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Leviathan (English Edition) [Format Kindle]

Thomas Hobbes
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Présentation de l'éditeur

This book was converted from its physical edition to the digital format by a community of volunteers. You may find it for free on the web. Purchase of the Kindle edition includes wireless delivery.

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 755 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 356 pages
  • Pagination - ISBN de l'édition imprimée de référence : 1619491702
  • Utilisation simultanée de l'appareil : Illimité
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B00847ERJQ
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  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 1.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (1 commentaire client)
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4 internautes sur 29 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
1.0 étoiles sur 5 Attention : livre en anglais ! 11 décembre 2012
Par Vincent
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
Le livre est en anglais, la langue de l'auteur. Ce n'est pas ma langue. Il est inutilisable pour un lecteur non anglophone. Faut-il être anglophone pour être philosophe ?
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4 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 The Natural State of Man is Not What You Might First Think 26 juillet 2012
Par Amazon Customer - Publié sur
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
Hobbes' thesis that the natural state of man is chaos and war is the primary justification he provides for an all encompassing authority to be placed unalterably in the hands of the Sovereign, or Leviathan. What he neglects to address is the absolutely corrupting influence such power has on the all too human Kings, Queens, and legislative bodies which hold such power over their fellow creatures.

There is a saying that if men were were angels we would not need government, or if that angels administered man's government then we would not need to worry as to constraining them. But neither of these delusions can be ever be achieved by fallible man, no matter how much certain individuals may otherwise hope. You cannot legislate morality and you cannot make men charitable by forcing them to give. And much to the annoyance of Plato, no amount of education or cultural refinement can immunize man to the ever present threats of avarice, arrogance, and blind ambition. There must be checks on this power if men are to retain their hard-fought liberty and if the ultimate power of the government is to maintain its rightful abode with the People.

As we in America have learned, there is a concept of government much more attuned to the particulars of human nature than the false bravado of Leviathan. It is limited government, where every individual choose for himself what he thinks is best, to the degree that he does not infringe on the natural rights of his fellows. Freedom of oppression from the government is our nation's calling card, and it has empowered and enriched man to a degree never before imagined. It seems that man's natural state, when guaranteed certain inalienable rights, was far flung indeed from an interminable warfare on his neighbors.

So, Hobbes had a lot to learn but perhaps not the opportunity to do so. However, I did enjoy and learn much from him in his thorough and unbiased defense of his monarchical position using the Scriptures. He has an immense mastery of them, and cuts through some of the more confusing points of contention between the Anglican and Roman Catholic churches. He even goes so far as to address the varying degrees of heaven, the existence (or not) of an everlasting Hell, and Baptism for the Dead. It provided me with an excellent base from which to further understand the faith of the early American colonists and the churches they established in the lead-up to the American Revolution.

Still, this is one of the more difficult books on this subject I've yet to slog through and so be warned that you may want to start with some lighter tomes on this subject.
3 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Leviathan 8 avril 2014
Par Steven Davis - Publié sur
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
Leviathan is considered one of the great works of political philosophy, though, as we shall see, only a fraction of it is strictly political in nature. It is firmly grounded in the civil and religious values of the English Reformation, but presages the Enlightenment. And it is both timeless and a product of its time, having been written by Hobbes while in exile during the English Civil War.

The work may be divided into three parts: the first philosophical, the second political, the third religious (though these are not the terms Hobbes would have preferred).

In the first part, "Of Man," Hobbes begins with the basic question: How do we know what is real and true? He discusses the senses, the intellect, rational thought, dreams, and illusions. He goes on to derive a series of "Natural Laws" based upon the logical actions a man must take, and the associations he must form, to secure peace and well-being. But as all men seek their own advantage in competition with others, peace is impossible unless men voluntarily submit themselves to the direction of a higher authority: the Common-wealth.

The second part of Leviathan, "The Common-wealth," is the one most read and studied. Hobbes classifies Common-wealths into three basic types: government by one, by a few, and by all. The attributes of common-wealths and the principles of effective government are the same, he maintains, for all three types. He clearly, however, endorses monarchy as the best form of government, it being the most efficient, the one most reflecting the natural organization of the family, and the one most consistent with Christian scripture.

Hobbes adamantly maintains that all power flows from the Sovereign (be it one person, several or many) and that it is foolish to pretend to contain the Sovereign's authority by constitutions or other forms. If a power exists that can curtail the Sovereign with a constitution, then that power is the true Sovereign, and since whomever makes a constitution can just as easily unmake it, the constitution's authority is just a fiction.

