Since some reviewers here seem to rate this work unfairly low because of their disagreements, ignoring both the importance of Leviathan and the basic power of the argument Hobbes forwards in it, I ll refer a couple of good, measured reviews with history and backdrop also found here I planned to adapt an essay I wrote at university on Hobbes and Leviathan with comparisons against Locke, Rousseau and others to serve as a review, but it s rather unwieldy and a few of its less esoteric and elaborate points have been made very well and succinctly in some of the accounts above.Hobbes is the most influential figure in political thinking when it comes to what might broadly be called pessimistic philosophy contra Leibniz , and in this sense he makes an excellent, formal and treatise like accompaniment to the works of Voltaire whose philosophical tales especially are, beyond the characteristic wit on display, also immensely enjoyable Kafka, and to certain personal extent Beckett, are also commendable reads He doesn t so much set out a modus operandi for a ruler as the Arthshastra or The Prince attempt to do, but tries to justify the power to be accorded a ruler, basically obliterating some of the open concerns a statesman might have to tactically contend with in Machiavelli But it may be that of all of Leviathan s contributions, the eponymous Leviathan in the sense of an absolute monarch is the superfluous part.Given its age, the language of Leviathan is remarkably clear and precise, emphatic as necessary and quite accessible Hobbes sets out his arguments with almost mathematical proof like care however, and the book may require patience I had lecture notes to guide me through when I first read important selections, and perhaps something of that nature will be helpful.I recently found it a fascinating exercise to study the thought of this school roughly speaking in the context of modern evolutionary thinking as found in very accessible but also rigorous accounts like The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins.Of course, just as science with its empirical concerns does not prescribe but might inform efficient and effective methods for achieving an aim, the pessimists are not prescriptive they simply caution in the way dystopia in fiction doesn t provide constructive commentary as utopia does, but serve when done right, in the manner of Orwell for instance as elaborate warning tales It is wrong to think of them, especially Hobbes, as social Darwinists There is willful misinterpretation on nearly every side of modern politics when it comes to philosophers like Hobbes so that arguments which come from the pedestrian self help esque philosophy of the likes of Ayn Rand or readings that miss the outr humour of de Sade can be cloaked in the appearance of erudition and thus made less incendiary when shamelessly carted out This propensity is far from lessened by the argument in Leviathan for monarchy and the easy clamour citing this gains from those blinded and made to follow complacently by the very term democracy , whether true in fact or not.It is perfectly fair to say that Hobbes, with interests very relevant to him personally in his day, fails to give due consideration to other forms of governance than the one he advocates, but this shortcoming does not invalidate or at all detract from the conundrum he poses about trust within his state of nature , or the dangers of it The situation is akin to the Prisoner s Dilemma from game theory and there is the question of what s rational for the society on the whole against what is rational for the individual at each decision The implications from biology of trust favouring behaviours and the evolutionarily stable equilibria which may come about through such strategies further elucidate our notions on the human condition when considered alongside the basic problem. Both the conclusions and methodology of Leviathan are shocking to the modern reader Writing in the seventeenth century, Hobbes attacked medieval political philosophy and religion However, unlike the enlightenment philosophers he did not base his arguments on the classical authors of Greece and Rome Instead he made it clear that he considered them to be as much in the wrong as the medieval scholastics Thus starting from zero, Hobbes then developed the doctrine that every nation or commonwealth requires a undivided sovereign To the contemporary reader, Hobbes seems to be arguing that we would all be best living in a totalitarian regime.In Hobbes view men are evil wishing by instinct to dominate and exploit their fellow men Hence every commonwealth needs to be ruled by a strong sovereign to protect the members of the commonwealth from each other The sovereign can be a single person, an aristocracy or a democracy The single person system is best as it allows the most complete concentration of power For Hobbes a king and a tyrant are the same thing Thus the Greeks and Romans of the classical era were wrong to praise tyrannicide and condemn regicide Both were equally wrong The crime of the long parliament was not that it executed Charles I, the divinely chosen King of England, but that it killed the sovereign and ensured that civil war would resume in England Cromwell s great virtue was that he ended the war and protected the English population The supremet good for the commonwealth member is to support the sovereign.With the goal of demonstrating