Hobbes and Human Nature
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Several excellent modem books about Hobbes either focus upon his life or analyze his ideas in a technical way. Green's unique treatment of the English philosopher explores how his times helped shape his basic postulates, which are then linked with his personal experiences, an exercise in modern relativism that Hobbes and his generation would not have appreciated. Hobbes's outlook still remains more relevant to the present time than to the two intervening centuries. The faith that human nature has changed with time and circumstance has waned.Hobbes and Human Nature is a study in applied social theory. Green discusses those issues that Hobbes either stated or provoked: individuals and society as metaphor, religion and atheism, sovereignty and the law, intellectuals and the dominance of minorities over the majority, the precedence of perceived interests over ideas, and the failure of history to determine human fate. The standard comparison with Rousseau is made, with less emphasis upon character than upon revolution and Utopian hope.This volume should be of interest to philosophers, historians, sociologists, and political scientists. It may find some place as assigned reading for undergraduate and especially for graduate students.