England in the middle of the seventeenth century was a quagmire of political posturing from a variety of power centers. Royalists, anti-royalists, the clergy, and sundry other groups were jockeying for the most advantageous positions. With the outbreak of Civil War, England's social and political future looked anything but certain.
Amid this turbulence, Thomas Hobbes was to compose one of the most powerful pieces of political philosophy ever penned - his now famous work titled Leviathan.
Here he sought to unravel political complexities in order to provide clear and unequivocal answers to the confusion that engulfed England. He sets forth his view of the "passions" that grip human reason - passions that if left unchecked would spell the obliteration of humankind in a war of all against all. To prevent total destruction, reason must prevail, and those in the pre-political state of nature must collectively acknowledge the creation of a civil authority as the only solution if peace is to be achieved and self-preservation assured.
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Of the Naturall Condition of Mankind as Concerning Their Felicity and Misery
Of the First and Second Naturall Lawes
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