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An Exposé on Thomas Hobbes’ “The Leviathan”

Updated on April 9, 2018

The Monster Called Leviathan


The primeval thrust of the forebears of philosophy was to unravel the constituent element of the cosmological bond. This found expression in the fundamental question of ‘Ex qua material constituit mundi?’ or ‘what is the fundamental stuff that underlies reality?’ However, the curtains fell as the Sophists inaugurated a new philosophy which marked a radical shift from cosmocentricism to anthropocentricism. Similarly, the modern epoch of philosophy is viewed by some as the most significant of all epochs. In this era, philosophical interest shifted from theological methods of inquiry to scientific and humanistic methods. With this revival of interest and zeal for knowledge, there emerged the period between 17th and 18th century characterized by two major philosophical schools of thought: Rationalism and Empiricism.

According to Aristotle, man by nature is a political cum social being. As such he longs to live in a community with others, each struggling for his own survival and for the growth of the state. A community is described as an idea which is realized through the conscious participation of individual persons while the state is seen as a community organized to maintain law and order, to provide defence against attacks by other countries and to preserve the way of life of the group[1]. It is important we note that the citizens of a state have a duty to obey the state because the state exists for the welfare of the citizens, and also because it is only the state that has the coercive apparatus to command obedience. The government is that organ through which the laws and demands of the state are prepared, promulgated, put into effect and interpreted[2]. It has been contended that while a state cannot exist where there is no society, a society on the other hand may exist, although temporarily without a state. Some political theorists claim that there was a time in the emergence of human society when there was no state, government or commonwealth. This was precisely the view of Thomas Hobbes who called such a stateless society ‘a state of nature’. The state of nature is characterised as a society in which there is no government, no authority and hence no law and order. In this state, everybody simply pursued the satisfaction of his self interest (autonomy), and in the process of this pursuit men came into conflicts with one another, quarrelled and fought. Consequently, the state of nature is said to be a state of complete chaos, war and misery. Is peace and order not part of the nature of man? Must man be under a super powerful being for peaceful co-existence to reign?

For the purpose of this discourse, we shall be looking at the contrast of the concept ‘Leviathan’. We shall proceed by discussing modern conception of politics according to Thomas Hobbes in comparison with that of other political philosophers. Consequently, we shall discuss Hobbes’ state of nature. Furthermore, we shall look at politics and religion. Then we shall provide some criticisms and then conclude.

1.1 The Person of Thomas Hobbes

Indeed, the history of modern philosophy (especially political philosophy) remains incomplete without the mention of the name, Thomas Hobbes. He was born at Westport near Malmesbury in 1588 to an uneducated vicar[3]. He attended Oxford University where he was subjected to a Scholastics education consisting mainly of logic and the philosophy of Aristotle. In 1608, when Hobbes went down from Oxford, he entered the service of the Cavendish family and spent the years 1608-1610 travelling in France and Italy as tutor to the son of Lord Cavendish, future earl of Devonshire[4]. His employment with this wealthy family through successive generations gave him the opportunity to travel and meet the leading figures of the day. He met the likes of Francis Bacon, Galileo etc. There were three important influences on Hobbes’ thought namely: first, there was his discovery of Galileo’s writings. Galileo’s physics provided the model for Hobbes’ philosophy. He tried applying Galileo's new principles of physics that "everything which exists consists of particles moving in accordance with deterministic mechanical law.”[5] Secondly, Hobbes was impressed with the axiomatic method of demonstration, and although he was an empiricist, he sought to emulate Euclid’s rigorous procedures in some of his writings. Thirdly, the civil war in England which began in 1642, following a long period of tension starting with King James 1 and inherited by his son Charles 1, also had a great influence on Hobbes[6]. The Leviathan was written in Paris and appeared in London around 1651. In 1649, Charles 1 was beheaded, and one might perhaps expect that Hobbes would have remained in France, especially as he had been a mathematical tutor to Charles, Prince of Wales, who was living in exile at Paris[7]. He died during the winter of 1679 at the ripe age of ninety-one[8].


