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With an Introduction by Dr Richard Serjeantson, Trinity College, CambridgeSince its first publication in 1651, Thomas Hobbes's Leviathan has been recognised as one of the most compelling, and most controversial, works of political philosophy written in English. Forged in the crucible of the civil and religious warfare of the mid-seventeenth century, it proposes a political theory that combines an unequivocal commitment to natural human liberty with the conviction that the sovereign power of government must be exercised absolutely. Leviathan begins from some shockingly naturalistic starting-points: an analysis of human nature as being motivated by vain-glory and pride, and a vision of religion as simply the fear of invisible powers made up by the mind. Yet from these deliberately unpromising elements, Hobbes constructs with unparalleled forcefulness an elaborate, systematic, and comprehensive account of how political society ought to be: ordered, law-bound, peaceful. In Leviathan, Hobbes presents us with a portrait of politics which depicts how a state that is made up of the unified body of all its citizens will be powerful, fruitful, protective of each of its members, and above all free from internal violence.
Leviathan concerns the structure of society and legitimate government, and is regarded as one of the earliest and most influential examples of social contract theory.Written during the English Civil War (16421651), Leviathan argues for a social contract and rule by an absolute sovereign. Hobbes wrote that civil war and situations identified with a state of nature and the famous motto Bellum omnium contra omnes ("e;the war of all against all"e;) could only be averted by strong central government.
Written during the turmoil of the English Civil War, Leviathan is an ambitious and highly original work of political philosophy. Claiming that mans essential nature is competitive and selfish, Hobbes formulates the case for a powerful sovereignor Leviathanto enforce peace and the law, substituting security for the anarchic freedom he believed human beings would otherwise experience. This worldview shocked many of Hobbess contemporaries, and his work was publicly burnt for sedition and blasphemy when it was first published. But in his rejection of Aristotles view of man as a naturally social being, and in his painstaking analysis of the ways in which society can and should function, Hobbes opened up a whole new world of political science.
"This edition of Thomas Hobbes's Leviathan is intended to update Hobbes's style and language from early modern English to more contemporary, 21st Century English and to clarify some important elements of the work that are problematic to beginning and casual readers of Hobbes"--
This Norton Critical Edition of arguably the greatest work of political theory written in the English language contains the bulk of Hobbes's treatise, including all chapters except those of interest primarily to professional historical scholars.
Hobbes' classic work has set the tone for the course of political philosophy through to our own day. This new Broadview edition includes the full text of the 1651 edition, together with a wide variety of background documents that help set the work in context. Also included are an introduction, explanatory notes, and a chronology.
De Cive (On the Citizen) is the first full exposition of the political thought of Thomas Hobbes, the greatest English political philosopher of all time. Professors Tuck and Silverthorne have undertaken the first complete translation since 1651, a rendition long thought (in error) to be at least sanctioned by Hobbes himself. On the Citizen is written in a clear, straightforward, expository style, and in many ways offers students a more digestible account of Hobbes's political thought than the Leviathan itself. This new translation is both accurate and accessible, and is itself a significant scholarly event: it is accompanied by a full glossary of Latin terms, a chronology, bibliography, and an expository introduction. Throughout the editors have emphasised consistency in the translation and usage of Hobbes's basic conceptual vocabulary, respecting Hobbes's own concern for accurate definition of terms.
Thomas Hobbes' Leviathan is arguably the greatest piece of political philosophy written in the English language. Written in a time of great political turmoil (Hobbes' life spanned the reign of Charles I, the Civil Wars, the Commonwealth and the Protectorate, and the Restoration), Leviathan is an argument for obedience to authority grounded in an analysis of human nature. Since its first publication in 1991 Richard Tuck's edition of Leviathan has been recognised as the single most accurate and authoritative text, and for this revised edition Professor Tuck has provided a much amplified and expanded introduction, which will provide students unfamiliar with Hobbes with a cogent and accessible introduction to this most challenging of texts. Other vital aids to study include an extensive guide to further reading, a note on textual matters, a chronology of important events and brief biographies of important persons mentioned in Hobbes' text.