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Book Details

  • Paperback
  • Bookstore's Wholesale Price: $15.00
  • October 1996
  • ISBN: 978-0-393-96798-2
  • 400 pages
  • Territory Rights: Worldwide


Norton Critical Editions


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Thomas Hobbes (Author), Richard Flathman (Editor, Johns Hopkins University), David Johnston (Editor, Columbia University)


This Norton Critical Edition of arguably the greatest work of political theory written in the English language contains the bulk of Hobbes's treatise, including all chapters except those of interest primarily to professional historical scholars.

Explanatory annotations make Hobbes's sometimes archaic prose accessible to students. The text is based on the 1909 Oxford University Press edition, which in turn was based on one of the most fully corrected copies of the text that was widely available to readers in the seventeenth century. The editors have also noted variations between this text and other authoritative editions.

Backgrounds includes writings on Hobbes's life; selections from his responses to criticism of the book; and criticism and reactions to the work by Sir Robert Filmer, James Harrington, Bishop Bramhall, Edward Hyde (the earl of Clarendon), Gottfried Wilheim Leibniz, Montesquieu, and Henry Sedgwick.

Interpretations collects eight of the most important assessments of Hobbes and Leviathan written in the last forty years, including writings by Leo Strauss, Michael Oakeshott, Johann P. Sommerville, Richard Tuck, Jean Hampton, David Johnston, George Kateb, and Richard E. Flathman.

Also included in this edition are a Selected Bibliography, Glossary of Terms, and Index of Authorities Cited in the work.



    The Text of Leviathan


    1. Hobbes’s Life
      1. Pierre Bayle, From the Dictionary Historical and Critical of Mr. Peter Bayle
    2. Hobbes’s Self-Defense
      1. From Considerations upon the Reputation, Loyalty and Manners of T. Hobbes
      2. From Six lessons for the Savilian Professors in Oxford
    3. Reactions to Hobbes
      1. Sir Robert Filmer, From Observations Concerning the Originall of Government, Upon Mr Hobs Leviathan
      2. James Harrington, From The Prerogative of Popular Government
      3. Bishop Bramhall, From The Catching of Leviathan
      4. Edward Hyde, From A Brief View and Survey of the Dangerous and Pernicious Errors to Church and State in . . . Leviathan
      5. Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, State-Sovereignty
      6. Montesquieu, Of the Laws of Nature
      7. Henry Sidgwick, Hobbes


    1. Michael Oakeshoff, Introduction to Leviathan
    2. Leo Strauss, From Natural Right and History
    3. Johann P. Sommerville, [Hobbes on Political Obligation]
    4. Richard Tuck, [Hobbes on Skepticism and Moral Conflict]
    5. Jean Hampton, The Failure of Hobbes’s Social Contract Argument
    6. David Johnston, Theory and Transformation: The Politics of Enlightenment
    7. George Kateb, Hobbes and the Irrationality of Politics
    8. Richard E. Flathman, Of Making and Unmaking

    Selected Bibliography

    Selected Glossary

    Index of Authorities Cited in Leviathan