Leviathan is a book written by Thomas Hobbes and published in 1651. It derives its name from the biblical Leviathan. The work concerns the structure of society and legitimate government, and is regarded as one of the earliest and most influential examples of social contract theory[9]. For Hobbes, the civil war and the brute situation of a state of nature (war against all) could only be avoided by strong, undivided government- called the Leviathan[10].

Hobbes’ position filtered through the lens of the Bible is what animates the theology of the second half of Leviathan. In short, following his line of argument, Hobbes is a materialist, a determinist, an empiricist, a nominalist, a political absolutist and a social and intellectual elitist. All of these influences affect the view presented in Leviathan. Now, the question is how rational and fitting was his creation of biblical Leviathan as a panacea to human philosophical and religious problems of his time? Before attempting the above issue raised, it is pertinent that we have a vivid understanding and meaning on the Biblical usage of the word ‘Leviathan’.

Leviathan, translated from the Hebrew word- livyathan, meaning ‘twisted or coiled’[11]. It occurred five times in the Hebrew Bible. It appeared in Isaiah 27: 1, where it is characterized as “the twisted serpent”. In the words of Isaiah, it states that “in that day, the Lord with his hard, great and strong sword will punish Leviathan the fleeing serpent, Leviathan the twisting serpent, and he will slay the dragon that is in the sea”[12]. In Psalm 104:26, a sea monster is also indicated. Psalm 74:14, describes how the head of Leviathan is crushed and given as food for the creatures of the wilderness. Job 3:8, places a curse on those who are skilled to rouse up Leviathan. The description of Leviathan in Job 41 portrays it as being fearful, huge and dreadful sea monster which no mortal could defeat. Hobbes rigorously argues that civil peace and social unity is best achieved by the establishment of a commonwealth through social contract. Hobbes’s ideal commonwealth is ruled by a sovereign power responsible for protecting the security of the commonwealth and granted absolute authority to ensure the common defence[13]. He describes this commonwealth as an “artificial person” and as body politic that mimics the human body[14]. He called this figure the “Leviathan”, a word as we have seen derived from the Hebrew word for “Sea monster” and the name of a monstrous sea creature appearing in the Bible; the image constitutes the definitive metaphor for Hobbes’s perfect government. What an ironical ideology? He further attempts to prove the necessity of the Leviathan for preserving peace and preventing civil war. This posits the question, how can a monster preserve peace and prevent war? Following its Biblical description, in creating a Leviathan, Hobbes was already creating a problem rather than proffering a solution. It is certain that he was fighting the Christian doctrine with its own tools. How possible would be his success?

Considering the Biblical rejection of Leviathan to Hobbes’s perspective, with the creation of such monstrous entity with absolute power; individuals got deprived of their freedom. Hobbes’s Leviathan would embody justice or claim to know it all and his or her decisions could not be challenged or questioned by any one since the Leviathan would have a self perpetuating power[15]. For instance the Nigerian case, from 1960- 1967, after her independence just before the outbreak of civil war, Nigeria saw herself moving from federal system of government which is the conglomeration of small semi- autonomous states which make up a stronger state to unitary system of government, especially with the unitary system of government introduced by Gen. Aguyi Ironsi, where all the powers were concentrated at the centre with little or none given to the states or regions. The aftermath of that were agitations, the first bloody coup d’état with a resultant effect of the civil war in the country.

In the Leviathan, Hobbes provides a detailed description of his commonwealth and recognized the eminent role of the sovereign in inhibiting the citizens from falling back into the state of nature. The creation of the state, according to him, happens as humans escape the evil of the state of nature to become subjects to a central authority. With the creation of state, individuals get deprived of their freedom for the sake of their self-preservation. The final goal, Hobbes articulates, is to end the chaos that can be caused by our love of liberty and endless desire to dominate others. He gave the Leviathan an enormous amount of powers- upon the Leviathan there can be no constitutional checks[16]. The Leviathan, the supreme legislator, has an absolute monopoly over law making.

