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The Elements of Law Natural and Politic

By Hobbes, Thomas

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Book Id: WPLBN0000219315
Format Type: PDF eBook
File Size: 1.0 MB
Reproduction Date: 2005
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Title: The Elements of Law Natural and Politic  
Author: Hobbes, Thomas
Language: English
Subject: Literature, Literature & thought, Writing.
Collections: Classic Literature Collection
Publication Date:
Publisher: World Ebook Library


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Hobbes, T. (n.d.). The Elements of Law Natural and Politic. Retrieved from

From the two principal parts of our nature, Reason and Passion, have proceeded two kinds of learning, mathematical and dogmatical. The former is free from controversies and dispute, because it consisteth in comparing figures and motion only; in which things truth and the interest of men, oppose not each other. But in the later there is nothing not disputable, because it compareth men, and meddleth with their right and profit; in which as oft as reason is against a man, so oft will a man be against reason. And from hence it comes, that they who have written of justice and policy in general do all invade each other, and themselves, with contradiction. To reduce this doctrine to the rules and infallibility of reason, there is no way, but first, to put such principles down for a foundation, as passion not mistrusting may not seek to displace: And afterward to build thereon the truth of cases in the law of nature (which hitherto have been built in the air) by degrees, till the whole be inexpugnable. Now (my Lord) the principles fit for such a foundation, are those which I have heretofore acquainted your Lordship withal in private discourse; and which, by your command I have here put into method. To examine cases thereby, between sovereign and sovereign, or between sovereign and subject, I leave to them, that shall find leisure, and encouragement thereto. For my part, I present this to your Lordship, for the true, and only foundation of such science. For the style, it is therefore the worse, because whilst I was writing I consulted more with logic, than with rhetoric. But for the doctrine, it is not slightly proved; and the conclusions thereof, are of such nature, as for want of them, government and peace have been nothing else, to this day, but mutual fear. And it would be an incomparable benefit to commonwealth, that every man held the opinions concerning law and policy, here delivered. The ambition therefore of this book, in seeking by your Lordship's countenance, to insinuate itself with those whom the matter it containeth most nearly concerneth, is to be excused. For myself, I desire no greater honour, than I enjoy already in your Lordship's known favour; unless it be, that you would be pleased in continuance thereof, to give me more exercise in your commands; which, as I am bound by your many great favours, I shall obey, being...

Table of Contents
· The Epistle Dedicatory · Part I. Human Nature · Chapter 1. The General Division of Man's Natural Faculties · Chapter 2. The Cause of Sense · Chapter 3. Of Imagination and the Kinds Thereof · Chapter 4. Of the Several Kinds of Discursion of the Mind · Chapter 5. Of Names, Reasoning, and Discourse of the Tongue · Chapter 6. Of a Knowledge, Opinion and Relief · Chapter 7. Of Delight and Pain; Good and Evil · Chapter 8. Of the Pleasures of the Senses; Of Honour · Chapter 9. Of the Passions of the Mind · Chapter 10. Of the Difference Between Men In These Discerning Faculty and the Cause · Chapter 11. What Imaginations and Passions Men Have, at the Names of Things Supernatural · Chapter 12. How by Deliberation From Passions Proceed Men's Actions · Chapter 13. How by Language Men Work Upon Each Other's Minds · Chapter 14. Of the Estate and Right of Nature · Chapter 15. Of the Divesting Natural Right by Gift and Covenant · Chapter 16. Some of the Laws of Nature · Chapter 17. Other Laws of Nature · Chapter 18. A Confirmation of the Same Out of The Word of God · Chapter 19. Of the Necessity and Definition of a Body Politic · Part II. De Corpore Politico · Chapter 20. Of the Requisites to the Constitution of a Commonwealth · Chapter 21. Of the Three Sorts of Commonwealth · Chapter 22. Of the Power of Masters · Chapter 23. Of the Power of Fathers, and of Patrimonial Kingdom · Chapter 24. The Incommodities of Several Sorts of Government Compared · Chapter 25. That Subjects are not Bound to Follow Their Private Judgments in Controversies of Religion · Chapter 26. That Subjects are not bound to follow the Judgment of any Authorities in Controversies of Religion which is not Dependent on the Sovereign Power · Chapter 27. Of the Causes of Rebellion · Chapter 28. Of the Duty of Them That Have Sovereign Power · Chapter 29. Of the Nature and Kinds of Laws


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