Hobbes Studies 33 (2):153-175 (2020)

Avshalom Schwartz
Stanford University
This paper offers a novel interpretation of the political implications of Hobbes’s theory of imagination and his solution to the threat posed by the imagination to political stability. While recent work has correctly identified the problem the imagination poses for Hobbes, it has underestimated the severity of the problem and, accordingly, has underestimated the length to which the Hobbesian sovereign will have to go in order to solve it. By reconstructing Hobbes’s account of sleep and the operation of the imagination during sleep, this paper argues that the Hobbesian sovereign who seeks to solve the problem of the imagination must maintain his subjects in a ‘state of sleep,’ by preventing any kind of new inputs from disturbing their imagination. This solution suggests that the citizens of the Leviathan state are not sleeping sovereigns, but rather sleeping subjects.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1163/18750257-bja10016
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 59,848
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

La Institution Imaginaria del Leviathan.Omar Astorga - 1998 - The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy 41:1-5.
RE-Imagiing Leviathan.Mónica Brito Vieira - 2018 - Hobbes Studies 31 (1):93-119.


Added to PP index

Total views
4 ( #1,224,412 of 2,432,825 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #464,144 of 2,432,825 )

How can I increase my downloads?


Sorry, there are not enough data points to plot this chart.

My notes