In juxtaposition with the Biblical description of Leviathan, Hobbes’ perspective of Leviathan is problematic in some of his submissions. The condition under Hobbes’ sovereign can become so miserable that citizens will choose to rebel without even caring about the alternative- even when the alternative turns out to be disastrous too. For instance, the ‘Nigerian Leviathan’; during the time of Gen. Sani Abacha, when Sharia Law was introduced coupled with his plan to remain in power- moving from military to civilian rule, saw a lot of citizens criticizing such move. This led to riots and demonstrations in some quarters, life was brutish in the country and Abacha himself was reportedly killed by poisoning. What of the Russian revolution of 1917. Life in Russia was also brutish under the “Russian Leviathan” Nicholas II that people chose to live in temporary anarchy[17]. He and his entire state were assassinated by communist.


3.1 The Problematic of Homo homini lupus

Hobbes, in his analysis of human nature, observed that “in the nature of man, we find three principal causes of quarrel: first, competition; secondly, diffidence, (that is, mistrust); thirdly, glory.”[18] From this, Hobbes arrived at the position that until such time as men comes together under a common power; they are in a state of continual competition, mistrust, and war. Going further, Hobbes notes that the state of war he meant does not necessarily imply battle or the act of fighting, rather, such aforementioned characteristics of man pitches him continuously against the other in this state of nature. The natural state of war, therefore, is the state of affairs in which the individual is dependent for his security on his own strength and his own wits. And it is in this particular state of affairs that Hobbes out rightly bemoaned human condition. Thus, he made the popular and frequently quoted statement that in such state of nature, there is:

No arts, no letters; no society and, worst of all, continual fear and danger of violent death; and the life of man is solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short[19].

In the state of nature, war is certainly inevitable. The argument for the inevitability of war starts with assumptions about what is useful to the achievement of any goal. According to Tom Sorell, in his commentaries on Hobbes’ political philosophy:

What is useful, no matter what good is being pursued, no matter whether the good is real or apparent, is power-that is, present means to future ends[20].

Going by this, one obviously observes that every individual has the natural inclination to power. Power is seen as something useful and each individual aspires to get power. In other words, each individual is in continuous competition for that which is useful and that which is good for him. Thus, war continues and lingers. Furthermore, Hobbes plainly opines, that in such state of war there are no objective moral distinctions. By this, he meant that the notions of right and wrong, justice and injustice, have no place. For him, “where there is no common power, there is no law, where there is no law, no justice. Force and fraud are in war, the two cardinal virtues[21].” Hobbes maintains that no one has any legal possession and no clear distinction between what is mine and what is thine in this state of nature. Whatever a man gets, he takes to the extent that he can keep it without being removed by the other. In his words, there is “no dominion, no mine and thine distinct; but only that to be every man’s, that he can get: and for so long as he can keep it.”[22]

3.2 The Bases of the State of Nature

Hobbes’ state of nature is based on man’s seeming egoistic tendency. It is a natural inclination of man to seek that which he considers as good and useful to him. This desire leads him to compete with other men. Tom Sorrel argues that “the goal of felicity requires one to get an advantage and keep it[23].” Another person may desire such and ends up taking it by force since he has an edge over the other. However, Tom Sorrel further argues that “disabling others is a means of keeping the advantage; the outright elimination of a competitor is even surer[24].” Even though there is a pointer towards the selfishness of man, in this stance; however, the argument does not depend on the idea that every human being is naturally selfish. William Molesworth, elaborating on the bases of this state of nature clearly asserts that “any person’s right of nature justifies violence against everybody else[25].” This right of nature applies in a situation where there is neither organized society nor a sovereign. Hobbes notes that this state of nature has these characteristics:

No place for industry; because the fruit thereof is uncertain and consequently no culture of the earth, no navigation, nor use of commodities, no account of time, no letters, no society[26].

