Welcome to Hobbes in 60 Minutes

Thomas Hobbes

Thomas Hobbes is the founder of the modern theory of the state. He gained worldwide fame with his thesis that Man is not, by nature, a peaceful or sociable being but rather always pursues, egoistically, first and foremost his own welfare and advantage. Were there no state, with their laws, judges and police, we would live in a constant "war of all against all". Not because Man is essentially wicked but because such behaviour is dictated by our nature as predatory animals: "Man is an arrant wolf to Man". With this oft-cited phrase, however, Hobbes in fact provided the first modern legitimation for the state. The state, he argued, is necessary and in the interest of all insofar as it provides human beings with mutual protection from the fraud, theft and murder which they would otherwise commit upon one another and secures a peaceful coexistence for everyone. Only the state creates the security of law for all who live in it. Hobbes also warns us against quitting too lightly this condition of life in an established state or endangering it by entering into civil war: "I also show that the condition of Man outside civil society is that of a perpetual war of all against all."

The book "Hobbes in 60 Minutes" explains, with the aid of some 70 important passages quoted from Hobbes's principal writings Leviathan and De Cive, the philosopher's key notion of "the state of Nature" and the famous theory of the state he developed as a proposal for transcending this state. The book is published as part of the popular series "Great Thinkers in 60 Minutes".

Readers votes:

“Everyone should read this book. Hobbes’s provocative central thesis contains more truth than we are comfortably able to acknowledge.”                                                                                                                               Dr Ingvild Richardsen

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