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Leviathan (1651)

by Thomas Hobbes

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7,186391,052 (3.56)126
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 originalpunctuation 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 index.… (more)

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English (33)  Spanish (2)  Dutch (1)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (38)
Showing 1-5 of 33 (next | show all)
Recensione: http://thereadingpal.blogspot.it/2017/01/recensione-57-leviatano.html

Il Leviatano è un testo che mi ha sempre attirato, ma non avevo particolare voglia di leggerlo. Filosofia non è proprio il mio ambito. Eppure...
Hobbes si concentra sulla Politica e, in particolare, nello Stato. Divide quindi il suo testo in quattro sezioni: 1) Dell'Uomo, 2) Dello Stato, 3) Di uno Stato Cristiano e 4) Del Regno delle Tenebre.
Per quanto mi riguarda, ho trovato piuttosto interessanti la prima e la seconda parte, mentre il mio interesse è abbastanza crollato sulla terza parte.
In Dell'Uomo Hobbes si cimenta nella descrizione delle caratteristiche umana, come i sensi, l'immaginazione, la parola. Inoltre parla anche di ragione e scienza, come anche di religione, nonché delle altre caratteristiche umane come le passioni. In questa prima parte ci chiarisce le leggi di Natura e le cause del naturale conflitto che c'è tra uomo e uomo. Interessante, no?
Anche la seconda parte non delude: Hobbes ci parla di come si viene a creare uno Stato, di cosa porta gli uomini ad abbandonare le loro caratteristiche naturali che li portano al conflitto, aderendo ad un patto con altri uomini, il cui fine primo sono la pace (che sostituisce la guerra dell'uomo in natura) e la sicurezza. Ci parla quindi della figura del Sovrano e tutto ciò che riguarda lo Stato e i sudditi. Questa è la parte che più mi interessava, personalmente.
La terza parte, invece... Hobbes ci parla dello Stato Cristiano, e così facendo ci parla di Dio e tira fuori spezzoni dei testi sacri cristiani, che compongono la maggior parte di questa sezione. Mi sembrava di essere tornata a fare catechismo, che già mi annoiava da piccola, figuriamoci ora.
Nella quarta parte ci parla del nostro mondo corrente, che secondo lui è nel periodo del Regno delle Tenebre e, a continuare la sezione precedente, ci dice che il regno di Dio non è ancora venuto.
Pur essendo un testo corposo (e questa versione ha dei caratteri minuscoli), è interessante e tutto sommato sono contenta di averlo letto.
Anche il saggio di Galli è piuttosto interessante, e la traduzione, correlata di note, ottima. ( )
  thereadingpal | Jun 14, 2022 |
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. Written during the English Civil War (1642–1651), it argues for a social contract and rule by an absolute sovereign. Hobbes wrote that civil war and the brute situation of a state of nature ("the war of all against all") could be avoided only by strong, undivided government. ( )
  Marcos_Augusto | Jan 20, 2022 |
To raise from his short, brutish existence man willing give up his freedom and rights to protect himself if others do the same to one strong man who promises to protect them. Thomas Hobbes’ Leviathan revolves around this idea but leading up to it and expounding upon it is a surprising amount of insight of both political and religious thought.

Hobbes’ work is divided into four parts with the first, “Of Man”, covering human nature and why men form governments not for the greater good as other postulate but to protect themselves and their stuff. Hobbes essentially says that men give up their freedom to the government to be protected from other men so they can keep their life and possessions that they can add to. In the second part, “Of Commonwealth”, Hobbes argues that the perfect government is under one absolute sovereign—whether a monarch or legislative body—that will control all aspects of the government with the aim to preserve the persons of the governed by any means necessary and that the govern must obey the sovereign in all aspects of life including in religion and taxation, the later must be used to support those unable to maintain themselves. In part three, “Of a Christian Commonwealth”, Hobbes discusses how a Christian commonwealth should be governed and essentially says that the civil power is the final arbiter of all spiritual revelation and thus the religious power is subordinate to the sovereign as seen in the Holy Scriptures. In the final part, “Of the Kingdom of Darkness”, Hobbes turns his focus towards ignorance of the true light of knowledge and its causes which stem from religious deceivers through four things—misinterpretation, demonology and saints, the mixing of religion with erroneous Greek philosophy, and mixing of these false doctrines and traditions with feigned history. Hobbes blames all the churches and churchmen for these causes as they are the beneficiaries at the expense of the civil power which endangers the commonwealth and the preservation of every man in them.