The conclusion is obvious, that it is only through the organization of society and the establishment of commonwealth that peace and civilization can be attained. In all, the general foundation of Hobbes’ state of nature is man’s desire for that which is good. In The Leviathan, he includes in his list of passions the following definition: “Desire of good to benevolence, goodwill, charity[27].”

3.3 The Inevitable Implications

The clear consequence of Hobbes’ state of nature is a society with perennial and ceaseless times of wars and conflicts. The individuals that are seen in this state of nature are in continual conflict and competition. This leaves Hobbes’ state of nature to be a condition of perpetual war. Hobbes’ analysis of this state of nature brings to limelight its obvious implication. In the ‘Leviathan’, Hobbes holds that it is “a war of every man against every man[28].” Hence, Hobbes insists that the war he proclaims does not necessarily mean physical fighting, however, such a situation is characterized by lack of order as seen in an organized society as handled by a sovereign. This brings us to the core implication or characteristic of Hobbes’ state of nature, which is the survival of the fittest.

3.4 Survival of the Fittest

A situation that disallows order invariably would harbour lawlessness. Where there is lawlessness, such as in Hobbes’ case, and one is permitted to overcome whomever he can, then such a situation thrives for the fittest. Thus speaking, Hobbes explicitly highlights this as a possible characteristic in his state of nature when he stated:

If any two men desire the same thing, which nevertheless they cannot both enjoy, they become enemies, and in the way to their end, endeavour to destroy or subdue one another[29].

Certainly, it is in this competition or war that the fittest would emerge. This particular person harbours a fear also of being overthrown by a rather stronger force. Hobbes’ state of nature is a state of continual war, which is geared towards appeasing individual’s desire for good. It is a war between two seeming equals where the fittest obviously emerges.


4.1 John Locke

Locke’s “state of nature” is harmonious and peaceful. Men are bound to preserve peace, and even avoid hurting the other. The keeping and execution of the law of nature is meant for every member of the society. The actual violation of this law by an individual in the society leads to an eventual state of war between the person and others. The power of a man against the other is neither absolute nor arbitrary and must be proportionally restrained. Thus, the state of nature for Locke is a society of men, as distinct from a state of government, or a political society[30].” He derived society from the consent of its members. Hence, Locke defined civil power as:

The right of making laws with penalties … for the regulating and preserving of property, and of employing force of community in the execution of such laws… all this only for the public good[31].

We must remark here, that such a power would only be arrived at when there is consent, and though it may be tacitly given, it must be the consent of each individual for himself. This is a natural entitlement. It is the very fact of the existence of certain inconveniences in a state of nature, such as men’s partiality and inclination of some men to violate the rights of others[32]. Thus, it is by common consent that men form a social contract and create a single body politic. The aim of the contract “is to preserve the lives, freedom and property of all, as they belong to each under natural law[33].”

4.2 Jean- Jacques Rousseau

In his work, Discourse on the Origin and Foundation of Inequality, Rousseau gives an account of the fall of humankind. For him, natural man, left alone in his natural environment is self-sufficient. In this state, man is peaceable. Later on, increase in population forces people to live together. Jealousy and envy becomes the order of the day as “men come to demand esteem and deference[34].” This leads men to compete for precedence, which makes life to be tainted by aggression and spite. Lack of individual self-sufficiency, Rousseau argues, requires the individual to associate together in the society. He however does not support a condition of enslavement as the price of survival for those who embark on this contract. Freedom is seen as an essential human need and the mark of humanity. Rousseau holds that freedom and association can only be combined if all the persons of the association make up the sovereign body for that association. In other words, in this contract, there ought to be a mutual consent, freedom and choice made by the individuals as they submit their general will to be ruled by an established authority. Rousseau, however, made it clear that the terms of the contract holds that governmental function must be thoroughly subordinate to the sovereign judgement of the people. Generally, Rousseau’s idea of social contract depicts the union of free and equal men who devise laws under which they shall now proceed to live their lives as citizens of a state.


