Hobbes

Author(s): 
Tuck, Richard
ISBN: 
0192876686
Date published: 
January 1989
Paperback
Price: 
£5.99
Pages: 
136

Thomas Hobbes, the first great English political philosopher, has long had the reputation of being a pessimistic atheist, who saw human nature as inevitably evil and proposed a totalitarian state to subdue human failings. In this illuminating study, Richard Tuck re-evaluates Hobbes's philosophy and dispels these myths, revealing him to have been passionately concerned with the refutati on of scepticism, and to have developed a theory of knowledge which rivalled that of Descartes in its importance.

 

Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679) was the first great English political philosopher, and his book Leviathan was one of the first truly modern works of philosophy. He has long had the reputation of being a pessimistic atheist, who saw human nature as inevitably evil, and who proposed a totalitarian state to subdue human failings. In this study, Richard Tuck shows that while Hobbes may indeed have been an atheist, he was far from pessimistic about human nature, nor did he advocate totalitarianism. By locating him against the context of his age, Professor Tuck reveals Hobbes to have been passionately concerned with the refutation of scepticism in both science and ethics, and to have developed a theory of knowledge which rivalled that of Descartes in its importance for the formation of modern philosophy.