As one of the earliest and most influential works on social contract theory, Hobbes’ political ideas are often cited and quoted. However, the fact that almost half the work is a religious discourse was a surprise and insightful. That Hobbes discredited church-led states was gratifying, though he then recommended state control of religion was a disappointment but not surprising given the theme of his work. Besides his views on the church-state relationship, Hobbes’ work is primary to understanding how the political thought of today began and how his contemporaries and those that followed him reacted to his views.

Leviathan is Thomas Hobbes’ magnum opus of political thought and has been influential for centuries, whether one agrees with his conclusions or vehemently disagrees. ( )
1 vote mattries37315 | Jun 24, 2021 |
Ah, Hobbes.
  rjcrunden | Feb 2, 2021 |
Interesting as a historical document but not very informative of thought provoking any more. The main concern of the book are the sources of laws and authority, there being mostly three: natural law (tautological rambling about common sense), state law given by the monarch (given as an axiom more or less), and lastly given by the Christian god (so self evident it needs no explanation). Arguments like this don't really impress any more. God's law is the one that occupies most of the book and the author has a go at the church and explains how church must be subordinate to the monarch (not exactly original thought by that time).

The book is by volume mostly about scripture interpretation and running of the church. The moment when he finally badmouths other religions and ridicules them (including Judaism) is priceless. I've seen sacks of potatoes with more self awareness and tendency for introspection. ( )
1 vote Paul_S | Dec 23, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 33 (next | show all)
*Malmesburyn ateisti suomeksi*

Liberaalin markkinatalousjärjestelmän syntyä ja olemusta koskevat pohdinnat ovat suomalaisessa keskustelussa viime aikoina lisääntyneet. Mikäli Englantia voidaan 1600-luvulta lähtien pitää modernin, porvarillisen Euroopan pioneerimaana suhteellisen joustavan sosiaalisen rakenteensa sekä poliittisen ja taloudellisen kehityksensä osalta, on englantilaisen poliittisen ajattelun klassikoiden suomentaminen erityisen ajankohtaista. Tuomo Ahon suomennos Thomas Hobbesin Leviathan-teoksesta on suuri kulttuuriteko vielä kolme ja puoli vuosisataa alkuteoksen ilmestymisen jälkeen jo siksi, että Hobbes ottaa kantaa ihmistä, ihmisyhteisöjä ja ylipäätään olemassaoloa koskeviin kysymyksiin tavalla, joka on yhtä ajankohtainen nykyihmiselle kuin se oli Hobbesin aikalaisille.

» Add other authors (67 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Thomas Hobbesprimary authorall editionscalculated
Berkel, Abraham vanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Curley, EdwinEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Macpherson, C. B.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Oakeshott, MichaelEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Plamenatz, JohnEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Smith, W. G. PogsonEssaysecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tuck, RichardEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Nature (the ary whereby God hath made and governs the world) is by the art of man, as in many other things, so in this also imitated, that it can make an artificial animal.
He that is to govern a whole Nation, must read in himself, not this, or that particular man; but Man-kind: which though it be hard to do, harder than to learn any Language, or Science; yet when I shall have set down my own reading orderly, and perspicuously, the pains left another, will be onely to consider if he also find not the same in himself.
The names of such things as affect us, that is, which please, and displease us, because all men be not alike affected with the same thing, nor the same man at all times, are in the common discourses of men of inconstant signification. For seeing all names are imposed to signifie our conceptions; and all our affections are but conceptions; when we conceive the same things differently, we can hardly avoyd different naming of them. For though the nature of what we conceive, be the same; yet the diversity of our reception of it, in respect of different constitutions of body, and prejudices of opinion, gives everything a tincture of our different passions. And therefore in reasoning, a man must take heed of words; which besides the signification of what we imagine of their nature, have a signification also of the nature, disposition, and interest of the speaker; such as are the names of Vertues, and Vices; For one man calleth Wisdome, what another calleth feare; and one cruelty, what another justice; one prodigality, what another magnanimity; and one gravity, what another stupidity, &c. And therefore such names can never be true grounds of any ratiocination. No more can Metaphors, and Tropes of speech: but these are less dangerous, because they profess their inconstancy; which the other do not.

And those who do deceive upon hope of not being observed, do commonly deceive themselves, (the darknesse in which they lye hidden, being nothing else but there own blindnesse;) and are no wiser than Children, that think all hid, by hiding there own eyes.
Fear of oppression disposes a man to anticipate or to seek aid by society, for there is no other way by which a man can secure his life and liberty.
The office of the sovereign (be it a monarch or an assembly) consists in the end for which he was trusted with the sovereign power, namely the procuration of the safety pf the people. To which he is obliged by the law of nature and to render an account thereof to God...and to none but Him.
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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 originalpunctuation 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 index.

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