Much of the middle part of Leviathan is a systematic description of the nuts and bolts of government. Hobbes defines and distinguishes between administrators, ambassadors, and councilors. He lays out in some detail the principles of jurisprudence that are still in use today. For example, he discusses rules of evidence and testimony, how to relate the severity of punishment to that of the crime, and when ignorance of the law may or may not be an acceptable excuse.

Though many would argue that it is at odds with his preference for autocratic government, Hobbes' writing reflects his belief in the essential dignity and equality of all men and the principle of seeking the greatest good for the greatest number. He makes no distinction between social classes, and he repeatedly states that a man's thoughts and beliefs are his own business--a radical notion at the time.

The final two sections of Leviathan, comprising the largest segment of the work, are concerned with religious matters. At first Hobbes discusses strictly theological questions, such as how to interpret scripture and how to verify alleged miracles. This seems at first completely unrelated to the preceding discourse on Common-wealth, but it is all building a case in support of the primacy of civil authority over clerical: " every Christian Common-wealth, the Civill Soveraign is the supreme Pastor.... It is by his authority that all other Pastors are made, and have the power to teach...."

All of the issues of the English Reformation are revisited in a relentless attack on Catholicism and Papal authority. Yet Hobbes angered the Anglicans as well when he asserted that faith was the only requirement for salvation--that a man, even when compelled to follow the forms of another faith, is free to believe as he chooses, and his belief is all that matters. To us Leviathan reads like a devout religious tract with a bit about government in the middle, but the idea of freedom of conscience led to Hobbes' being labeled an atheist and forbidden to publish in England.

Hobbes has been described as the Shakespeare of English prose. I wouldn't go quite that far, but Leviathan is clear, lucid, and not at all difficult to read notwithstanding the archaic and inconsistent spellings. The first two sections are definitely recommended, while the last parts are chiefly of historical interest. Some familiarity with Plato and Aristotle would be recommended, if for no other reason than to enjoy Hobbes' impassioned attacks on their ideas.
3 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Arguably the most important work of political philosophy ever written in English 23 mars 2013
Par Robert Moore - Publié sur
Format:Format Kindle
Hobbes's LEVIATHAN is not only the most important work of political philosophy ever written in English, it is the work - even more than the writings of Francis Bacon - that kicked off the English tradition in philosophy. Many other claims are made for it, some praiseworthy, some negative. Its materialism caused countless authors to condemn its atheism, while its cold equations reduced man to his "price", in the eyes of many kicking off the tradition that ended with von Mises, Hayek, and Gary Becker (whether fair or not). He is also one of the earliest major figures in the social contract and natural law traditions. On almost every level it remains one of the most original and important books in the history of philosophy, and might be, even today, the most important philosophical book ever written in English, whether you agree with a word he writes.

The problem with Amazon is that it often clumps editions under a single roof. And editorial comments might have nothing to do with the version one is about to purchase. I own five editions of Hobbes's masterpiece, yet I don't own the best edition, the one edited by Noel Malcolm and which is referred to in the editorial reviews section: Thomas Hobbes: Leviathan (Clarendon Edition of the Works of Thomas Hobbes). I would love to own this, but I simply don't have $300 to drop on a book, even in three volumes. But if Malcolm's intro is anything up to the level of what he did with Hobbes's CORRESPONDENCE, it qualifies as something that any serious student of Hobbes should read.

The five editions I own are the ones edited by Curley (Hackett), Tuck (Cambridge), Macpherson (Penguin), Shapiro (Yale), and Martinich (Broadview). Until Oxford graces us with a paperback edition of the Malcolm, I would recommend these five in this order: Curley or Tuck, Martinich, Shapiro, and Macpherson.

