Leviathan by Thomas HobbesLeviathan by Thomas Hobbes


byThomas HobbesIntroduction byC. B. MacphersonEditorC Macpherson

Paperback | February 25, 1982

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"During the time men live without a common Power to keep them all in awe, they are in that condition which is called Warre"

Written during the turmoil of the English Civil War, Leviathan is an ambitious and highly original work of political philosophy. Claiming that man's essential nature is competitive and selfish, Hobbes formulates the case for a powerful sovereign—or "Leviathan"—to enforce peace and the law, substituting security for the anarchic freedom he believed human beings would otherwise experience. This worldview shocked many of Hobbes's contemporaries, and his work was publicly burnt for sedition and blasphemy when it was first published. But in his rejection of Aristotle's 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.

Based on the original 1651 text, this edition incorporates Hobbes's own corrections, while also retaining the original spelling and punctuation, to read with vividness and clarity. C. B. Macpherson's introduction elucidates one of the most fascinating works of modern philosophy for the general reader.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

About The Author

Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679) was born in Malmesbury. Entering Magdalen Hall, Oxford, in 1603, he took his degree in 1608 and became tutor to the eldest son of Lord Cavendish of Hardwick, afterwards the Earl of Devonshire; his connection with this family was life-long. His first interest was in the classics, and his first published work a ...

by Thomas Hobbes


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Details & Specs

Title:LeviathanFormat:PaperbackDimensions:736 pages, 7.76 × 5.09 × 1.26 inPublished:February 25, 1982Publisher:Penguin Publishing Group

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0140431950

ISBN - 13:9780140431957

Appropriate for ages: 18 - 18

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From Our Editors

When Thomas Hobbes wrote this treatise on the importance of power in a market society, things looked a lot different. Incredibly, though, things developed in much the same way he predicted. This is mostly due to the influence Leviathan has had across the world and throughout history. Leaders have turned to the classic text for advice and practical information on forming governments. In fact, readers should recognize parts of the American Constitution within the pages of this book. More than a slice of history, this text is in fact a partial blueprint to the society in which we live.