5.1 Politics

From our discourse so far on the leviathan, we see a philosophical articulation of Thomas Hobbes' political ingenuity on how civil governance can be developed to maintain peace and order in the society. Within the context of this work, Hobbes is building the science of politics based on what he perceived to be the fundamental nature of human person[35]. Hobbes starts his philosophical inquiry with an analysis of human nature: a man is essentially selfish; he is moved to action not by his intellect or reason, but by his appetites, desires and passions. Men living without any common power set over them would be in that condition called ‘warre’ and such a ‘warre’ as is of “everyone against everyone[36]”. For him, even the weakest can kill the strongest when no one is watching and, out of this fundamental equality comes distrust and natural competition.

He made a logical inference on the reason behind the human nature by saying that “if everyone is a potential threat to my life, and I cannot know what is on the mind of my fellow human beings, I must act to pre-empty any violence against me before it happens[37]. It is vital we recall that this political frame work, “leviathan”, was the philosophical reflection of Thomas Hobbes on the English war in which Charles I the then Monarch of England was killed. For Hobbes, the war was caused by the uncontrolled passion of parliamentarians who sought liberty to their varied desires resulting in the death of the king and abolition of Monarchical system of governance. Hobbes in an effort to solve the political problem of England came up with the ideology of commonwealth. His position supported an absolute sovereign power on the monarch, such that he will become as powerful as the Biblical Leviathan that no one can dare to challenge his authority. A supreme coercive power is instituted leading to the creation of a state. In this social covenant, every man agrees and says ‘I authorize and give up my right of governing myself to this man, or to this assembly of men....’ On this condition you surrender all your right to him and authorize all his actions in like manner. The teeming population of people united under the covenant is what is being refereed here as commonwealth[38]. Furthermore, it is from this perspective that Hobbes associates the enormity of the authority of the commonwealth with that of the Leviathan, sea monster in the book of Job. With the authority reposed on the commonwealth, he is able to enforce what Hobbes identified as second laws of nature, which includes; justice, equity, modesty, mercy and in sum, doing to others as we would want done unto us[39]. Lastly, in absence of commonwealth, our human nature which is opposed to such virtuous life will never be governable, thus the need for political philosophy and institution of social contract of commonwealth in which everyone is to surrender his right of self-governance to an absolute sovereign authority in order to foster peace in human society, in this way, the means of survival would not be left to private judgement which is biased[40].

5.2 Religion

Leviathan marks an important turning point in Hobbes’s thinking about religion. Chapter XII of Leviathan-“Of Religion” opens with the observation that religion is found in man only[41]. For Hobbes religion comes out of the human hunger for discovering causes which is derived directly from two characteristics traits namely: curiosity about the causes of events and secondly anxiety about future time[42]. These two traits are intimately linked. One can deduce that the second fuels the first, as when uncertainty about the good or evil events that may befall him pushes a person to profound inquiry into the causes of natural events[43]. Unlike Locke, who advocates the separation of church and state, and distinguish the business of civil government from that of religion[44]. Hobbes seeks to embrace religion; for him, temporal and spiritual government, are but two words, brought into the world, to make men see double, and mistake their lawful sovereign[45].

With such sovereign power bestowed on the commonwealth, everyone will be compelled to obedience. Thomas Hobbes again recognizes the importance of religious dimension in effective governance of the society which must be taken into account. For Hobbes, religion is found in man only and because of the powerful influence it exacts in man, it can be appropriated by the civil authority in the governance of man. Religion, which is the revealed word of God and the various inventions of men, compels man to civil obedience, lawfulness, charity, justice and other virtuous life. Likewise, social contract and civil laws compels man to civil obedience. This necessarily implies that both are working towards the same end, establishment of peace and order in the society. But there are situations when obedience to the state implies disobedience to the law of God. Hobbes said that in such situation the civil law has to be obeyed.

