Leviathan: Or the Matter, Forme, & Power of a Common-Wealth Ecclesiastical and Civill
Throughout his long life Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679) associated with some of the most celebrated thinkers of the age and witnessed some of its most dramatic events; it is therefore no wonder that his philosophy is regarded as among the most original and influential in Western philosophy. Motivated as much by Hobbes’ horror of the violence unleashed by the English civil war as his materialistic belief in thought as a mechanical process, Leviathan (1651) states the case for complete obedience to an absolute government as the only way of bringing peace and security to society. The true nature of mankind is at the heart of Hobbes’ political philosophy, and it is his uncompromising rejection of pre-existing depictions of mankind as the peak of creation in favour of a race naturally compelled to savagery which makes Leviathan as challenging and controversial today as it ever was.
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