that the doctrine of the divine right of kings is nonsense, Hobbes devotes two of the four books of Leviathan to proving that religion is absurd He fills pages referring to all the contradictions and absurdities in the Christian bible He points out that there is no way to properly determine which texts belong in the bible and which do not Even if one believes in God, one has to deal with the second problem which is that there is no way to prove the claims of any of those who claim to speak for God that they are indeed his representatives Finally, Hobbes points out that the doctrine of the divine right of kings as defended by the Roman Catholic Church has no basis in scripture Protestants, however, have little reason to be happy with Hobbes as he also demonstrates that many of their doctrines also lack basis in scripture.Despite his audacity and vigour, posterity has not been kind to Hobbes Absolutism and totalitarianism are dirty words in today s society The political thinkers of the eighteenth century returned to the classical theory proposed by many authors but most eloquently by Polybius that the ideal situation is for power in a state to be divided between a king, an aristocracy and a democratically elected assembly The problem is of course that it is easier to argue against Hobbes than it is to fight totalitarianism s instinctive appeal In times of crisis, people tend to support strong dictators like Franco, protectors like Cromwell or strong men like Putin. Leviathan, or The Matter, Forme and Power of a Common Wealth Ecclesiasticall and Civil, Thomas Hobbes Leviathan, is a book written by Thomas Hobbes 1588 1679 and published in 1651 revised Latin edition 1668 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 2001 1380 572 1381 1385 1389 1391 1392 1393 576 9789643125578 17 PrefaceA Scheme of ReferenceIntroductionA Note on the TextSelect BibliographyChronology Leviathan, or The Matter, Forme, Power of a Common Wealth Ecclesiasticall and Civill Explanatory NotesIndex of Subjects 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 This New Edition Reproduces The First Printed Text, Retaining The Original Punctuation But Modernizing The Spelling It Offers Exceptionally Thorough And Useful Annotation, An Introduction That Guides The Reader Through The Complexities Of Hobbes S Arguments, And A Substantial IndexAbout The Series For Over Years Oxford World S Classics Has Made Available The Broadest Spectrum Of Literature From Around The Globe Each Affordable Volume Reflects Oxford S Commitment To Scholarship, Providing The Most Accurate Text Plus A Wealth Of Other Valuable Features, Including Expert Introductions By Leading Authorities, Voluminous Notes To Clarify The Text, Up To Date Bibliographies For Further Study, And Much T rkiye Bankas Yay nlar n n Thomas Hobbes biyografisini okuduktan sonra okudu um i in nl d n r n felsefesini anlamakta zorluk ekmeden okudu um Leviathan , zellikle nsan zerine ve Devlet zerine olan ilk iki b l m yle neden okunmas gereken felsefi ba yap tlar aras nda oldu unu ortaya koyuyor zg r irade olmad n n alt n izen Hobbes, iradenin zg r oldu unu vurgularken devlet kurumu olmadan insanlar n yarat l lar itibariyle kontrol alt na al namad n etkileyici bir ekilde okuyucuya sunuyor nsanlar n zg rl klerinden vazge meleriyle ancak bar n ve huzurun sa lanaca n belirten Leviathan , Platoncu monar ik bir devlet anlay n desteklerken, Aristoteles i skolastik felsefeyi a r bir dille ele tiriyor Do al yerine devlet ve yasa gibi yapay olu umlar tercih eden Hobbes un Tanr ve dini kavramlar maddesel bir zemine yerle tirerek inan kavram nda r a mas da yazar zel k lan unsurlardan Yazd klar yla yozla m katolik kilisenin otoristesini reddederek bir nevi laik d ncenin n n a an Leviathan n son iki b l m nde ise ne yaz k ki ilk iki b l m n etkisini bulmak zor Yine de okuduk a yeni eyler buldu unuz eserin hi kimsenin kazanc na veya keyfine zarar vermeyen ger ekler, herkes e benimsenir son c mlesi bile kitab n nemini ortaya koyuyor Platon, Aristoteles, Cicero, Farabi, Erasmus, Machiavelli, Frances Bacon ve Thomas More dan okunmas gerekti ini d nd m Leviathan , ger ekten okunmas gereken felsefi eserler aras nda 03.05.2018 stanbul, T rkiyeAlp Turgut . . . A Monster of a Book12 Oct 2017 Woah, after three weeks I have finally managed to finish the behemoth of a book which, ironically, Hobbes also wrote a book with that name and I can now move onto something much lighter Anyway, there was a time, when I was younger, when I was dreaming of one day getting married, having children, while becoming a hot shot lawyer is it possible to actually do those two things that I wanted to read this to my proposed child while he or she was still a baby Mind you, I suggested this to one of my Christian friends, who proceeded to have a heart attack claiming that it was a humanist text similar to the writings of David Hume Mind you, this particular person is now a lecturer in English Literature at Harvard University so I am still wondering why she was hugely shocked at this idea Maybe it had something to do with wanting to read it to a baby Anyway, this is apparently the book that laid the foundation for political science as we know it today, though I am sort of scratching my head at this suggestion First of all people have been writing about politics since people first tossed out their unelected kings and began to argue as to the best way to run a