Consequently, this position of secularism reveals Hobbes rational approach to philosophy which is typical of the modernity of his time. It is to be understood that religion is a sovereign authority on its own just as commonwealth is a sovereignty of its own. As such, the reasons behind this Hobbes’ conception was because he was a scientific philosopher who philosophized in the age when reason was glorified above dogma and traditional metaphysics, Secularism and rise of nation states were the characteristic of this age, and science the god worshiped.


Hobbes through the Leviathan attacks not only the fundamental right of every man, which is freedom, but also the idea of human subjectivity. Hobbes has handed the faith of the society to this sovereign but has failed to proffer a viable solution to the violence he believed that exists in the state of nature. Are there no other reasons for states besides protection? What of promotion of liberty, community, friendship, etc.? [46]

Furthermore, the main error in Hobbes’ reasoning, as Bertrand Russell observes, is that he is too impatient to cut the Gordian knot. This is where one of Hobbes’ main shortcomings becomes evident; he tries to solve the problem of the state of nature in a forceful and radical way and fails to consider other solutions that might be better alternatives to the despot in total charge of the state[47]. Hobbes thinks that humans are naturally somewhat equal and there is not too much difference between their mental and physical abilities[48].

From this equality of ability, arises equality of hope in attaining of our ends. And therefore if any two men desire the same thing, which nevertheless they cannot both enjoy, they become enemies; and in the way to their end, which is principally their own preservation and sometimes their enjoyment only, endeavour to destroy or subdue one another. And from hence it comes to pass, that where an invader hath no more to fear, than another man’s single power; if one plant, sow, build, or possess a convenient seat, others may probably be expected to come prepared with forces united, to dispossess, and deprive him, not only of the fruit of his labour, but also of his life and liberty. And the invader again is in the like danger of another[49].

John Locke, in a clear departure from Hobbes’ postulations, says that in the state of nature men are free and equal; and each lived according to his wish. However, Locke adds that this freedom was not licence. There was a natural law or the law of reason, which commanded that no one should impair the life, the health, the freedom or the possessions of another. It is, therefore, very significant that the law of nature, as thought by Locke, stressed the freedom and preservation of all men, unlike that of Hobbes, which emphasised self-preservation. But because there was no common superior to enforce the law of nature, this Lockean state of nature became fearful and dangerous. However, it is not to be likened to the anarchy in Hobbesian state of nature. Just like Locke, Rousseau accepts that man in the state of nature was free and equal. They lived happily and peacefully in innocence. Rousseau remarks, “even if man cannot be called good in a strictly moral sense, morality is simply a development of his natural feelings and impulses[50].” He highlights this fact in his observation that the fundamental ethical principle is that man is naturally good and that there is no original perversity or sin in human nature[51]. Therefore, Rousseau disagrees with Thomas Hobbes who says that in the state of nature man was at war with his fellow man. Instead, war and strife are the products of the society, for man is good by nature, it is the society that corrupts him.


Although Hobbes agreed with Plato’s Republic in basing political theory upon the nature of man, he developed his own philosophy of materialism; the belief that ultimate reality consists solely of inert extended substances. Implied in Hobbes’ materialism is the theory that mental and spiritual entities are not realities in their own right but merely by-products of matter which perish when their material base is destroyed. The state for Hobbes is the means of uniting warring individuals; and the state cannot perform this function unless the sovereign enjoys complete and unlimited authority. As such, the power and authority attributed to the sovereign is essential. It is important we note that Hobbes’s persistence and insistence on the power of the sovereign was also influenced by events of his time. In the civil war he saw a revelation of man’s character and of the centrifugal forces operative in human society. This contributed to his view that strong and centralized power was the only remedy to the state of affairs. From Hobbes experience of political chaos, he concluded that the worst tyrant is better than no government at all or a weak and ineffective government. There is no division of power for Hobbes and this is because the English Civil War was as a result of the division of power among the king, lords and House of Commons.

