By A.P. Martinich

© 2004 – Routledge

266 pages

Purchasing Options:
Paperback: 9780415283281
pub: 2005-04-25
US Dollars$33.95
Hardback: 9780415283274
pub: 2005-05-19
US Dollars$120.00

e–Inspection Copy

About the Book

Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679) was the first great English philosopher and one of the most important theorists of human nature and politics in the history of Western thought.

This superlative introduction presents Hobbes' main doctrines and arguments, covering all of Hobbes' philosophy. A.P. Martinich begins with a helpful overview of Hobbes' life and work, setting his ideas against the political and scientific background of seventeenth-century England. He then introduces and assesses, in clear chapters, Hobbes' contributions to fundamental areas of philosophy:

  • epistemology and metaphysics, in particular Hobbes' materialism and determinism and his relation to Descartes
  • ethics and political philosophy, concentrating on Hobbes' most famous work, Leviathan, and the theory of the social contract it advances
  • philosophy of science, logic and language, considering Hobbes' theory of nominalism and his writing on rhetoric and the uses of language;
  • religion, examining Hobbes' analyses of revelation, prophets and miracles.

The final chapter considers the legacy of Hobbes' thought and his influence on contemporary philosophy.


'In short, this is a fine and authoritative study by an acknowledged master of his subject. No serious student of Hobbes or early modern philosophy should ignore this book.' - Paul Kelly, London School of Economics

'This is an excellent book, well-suited to the Routledge Philosophers series. It is clearly and accessibly written, comprehensive, up-to-date on current scholarship, well-organised and often humorous. I think undergraduates will find the book both readable and enjoyable. Teachers will find it very helpful.' - S.A. Lloyd, University of Southern California

About the Author

A.P.Martinich is Professor of philosophy at the University of Texas, Austin. He is the author of A Hobbes Dictionary (Blackwell, 1995), Hobbes: A Biography (CUP, 2000) and the editor of Philosophy of Language (OUP, 2000).

About the Series

The Routledge Philosophers

Routledge Philosophers is a major series of introductions to the great Western philosophers. Each book places a major philosopher or thinker in historical context, explains and assesses their key arguments, and considers their legacy. Additional features include a chronology of major dates and events, chapter summaries, annotated suggestions for further reading and a glossary of technical terms.

An ideal starting point for those new to philosophy, they are also essential reading for those interested in the subject at any level.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PHILOSOPHY / History & Surveys / General