'the state of men without civil society (which state we may properly call the state of nature) is nothing else but a mere war of all against all.' Thomas Hobbes was the first great philosopher to write in English. His account of the human condition, first developed in The Elements of Law (1640), which comprises Human Nature and De Corpore Politico, is a direct product of the intellectural and political strife of the seventeenth century. It is also a remarkably penetrating look at human nature, and a permanently relevant analysis of the fears of self-seeking that result in the war of 'each against every man'. In The Elements of Law Hobbes memorably sets out both the main lines of his general philosophy, later augmented in De Corpore (1655), and the moral and political philosophy later made famous in Leviathan (1651). Copies of Human Nature and De Corpore Politico, until 1889 printed as separate works, are rare antiques or scarcely less rare scholarly texts; this is the first complete popular edition. It is here supplemented by chapters from De Corpore and Three Lives, two from Hobbes's original Latin. These have never before been published together in English.
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