Hobbes speaks as though the sovereign is in some sense the representative of God; but monarchy is not the only proper form of government for him. We are not entitled simply to substitute ‘monarchy’ for the word ‘sovereign’ in Hobbes’ political writings. Sovereignty, whether vested on one man or a group of men, is derived from the social covenant, not from appointment by God. Hobbes deduced the state from the passions of man, without reference to transcendental and metaphysical considerations. As such, his theory is purely naturalistic in character. This explains his authoritarianism and his insistence on the power of the sovereign. Hobbes can be linked up with the Renaissance writer; Machiavelli. Whereas Machiavelli was concerned with political mechanics; with the means of attaining and preserving power, Hobbes gave a political theory in which the concept of power and its function plays a supremely important part. A great deal of importance of Hobbes’ theory is due to the fact that he tries to set political philosophy on its feet so to speak, connecting it, indeed, with human psychology and, in intention at least, with his general mechanistic philosophy, but cutting it adrift from metaphysics and theology. Whether this was a profitable step is open to dispute; but it was certainly a step of considerable importance. Hobbes political philosophy is one-sided and inadequate. But precisely because it is one-sided and inadequate, it throws into clear relief features of social and political life of which it is important to take account.

[1] Cf. Appadorai. A, The Substance of Politics (Madras: Oxford University Press, 1981), p. 13.

[2] Cf. Appadorai. A, The Substance of Politics (Madras: Oxford University Press, 1981), p. 12.

[3] Cf. Frederick Copleston, A History of Philosophy Vol. 5; British Philosophy, Hobbes to Hume (London: Continuum press, 2003), p. 1

[4] Cf. Frederick Copleston, A History of Philosophy Vol. 5; British Philosophy, Hobbes to Hume (London: Continuum press, 2003), p. 1

[5] W. T. Jones, Masters of Political Thought. Vol. 11, p.88.

[6] Cf. William Lawhead, The Voyage of Discovery; A Historical Introduction to Philosophy (USA: Wadsworth group, 2002), p. 217.

[7] Cf. Frederick Copleston, A History of Philosophy Vol. 5; British Philosophy, Hobbes to Hume (London: Continuum press, 2003), p. 2

[8] Cf. Frederick Copleston, A History of Philosophy Vol. 5; British Philosophy, Hobbes to Hume (London: Continuum press, 2003), p. 3.

[9] Cf. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Hobbes Moral and Political Philosophy. accessed 0n 7/11/2017.

[10] Cf. Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan, Macpherson. C. B. (ed.). (USA: Penguin Books, 1986), p. 225.

[11] Walter A. Elwell ed., “Entry for Leviathan” Evangelical Dictionary for Bible Theology. accessed on 11/11/2017.

[12] Cf. Isaiah 27:1 (Revised Standard version Catholic Edition).

[13] Cf. Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan, Macpherson. C. B. (ed.). (USA: Penguin Books, 1986), p. 227.

[14] Sparknote Editor (n.d), “SparkNote on Leviathan” accessed 11/11/2017.

[15] Cf. Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan, Macpherson. C. B. (ed.). (USA: Penguin Books, 1986), p. 236.

[16] Cf. Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan, Macpherson. C. B. (ed.). (USA: Penguin Books, 1986), p. 252.

[17] Cf. Mc Nelly F. S. The Absolute Sovereign, The Anatomy of Leviathan (New York: Macmillan; 1968) 236.

[18] Thomas Hobbes, The Leviathan, (New York: Oxford University Press, 1946), p.112.

[19] Thomas Hobbes, The Leviathan, (New York: Oxford University Press, 1946), p.113.

[20] T. Sorell, Hobbes, Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, ed. Edward Craig (New York and London: T. J International Ltd, Padstow, 1998), p.470.

[21] Thomas Hobbes, The Leviathan, (New York: Oxford University Press, 1946), p.115.

[22] Thomas Hobbes, The Leviathan, (New York: Oxford University Press, 1946), p.115.

