Hobbes's Leviathan: New Science of Man

In Janusz Grygiensl (ed.), Human Rights and Politics. Erida (2013)

Leviathan by Hobbes is one of the most original books in political theory ever written. Broad is scope, rich in ideas and bold in its claims; it contains much more than just political theory. The article focuses on Hobbes’s presentation of human nature, in particular in light of the then new thesis that universe is matter in motion; on observation how human automata whom Hobbes created (as it were) live in state of nature and under authority of “the leviathan”; and on the impact of man’s and woman’s nature on their natural rights. Hobbes pioneered a host of ideas that became a staple food for early modern political thought—state of nature, social contract, individualism, or inalienable rights. The article reviews them and concludes that in spite of illiberal conclusions of his political theory, Hobbes is a proto-liberal thinker that paved the way for Locke and others.
Keywords Hobbes  matter in motion  nature of man  state of nature  Leviathan
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