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Eight Comedies
Shakespeare, William
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Hobbes, Thomas - Leviathan - ( Item 119731 )

Published in London by Folio Society. 2012. First Thus. Fine Hardback. No inscriptions or bookplates. Good+ slipcase. Some marks to panels of slipcase. Introduced by Alan Ryan. Illustrated by Mike Wilks. Bound in buckram. Blocked with artwork by Neil Gower from a design from Mike Wilks. Set in Arno Pro. Approx. 592 pages. Frontispiece. 12 black & white illustrations. Book size: 10" 6". The philosopher Thomas Hobbes understood the devastation caused by the English Civil War and was determined to construct a blueprint for a peaceful society. He began his task by trying to explain the nature of human beings, the state and civilisation. Morality, he considered, was a physical, not a spiritual attribute, proceeding from our sense of self-preservation. Anarchy decreases our chance of survival and to avoid this, he explains, we must give up a portion of our freedom to a ruling authority, be it a sovereign or Commonwealth (the leviathan of the title). The sovereign's power stems from this self interested agreement: while his subjects cannot overthrow him, he has no divine right. It is no surprise that with such arguments Hobbes made enemies on both sides of the Civil War. The Commonwealth objected to his assertion that benign monarchy was the best form of government, while royalists denounced Hobbes as a revolutionary. Hobbes's conviction that religious power was subordinate to civil authority infuriated Puritans and Catholics alike, both of whom labelled him an atheist. His work was lauded and condemned throughout Europe, and its influence has echoed down the centuries. Published in 1651, Leviathan is the foundation stone on which modern political philosophy is built: the concept of a social contract is drawn from it, while Hobbes's assertion that loss of liberty is a price worth paying for peace has aroused new applications and refutations in every generation. This edition contains a newly commissioned introduction from Alan Ryan, lecturer in politics at Princeton University, placing Hobbes's ideas in context and tracing their influence. Powerful illustrations by Mike Wilks provide a thought-provoking complement to Hobbes's great literary achievement.

Price 26.80                 Other items you may like                 Others by the same author

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