A Companion to Hobbes

by Marcus P. Adams (Editor)
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Offers comprehensive treatment of Thomas Hobbes’s thought, providing readers with different ways of understanding Hobbes as a systematic philosopher  

As one of the founders of modern political philosophy, Thomas Hobbes is best known for his ideas regarding the nature of legitimate government and the necessity of society submitting to the absolute authority of sovereign power. Yet Hobbes produced a wide range of writings, from translations of texts by Homer and Thucydides, to interpretations of Biblical books, to works devoted to geometry, optics, morality, and religion. Hobbes viewed himself as presenting a unified method for theoretical and practical science—an interconnected system of philosophy that provides many entry points into his thought. 

A Companion to Hobbes is an expertly curated collection of essays offering close textual engagement with the thought of Thomas Hobbes in his major works while probing his ideas regarding natural philosophy, mathematics, human nature, civil philosophy, religion, and more. The Companion discusses the ways in which scholars have tried to understand the unity and diversity of Hobbes’s philosophical system and examines the reception of the different parts of Hobbes’s philosophy by thinkers such as René Descartes, Margaret Cavendish, David Hume, and Immanuel Kant. Presenting a diversity of fresh perspectives by both emerging and established scholars, this volume:  

  • Provides a comprehensive treatment of Hobbes’s thought in his works, including Elements of Law, Elements of Philosophy, and Leviathan 
  • Explores the connecting points between Hobbes’ metaphysics, epistemology, mathematics, natural philosophy, morality, and civil philosophy 
  • Offers readers strategies for understanding how the parts of Hobbes’s philosophical system fit together 
  • Examines Hobbes’s philosophy of mathematics and his attempts to understand geometrical objects and definitions 
  • Considers Hobbes’s philosophy in contexts such as the natural state of humans, gender relations, and materialist worldviews 
  • Challenges conceptions of Hobbes’s moral theory and his views about the rights of sovereigns 

Part of the acclaimed Blackwell Companions to Philosophy series, A Companion to Hobbes is an invaluable resource for scholars and advanced students of Early modern thought, particularly those from disciplines such as History of Philosophy, Political Philosophy, Intellectual History, History of Politics, Political Theory, and English. 

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Publication date
October 08, 2021
Page count
Paper ISBN
File size
3 MB

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