Lecture 13 - The Sovereign State: Hobbes, Leviathan

author: Steven B. Smith, Department of Political Science, Yale University
recorded by: Yale University
published: Jan. 4, 2010,   recorded: October 2006,   views: 5191
released under terms of: Creative Commons Attribution No Derivatives (CC-BY-ND)
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Hobbes' most famous metaphor, that of "the state of nature," is explained. It can be understood as the condition of human life in the absence of authority or anyone to impose rules, laws, and order. The concept of the individual is also discussed on Hobbesian terms, according to which the fundamental characteristics of the human beings are the capacity to exercise will and the ability to choose. Hobbes, as a moralist, concludes that the laws of nature, or "precepts of reason," forbid us from doing anything destructive in life.

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Hobbes, Leviathan

Resources: Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan Courtesy of the University of Adelaide Library Electronic Texts Collection

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