country, Mind you, those particular people, such as Plato, pretty quickly came to the conclusion that letting the mob make the rules on a principle of popularity was a pretty bad idea so decided to go back to the drawing board to work out how they can have a system where smart people actually run the country Mind you, as my Classics history lecturer once told us, the problem with that idea was that all of the smart people actually had much better things to do than running a country Okay, maybe Plato, being a smart person, would have been perfect for that position, but he seemed to end up spending time trying to teach rulers how to be a smart ruler, and failing abysmally As it turned out, being a smart ruler isn t a particularly easy thing to do, and in the end it is much easier to collect taxes and then use the said taxes to build palaces and to go around beating up all the people you don t like At least Machiavelli had the right idea Hobbs seems to follow Plato s opinion, though he doesn t go as far as Machiavelli in actually telling rulers how to be successful rulers Rather he spends the time exploring the nature of government, and instead of coming up with unworkable ideas, he basically looks at what is around him, and the traditions of the past, to come to the conclusion that the best form of government is a monarchical government based upon the principles of scripture His theory is basically that because God is sovereign, and because God is the perfect ruler, then ergo the best form of government is that of a Christian king However, as I have mentioned, the book is pretty chunky, and half of it deals with a theological exposition as to why the Bible supports monarchy Well, not quite because he does come back to the point in the book of Samuel where the Israelites demand a king, and the main reason that happens is because the Israelites had decided that living under the constitution that God laid out was just that little too hard, and it seems that all of the nations around them were having a awful lot of fun, so why not just live like them Well, for those of us who know their Bible know how that turned out A little context is probably in order though Hobbes wrote this book during the English Civil war, which was an incredibly messy affair Basically you had the Catholic monarch on one side wanting to do things his way, and the protestant parliament on the other side basically telling him to bugger off and mind his own business Things got messier, and messier, and it resulted in Charles basically having his head lopped off Well, that didn t particularly solve anything because, much like the French revolution, it left a power vacuum Well, not quite, because they did have Oliver Cormwell, but it turned out that they didn t have an effective succession plan in place, and in the end, when Cormwell died, his son took over, with the resultant mess that ended up with them asking the king to come back and take over Hobbes ideas probably won t sit well in our so called advanced Democracies these days, but then again look at who landed up as President of the United States a Reality TV star Okay, he wasn t the only actor to have been elected President, but at least Reagan was a tried and true union man if you consider the Screen Actors Guild a union, but serious it is Mind you, we in Australia can t comment because we elected Tony Abbott a misogynist that when asked what he felt about the LGBT community, the reply was they make me feel uncomfortable Actually, when asked to comment on an Australian soldier that was killed in Afghanistan, he reply was shit happens I kid you not Well, at least you can say that that is the typical Australian response Mind you, while I m no big fan of totalitarianism, you have to admit that this whole democratic experiment, at least in the west, is pretty messed up Well, not quite, because the Germans have seemed to have worked it out quite well, and seem to be chugging along quite happily Even the British seem to have some reasonably level headed people in power and whatever you think of Teresa May, at least she is nowhere near as bad as Tony Abbot, or the Trumpet for that matter Yet, despite Hobbes not really being as applicable to our times, in a way he is He was looking at a country that was in a complete mess and his solution was to go back to the tried and true method a king it certainly had to be better that people running around shooting each other Maybe we could solve our problems by asking Angela Merkel to come over here and sort us out Hey, at least the Norwegians made sure that the mining companies actually paid for all of the minerals they took out of their lands over here we simply let them take them If I were to walk into a shop and start helping myself to all of their goodies I d be arrested I guess that is what the matra of jobs, growth, and opportunity gets you these days.
Thomas Hobbes was a British philosopher and a seminal thinker of modern political philosophy His ideas were marked by a mechanistic materialist foundation, a characterization of human nature based on greed and fear of death, and support for an absolute monarchical form of government His 1651 book Leviathan established the foundation for most of Western political philosophy from the perspective o
- 508 pages
- Leviathan, or The Matter, Forme and Power of a Common Wealth Ecclesiasticall and Civil
- Thomas Hobbes
- 22 October 2017 Thomas Hobbes