that a conflict of each against every man can only be avoided by the adoption of a compact to enforce peace. The compact involves giving up some of our natural freedom to a sovereign power which will enforce the laws of peace on all citizens. Hobbes also analyses the subversive forces - religion, ambition, private conscience - that threaten to destroy the body politic, Leviathan itself, and return us to the state of war. This new edition reproduces the first printed text, retaining the original punctuation but modernizing the spelling. It offers exceptionally thorough and useful annotation, an introduction that guides the reader through the complexities of Hobbes's arguments, and a substantial index.

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
57
4 stars
59
3 stars
53
2 stars
25
1 star
12

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - jarlalex - LibraryThing

In the 1640s, Europe was littered with wars, most of them pertinent to who ought to be in charge. The continent saw the last decade of the Thirty Years’ War, whose major impacts were reaffirming state ... Read full review

Review: Leviathan

User Review  - Jacques Coulardeau - Goodreads

I will only consider some chapters in this approach. The a priori position is that God is the origin of everything, that the Bible is absolutely true about the history of humanity and its “creation ... Read full review

Other editions - View all

About the author (1996)

John Gaskin is Professor, Chair, and Fellow of Trinity College, Dublin. He is the editor of Hobbes and Hume in World's Classics.

Bibliographic information