Tom Sorell and Luc Foisneau bring together original essays by the world's leading Hobbes scholars to discuss Hobbes's masterpiece after three and a half centuries. The contributors address three different themes. The first is the place of Leviathan within Hobbes's output as a political philosopher. What does Leviathan add to The Elements of Law (1640) and De Cive (1642; 1647)? What is the relation between the English Leviathan and the Latin version of the book (1668)? Does Leviathan deserve its pre-eminence? The second theme concerns the connections between Hobbes's psychology and Hobbes's politics. The essays discuss Hobbes's curious views on the significance of laughter, evidence that he connected life in the state with passionlessness; the ways in which such things as fear for one's life entitle subjects to rebel; and the question of how the sovereign's personal passions are to be squared with his personifying a multitude. The third theme is Hobbes's views on the Bible and the Church: contributors examine the tensions between any allowance for ecclesiastical and (differently) biblical authority on the one hand, and political authority on the other.
This is a book which anyone working on Hobbes or on this period of intellectual history will want to read.