“Leviathan”, or an essay on the doctrine of the state by T. Hobbes

  • Vadym Nikolenko
Keywords: state, social justice, sovereign, human nature, power motives, corruption, law, forms of government, monarchy, aristocracy, democracy, anthropomorphism, frugali


The study focuses on individual episodes of the biography, the most notable ideas and main socio-political views of the outstanding English scientist, social philosopher, theorist of the origin of the state – T. Hobbes. On the basis of the classic work “Leviathan”, his backbone thoughts on the processes of state building, the development of a balanced normative and legislative system and specific motives for striving for power are highlighted. In particular, attention is focused on the search by the researcher of the optimal balance between freedom and the duties of a citizen. The aspiration of the classic to a comprehensive study of the most effective mechanism, optimal forms of public administration, primarily for the establishment of stable social order and safety, is noted. The scientist emphasized that an authoritative, sovereign, legitimate state is able to effective cope with the tasks set. In which those in power are obliged to be guided by norms of morality and law. Characterized, according to the researcher, the socio-psychological traits of both average citizens and sovereigns for the full life support of the country.Highlighted his heuristic principles of anthropomorphism, which more metaphorically, expressively detail the likely destructive diseases of the state, among which he considered the lack of frugality and the processes of oligarchization of the socio-political system to be especially unsafe. Scientists emphasized the absolute rejection of corruption, lack of social justice, abuse of power. Thus, the advantages and disadvantages of various forms of government were highlighted, in particular, monarchical, aristocratic, democratic. The scientists himself was an active supporter of absolute monarchy and the unshakable authority of the state. At the same time, he focused not so much on the duties of citizens to the state, as on the duties of state representatives to their citizens, the implementation of which can state structure effective, authoritative and legitimate. At the same time, the contribution of T. Hobbes to the development of the philosophy of law is highlighted. In general, it was emphasized that the English scientist comprehensively substantiated his own thought about the immutability of human nature in the form of manifestations of selfishness, individualism, insatiable appetites, unrestrained passions, and the desire for social change. According to the philosopher, only a just, sovereign, authoritative state is capable of curbing the negative manifestations of human nature. In addition, attention focused on the state-forming nature of his philosophy and the scientist’s significant contribution to the development of the theory of the social contract or the contractual origin of the state is highlighted.


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How to Cite
Nikolenko, V. (2020). “Leviathan”, or an essay on the doctrine of the state by T. Hobbes. Scientific and Theoretical Almanac Grani, 23(8), 26-36. https://doi.org/10.15421/172072