The title of Thomas Hobbes’ Leviathan is drawn from the biblical figure of a gigantic sea monster, an apt symbol for the challenge of governing a body politic. A classic work of statecraft and political philosophy on the order of The Prince, the book is divided into four parts. Part 1, Of Man, is a lucid description of human nature, material and psychological, in which he famously describes the state of nature as a war of all against all in which “the life of man (is) solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short”. Part 2, Of Common-wealth, is an articulation of the social contract that gives rise to an effective government and social order. Part 3, Of a Christian Common-wealth, delves into the problem of the relationship of church and state, arguing for the supremacy of civil over divine law as the only way to resolve the issue of authority. Lastly, Part 4, Of the Kingdom of Darkness, describes four causes of the “darkness of ignorance” that suppress the light of true knowledge. While Hobbes advocates for an absolute monarchy on rational grounds, he also introduces aspects of the social contract that have become fundamental to liberal political philosophy: the artificial nature of any political form, the right of the individual, the natural equality of all, the notion of political power as “representative” of the people and the corresponding need for the consent of those governed. In retrospect one wonders at the course history might have taken without Hobbes’ masterpiece.
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|Author||Thomas Hobbes (1588 - 1679)|
|Read by||Multiple readers|
|Length||22 hours and 17 minutes|
- Author: Thomas Hobbes
- Product Code: DB-1202
- Availability: In Stock