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Hobbes's concept of the natural condition of mankind became an inescapable point of reference for subsequent political thought, shaping the theories of emulators and critics alike, and has had a profound impact on our understanding of human nature, anarchy, and international relations. Yet, despite Hobbes's insistence on precision, the state of nature is an elusive concept. Has it ever existed and, if so, for whom? Hobbes offered several answers to these questions, which taken together reveal a consistent strategy aimed at providing his readers with a possible, probable, and memorable account of the consequences of disobedience. This book examines the development of this powerful image throughout Hobbes's works, and traces its origins in his sources of inspiration. The resulting trajectory of the state of nature illuminates the ways in which Hobbes employed a rhetoric of science and a science of rhetoric in his relentless pursuit of peace.Read more
- Provides a comprehensive examination of the development of Hobbes's influential concept of the state of nature
- Reassesses the roles of rhetoric and science in the development of Hobbes's method and political philosophy
- Sheds new light on Hobbes's sources of inspiration
Reviews & endorsements
"[Evrigenis'] command of the relevant texts and of their scholarly interpretations is unsurpassed, and he engages with both in subtle ways … [His] book, complemented by fourteen full-page illustrations, is the best sustained treatment of Hobbes' concept of the state of nature and will be essential reading for Hobbes scholars, who will find his reasoning and conclusions challenging and thought-provoking."
A. P. Martinich, The American Historical ReviewSee more reviews
"[Evrigenis'] book is organised in four parts, and every part is a source of insightful observations and comments that can stimulate the imagination of the historian, the philosopher, the political theorist, the expert of English literature, the established academic as well as the young undergraduate. The analysis is inventive, authoritative, and inspiring."
Gabriella Slomp, The Seventeenth Century
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- Date Published: July 2014
- format: Hardback
- isbn: 9780521513722
- length: 312 pages
- dimensions: 231 x 150 x 23 mm
- weight: 0.63kg
- contains: 14 b/w illus.
- availability: Available
Table of Contents
Part I. A Græcian:
1. Politic historiography
2. Winning belief in the hearer
Part II. A Devotion to Peace:
3. Unobjectionable foundations: the elements of law, natural and politic
4. The birth of civil philosophy: De Cive
5. Reason of state: Leviathan
Part III. Images 'Historical or Fabulous':
6. Lapse and relapse, or, the first rebellion
7. Another scripture
Part IV. A Science of Rhetoric:
9. All things to all people
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