Hobbes' Leviathan is arguably the greatest piece of political philosophy written in the English language. Since its first publication, Richard Tuck's edition of Leviathan has been recognized as the single most accurate and authoritative text, and for this revised edition Professor Tuck has provided a much-amplified and expanded introduction. Other vital study aids 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.
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.
Writing in 1938, under the guise of studying the significance of the symbol of the leviathan in Thomas Hobbes's theory of the state, Carl Schmitt, the Hobbes of the 20th century, provides insights into totalitarian forms of government, attacks totalitarianism, and alludes to the demise of the Third Reich.
Leviathan or The Matter, Forme and Power of a Common Wealth Ecclesiasticall and Civil—commonly referred to as Leviathan—is a book written by Thomas Hobbes (1588–1679) and published in 1651. Its name derives from the biblical Leviathan. The work concerns the structure of society and legitimate government, and is regarded as one of the earliest and most influential examples of social contract theory. Leviathan ranks as a classic western work on statecraft comparable to Machiavelli's The Prince. Written during the English Civil War (1642–1651), Leviathan argues for a social contract and rule by an absolute sovereign. Hobbes wrote that civil war and the brute situation of a state of nature ("the war of all against all") could only be avoided by strong, undivided government. An early edition of Leviathan was one of the over 60 books stolen from the National Library of Sweden in the 90s.
This Broadview edition of Hobbes's classic work of political philosophy includes the full text of Part I (Of Man), Part II (Of Commonwealth), and the Review and Conclusion. The appendices, which set the work in its historical context, include a rich selection of contemporary responses to Leviathan. Also included are an introduction, explanatory notes, and a chronology of Hobbes's life. Please note that the Broadview Edition of the complete Leviathan also remains available
In this provocative new study, Professor Martinich shows that religious concerns pervade Leviathan and indicates how, for Hobbes, Christian doctrine is not politically destabilising and is consistent with modern science.
Leviathan and the Air-Pump examines the conflicts over the value and propriety of experimental methods between two major seventeenth-century thinkers: Thomas Hobbes, author of the political treatise Leviathan and vehement critic of systematic experimentation in natural philosophy, and Robert Boyle, mechanical philosopher and owner of the newly invented air-pump. The issues at stake in their disputes ranged from the physical integrity of the air-pump to the intellectual integrity of the knowledge it might yield. Both Boyle and Hobbes were looking for ways of establishing knowledge that did not decay into ad hominem attacks and political division. Boyle proposed the experiment as cure. He argued that facts should be manufactured by machines like the air-pump so that gentlemen could witness the experiments and produce knowledge that everyone agreed on. Hobbes, by contrast, looked for natural law and viewed experiments as the artificial, unreliable products of an exclusive guild. The new approaches taken in Leviathan and the Air-Pump have been enormously influential on historical studies of science. Shapin and Schaffer found a moment of scientific revolution and showed how key scientific givens--facts, interpretations, experiment, truth--were fundamental to a new political order. Shapin and Schaffer were also innovative in their ethnographic approach. Attempting to understand the work habits, rituals, and social structures of a remote, unfamiliar group, they argued that politics were tied up in what scientists did, rather than what they said. Steven Shapin and Simon Schaffer use the confrontation between Hobbes and Boyle as a way of understanding what was at stake in the early history of scientific experimentation. They describe the protagonists' divergent views of natural knowledge, and situate the Hobbes-Boyle disputes within contemporary debates over the role of intellectuals in public life and the problems of social order and assent in Restoration England. In a new introduction, the authors describe how science and its social context were understood when this book was first published, and how the study of the history of science has changed since then.
Thomas Hobbes’s Leviathan is the greatest work of political philosophy in English and the first great work of philosophy in English. Beginning with premises that were sometimes controversial, such as that every human action is caused by the agent’s desire for his own good, Hobbes derived shocking conclusions, such as that the civil government enjoys absolute control over its citizens and that the sovereign has the right to determine which religion is to be practiced in a commonwealth. Hobbes’s contemporaries recognized the power of arguments in Leviathan and many of them wrote responses to it; selections by John Bramhall, Robert Filmer, Edward Hyde, George Lawson, William Lucy, Samuel Pufendorf, and Thomas Tenison are included in this edition. Leviathan is divided into four parts: In the first part, Of Man, Hobbes presents a view of human beings and of the natural world in general that is materialistic and mechanistic. In the second part, Of Commonwealth, he defends the theory of absolute sovereignty, the view that the government has all the political power and has the right to control any aspect of life. In the third part, Of a Christian Commonwealth, he critiques concepts like revelation, prophets, and miracles in such a way that it becomes doubtful whether they can be rationally justified. In the fourth part, Of the Kingdom of Darkness, he explains various ways in which priestly religion has corrupted religion and transgressed the rights of the sovereign.