Thomas Hobbes is arguably the greatest of all English philosophers. In the second half of the twentieth century, he has been subject to sustained critical attention. He was capable of powerful argument on virtually any plane, whether logical, scriptural or historical. And he has attracted attention in all these areas and more - to do with questions of historical method, language and linguistics, metaphysics, ethics, law, politics, science and religion.
Hobbes has been attended to from a great variety of perspectives - as an ethical positivist and a deontologist, as a bourgeois advocate and a supporter of the aristocracy, as an absolutist and a proponent of parliamentary government, as a `conservative' and a `modern', as an atheist and a believer. The periodical literature on Hobbes is accordingly very rich, but it is also difficult of access. The four volumes of these critical assessments conveniently assemble an important array of material. This ready availability will prove immensely helpful to all students of Hobbes.
Preston King teaches at Lancaster University.
`Many librarians and more readers will be grateful to have them ... these four volumes are, among other things, an exhibition of the increasing sophistication of political thought, and we may be grateful for them' - Times Literary Supplement