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The Political Philosophy of Hobbes: Its Basis and Its Genesis (Phoenix Books) Paperback – April 15, 1996

ISBN-13: 978-0226776965 ISBN-10: 0226776964 Edition: 1st

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Leo Strauss (1899-1973) was Robert Maynard Hutchins Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus in political science at the University of Chicago. Among his works published by the University of Chicago Press are Thoughts on Machiavelli, The City and Man, and Natural Right and History.
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Product Details

  • Series: Phoenix Books
  • Paperback: 190 pages
  • Publisher: University Of Chicago Press; 1 edition (April 15, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0226776964
  • ISBN-13: 978-0226776965
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,092,119 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By steven schwartzbard on June 22, 2000
Format: Paperback
I read somewhere that Strauss carried this book in a water-tight container when he crossed the channel to England so that, even if the ship went down, his work would survive. However that may be, it is the rare opportunity to see Strauss genuinely struggle with a problem. The prevailing opinion, I am told, is that Hobbes' science, or the discovery of Galileo's analytic-synthetic method, was the origin of Hobbes political philosophy (the analysis of the prevailing order (state of nature), the synthesis or construction of a new order (Leviathan)). Strauss makes the convincing argument that not the scientific method, but instead Aristotelian humanism (in particular, the anthropology of the Rhetoric) was the "source" for Hobbes' Staatslehre. Central to this is a critique of aristocratism, and the aristocratic valorization of courage. Not courage but cowardice and the fear of death is the ruling passion of the Hobbesian bourgeois (if Bloom learned anything from Strauss, it was that). In particular, Hobbes borrowed from the Rhetoric the treatment of anger, in which the most asocial human passion is the desire for revenge (and justice). Strauss later repudiated (in Natural Right) the argument against Hobbes scientism, but the point was made.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By a reader on July 5, 2006
Format: Paperback
I just want to note that quotations from Latin in this book are left untranslated so if you are not familiar with this language, a scholarly reading may require additonal work on your part.
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