Quentin Skinner is one of the foremost historians in the world, and in Hobbes and Republican Liberty he offers a dazzling comparison of two rival theories about the nature of human liberty. The first originated in classical antiquity, and lay at the heart of the Roman republican tradition of public life. Thomas Hobbes was the most formidable enemy of this pattern of thought, and his successive attempts to discredit it constitute a truly epochal moment in the history of Anglophone political thought. Hobbes and Republican Liberty develops several of the themes announced by Quentin Skinner in his celebrated inaugural lecture on Liberty before Liberalism of 1997. Cogent, engaged, accessible, and indeed exhilarating, this new book will appeal to readers of history, politics, and philosophy at all levels from upper-undergraduate upwards, and provides an excellent introduction to the work of one of the most celebrated thinkers of our time.
Illustrations; Acknowledgements; Notes on the text; Preface; 1. Introductory: Hobbes's humanist beginnings; 2. The Elements of Law: liberty described; 3. The Elements of Law: liberty circumscribed; 4. De cive: liberty defined; 5. Leviathan: liberty redefined; 6. Liberty and political obligation; Bibliographies; Index.
" Hobbes and Republican Liberty is rigorously argued, meticulously researched and lucidly written, as we have come to expect from Skinner....Skinner has indeed made a valuable contribution to the study of Hobbes as well as to the study of English political thought during the civil war period; it is one that cannot be ignored." - Geoff Kennedy, University of Ulster