[23] T. Sorell, Hobbes, Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, ed. Edward Craig (New York and London: T. J International Ltd, Padstow, 1998), p.471.

[24] T. Sorell, Hobbes, Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, ed. Edward Craig (New York and London: T. J International Ltd, Padstow, 1998), p.471.

[25] W. Molesworth, “The English Works of Thomas Hobbes”, II vols, Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2005.

[26] Thomas Hobbes, The Leviathan, (New York: Oxford University Press, 1946), p.113.

[27] Thomas Hobbes, The Leviathan, (New York: Oxford University Press, 1946), p.114.

[28] Thomas Hobbes, The Leviathan, (New York: Oxford University Press, 1946), p.112.

[29] Thomas Hobbes, The Leviathan, (New York: Oxford University Press, 1946), p.111.

[30] G. J. Capp, Encyclopedia of Philosophy, vol. 3 and 4 (London and New York: Macmillan Publ, co., and the Free Press, 1967), p.499.

[31] G. Sabine and T. Thorson, A History of Political Theory, (USA: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich Publishers, 1973), p.490.

[32] G. Sabine and T. Thorson, A History of Political Theory, (USA: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich Publishers, 1973), p. 491.

[33] G. J. Capp, Encyclopedia of Philosophy, vol. 3 and 4 (London and New York: Macmillan Publ, co., and the Free Press, 1967), p.499.

[34] N. J. Dent, Jean Jacques Rousseau, Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, ed, Edward Craig. Vol. 8 (England: T. J International Ltd, Padstow, Cornwall, 1998), p.370

[35] Cf. Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan, H. W. Schneider, ed. (New York: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, Inc., 1958), p.106.

[36] Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan, H. W. Schneider, ed. (New York: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, Inc., 1958), p.106.

[37] Cf. Laurie M. Johnson Bagby, Hobbes’s Leviathan (New York: Continuum International Publishers, 2007), p.29.

[38] Cf. Laurie M. Johnson Bagby, Hobbes’s Leviathan (New York: Continuum International Publishers, 2007), p.142.

[39] Cf. Laurie M. Johnson Bagby, Hobbes’s Leviathan (New York, Continuum International Publishers, 2007), p.110.

[40] Cf. Tom Sorell and Luc Foisneau, Leviathan after 350 Years (New York: Oxford University Press, 2004), p.6.

[41]Cf. Paul Dumouchel, Hobbes and Secularization: Christianity and the Political Problem of Religion, p.41.

[42]Cf. Paul Dumouchel, Hobbes and Secularization: Christianity and the Political Problem of Religion, p.41.

[43] Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan (Britain: Hazell Watson &Viney Ltd, 1968), p.169.

[44] Cf. John Locke, A Letter Concerning Toleration, ed. J. Cockin (Huddersfield: J. Brook, 1796), p.10. as quoted in Embrace of God: Religion and State in Hobbes and Locke, accessed November 20, 2017,

[45] Cf. Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan, ed. Edwin Curley (Indianapolis: Hackett, 1994), p.316. as quoted in Embrace of God: Religion and State in Hobbes and Locke, accessed November 20, 2017,

[46] Brian Medlin, “Ultimate Principles and Ethical Egoism,” in Ethical Theory: Classic and Contemporary Readings (fourth edition), ed. Louis Pojman (Belmont: Wadsworth, 2002), pp. 90-95, p. 92. The essay originally appeared in Australasian Journal of Philosophy v. 35 (1957), pp. 111-118.


[48] Hobbes, Thomas. Leviathan (London: Penguin Books Ltd, 1985), p. 183.

[49] Hobbes, Thomas. Leviathan (London: Penguin Books Ltd, 1985), p. 184.

[50] F. Copleston, A History of Philosophy, Vol. 6 (Great Britain: Burns and Oates Publishers, 1960), p. 67

[51] F. Copleston, A History of Philosophy, Vol. 6 (Great Britain: Burns and Oates Publishers, 1960), p. 67


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