Sir Leslie Stephen (essay date 1904)
SOURCE: "The State," in Hobbes, 1904. Reprint by The University of Michigan Press, 1961, pp. 173-236.
[In the following excerpt, Stephen examines Hobbes's conception of both the law of nature and the social contract.]
1. Contemporary Controversies
We come now to the third part of Hobbes's philosophy. He is to base a science of politics upon the doctrines already expounded. We become aware that there is a certain breach of continuity. To understand his line of thought, it is necessary to take note both of the problems in which he was specially interested, and the form into which the arguments...
(The entire section is 13772 words.)