REMNANT TRUST COLLECTION
Leviathan, or The Matter, Forme, & Power of a Common-Wealth Ecclesiasticall and Civill
By Thomas Hobbes
Published in 1651
First Edition, with additional engraved title page and folding table. “Leviathan, or The Matter, Forme, & Power of a Common-Wealth Ecclesiasticall and Civill” was written during the English Civil War (1642-1651) by Thomas Hobbes, where he asserts that civil war and anarchy can only be avoided by having a strong, undivided government.
In “Leviathan,” Hobbes argues for a social contract between society and a legitimate government ruled by an absolute sovereign. The social contract asserts that society has consented, either explicitly or tacitly, to surrender some of their freedoms and submit to the authority of a ruler or magistrate, in exchange for protection of their remaining rights.
Hobbes’ influence would later decline as philosophical emphasis turned toward individual rights. However, the growth of utilitarianism led to a reassessment of Hobbes and his political philosophy and he is now viewed as the greatest original political philosopher of his time.