There is little reason to prefer Leviathan: With Selected Variants from the Latin Edition of 1668 to Hobbes: Leviathan: Revised student edition (Cambridge Texts in the History of Political Thought), or vice versa. Both have outstanding introductions, both contain variants of the text, and both have excellent commentary and bibliographies. I generally find I prefer the Cambridge to the Hackett simply because it has a better binding. But you can really toss a coin and do as well with one edition as the other. A. P. Martinch has been as active as any Hobbes scholar as there is today, having written two introductions to his thought, a Hobbes dictionary, a book on Hobbes's religious beliefs, and the best recent biography on Hobbes. His edition of LEVIATHAN, Leviathan, revised edition (Broadview Editions), is an outstanding one. WARNING: Broadview also publishes an abridged edition of LEVIATHAN, so take care to buy the correct edition. I'm not much of a fan of the Shapiro edition that was produced in the overall outstanding Rethinking the Western Tradition series published by Yale University Press. The weakness of that series is that the press rarely expends much effort in providing an improved or definitive text of any of the works in the series. The press relies on public domain texts. In this case the text is largely just the 1651 text with modernized spelling, unlike, say, the Hackett edition produced by Curley, which included variants in the later Latin translation that Hobbes himself made. The value of the Yale edition lies in the four original essays appended to the text. I find that the essays are often worth the cost of the book even if the version of the text is rather pedestrian, such as their edition of Descartes.

I do not recommend the Penguin edition edited by C. B. Macpherson. I do, however, recommend purchasing a rather cheap used edition of the Penguin edition simply in order to get the introduction by Macpherson. One of the great members of the political Left of the previous generation, Macpherson was the author of a profoundly important book entitled THE THEORY OF POSSESSIVE INDIVIDUALISM: FROM HOBBES TO LOCKE. While some of his specific historical claims about possessive individualism cannot be supported by close readings of the philosophers in question, there still is no question that he has identified and trenchantly critiqued undeniable trends in the liberal tradition (using "liberal" in the more precise sense of those who are defenders of property rights and a free market, so that Ronald Reagan is quite properly considered a classic liberal). While Macpherson is not always correct in what he says of Locke and Hobbes, his essays are always worth reading and of the greatest interest. Likewise, moving to the far Right of the political spectrum, the older edition of LEVIATHAN featuring the famous intro by Michael Oakeshott cannot be recommended at all. Oakeshott's introduction, however, remains essential reading. Four essays on Hobbes have been collected in Hobbes on Civil Association, but the better way to acquire both the famous intro and Oakeshott's other famous essay on Hobbes, along with the best of the rest of his essays, is by purchasing his Rationalism in Politics and other essays.

I hope this helps prospective purchasers of Hobbes's great work of political philosophy. Even though I am politically far to the left of Hobbes, I find nearly every page of his work to be fascinating. I virtually never agree with Hobbes, but I never find him boring. Some on the Right do not want to claim Hobbes as a conservative, based on his atheism and his belief in an all powerful central government (or leviathan) to keep people from destroying one another, but his central assumptions - that people are driven by self-interest, that something like a market dominates society, that sympathy and compassion should not be motives for behavior - are shared by today's Right. There is a way, however, of analyzing both Hobbes and almost all other prominent political thinkers, and that is by asking: "Who do you trust?" Hobbes is unusual for a conservative in trusting government self-interested, self-seeking individuals. One could ask the same question of Locke, Rousseau, Marx, Bentham, Rawls, de Maistre, Mill, Jefferson, Lincoln, Nozick, and so on, asking what force in society they most trusted to foment to public good. Most conservatives today tend to trust the unregulated free market and to distrust government. I tend to distrust government, but even distrust the market (which I don't believe either is or ever could be truly free) even more. Rousseau also distrusted government, but distrusted the market even less, while Jefferson distrusted government, but saw the market as a source of evil. Lincoln, on the other hand, both trusted, to a degree, the market and central government, and in fact saw the two working hand in hand (Lincoln at his most typical was the government building a transcontinental railroad by handing out contracts to private corporations). As far as I know, no one has attempted a history of political thought in this vein, but I think it would produce some fascinating results. But regardless of how one reads political history, Hobbes will remain one of the 3 or 4 most important figures with whom to come to terms.
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
2.0 étoiles sur 5 Hard to follow ! 1 juin 2013
Par ramor craigie - Publié sur
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
Tried hard to follow the content , but the ancient language did not help either. Might try to have another go at though !
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Five Star - Is that all? 1 octobre 2014
Par David Hillel - Publié sur
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
It seems to me that giving the book a 5 star rating is really under-evaluating it, remember, the book was published in 1651.
Thomas Hobbes is well recognized as a leading political thinker. This is a text book for realistic thinkers in political science, together with Machiavelli's "The Prince". The foundation of the modern state, civil law, common law and criminal law are brought forward in ways that makes the reader forget that the book was written 450 years ago.
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