Analysis Of Thomas Hobbes 's ' Leviathan '

2457 Words Nov 20th, 2014 10 Pages
Laviathan, Thomas Hobbes ' most important work and one of the most substantial philosophical texts of the Seventeenth century, was written largely as a response to the political violence and turmoil of England’s civil wars. In Leviathan, Hobbes, using science and reason as a foundation, attempts to create a concrete and methodological solution for peace and political stability. In the context of a historically violent and fear stricken period in which Leviathan was written, it is logical that Hobbes would claim man’s principal motivation to maintain peace and avoid war is due to a fear of death, therefore forcing man to seek the preservation of life. Hobbes’ central idea in Leviathan centers on the necessity for absolute sovereignty and a commonwealth through covenant (social contract). For Hobbes, past democratic governments only encouraged factionalism and internal conflict within the state. The lack of centralized power served only to distract these governments from pressing issues and exterior threats, thus Hobbes believed the presence of a strong central power such as an absolute sovereign would preserve peace. Hobbes presents the essential idea of absolute sovereignty and commonwealth through the metaphor of the Leviathan. The leviathan serves as a symbol for the state. It is described, as a creature whose body is made up of all of the bodies of its citizens while the head of the Leviathan is the sovereign. The leviathan is…
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