Leviathan

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Oxford University Press, 1996 - Philosophy - 508 pages
207 Reviews
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.

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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  - Michal Paszkiewicz - Goodreads

Even though the book is full of confusion and heresy and I found myself disagreeing with most of his (other) thoughts, this was a very fascinating read. It gives a very good context for the turmoil ... Read full review

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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.

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