|Leviathan or The Matter, Forme and Power of a Common Wealth Ecclesiasticall and Civil, commonly called Leviathan is a book written in 1651 by Thomas Hobbes. It is titled after the biblical Leviathan. The book concerns the structure of society, as is evidenced by the full title. In the book, Thomas Hobbes argues for a social contract and rule by an absolute sovereign. Influenced by the English Civil War, Hobbes wrote that chaos or civil war could only be averted by strong central government. He thus denied any right of rebellion toward the social contract, which would be later added by John Locke and conserved by Jean-Jacques Rousseau. (However, Hobbes did discuss the possible dissolution of the State. Since the social contract was made to institute a state that would provide for the "peace and defense" of the people, the contract would become void as soon as the government no longer protected its citizens. By virtue of this fact, man would automatically return to the state of nature until a new contract is made).|
Table of Contents
- The First Part: Of Man
- The Second Part: Of Commonwealth
- The Third Part: Of a Christian Commonwealth
- The Fourth Part: Of the Kingdom of Darkness
This work published before January 1, 1923 is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.