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Original scientific paper

THE MEANING OF HOBBES’ LEVIATHAN FOR POLITICAL SOCIOLOGY: HOBBES AS A UNIVERSAL THINKER OF MODERN POLITICS

Vukašin Pavlović ; Faculty of Political Science, University of Beograd, Beograd, Serbia


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Abstract

The author analyzes the classical postulate of Hobbes’ political
theory, starting from the negation of man’s social character, with
which Hobbes broke from the Aristotelian tradition. The author also
shows through Hobbes’ theory that the category of fear is a crucial
notion in modern political science. During the later development of
political thought, however, the category of fear remained outside the
main scope of interest of political theory, it was pushed on the margins of theoretical study and was thrown out of the field of politics.
The author stresses that power, and the desire for it is Hobbes’ political constant, seeing the thesis on power as one Hobbes’ most significant politico-sociological or even anthropological theses. It could also be said that in Hobbes’ model, fear produces power, namely, that
power, to use the contemporary language of psychoanalysis, is a
compensation for fear and insecurity. The author also shows that
Hobbes built his entire political theory on conclusions which he drew
from the analysis of an extreme situation, the situation of civil war,
i.e. war of all against all. His doctrine of the natural state is based one
the experience of civil war. People want the same things, of which
there is not enough to go around, and so they become enemies. The
author draws the conclusion that the superior sovereignty of Leviathan came about in the following categorical way: instinct for selfpreservation – fear of violent death – distrust – a conflict of all
against all – social contract – sovereign power of the state of Leviathan.

Keywords

Hobbes, Strauss, fear, power, political obligation, sovereignty, individualism

Hrčak ID:

20588

URI

https://hrcak.srce.hr/20588

Article data in other languages: croatian

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