Liberty, Prudence, Imperfection, and Law

  • Queen Victoria holding a Privy Council meeting, by Sir David Wilkie, 1838.

    Leviathan: II.XXIII-XXV

    II.XXIII–XXV As in chapter XXII, in chapter XXIII Hobbes emphasizes the point that the sovereign may have ministers do the work of governing in his place. Generals, judges,…

  • Mountrushmore

    “Good Faith and Justice Toward All Nations,” By William Anthony Hay

    “Tell me how this ends?” The rhetorical question General David Petraeus posed during the march on Baghdad in 2003 points to the challenge of defining realistic goals and…

  • Edmund Burke

    “Against Reform,” By Bruce Frohnen

    How can anyone be against reform? Are there not countless things wrong with our society, countless injustices and abuses taking place even as yours truly writes this? Of course…

  • Not every gathering of subjects is a mob. "Knoxville-march-for-life-2013-3" by Brian Stansberry (photographer) - Own work. Licensed under CC BY 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

    Leviathan: II.XXII

    II.XXII Despite his talk of an all-powerful and centralized sovereign, Hobbes is well aware that one single entity will never make up the totality of all organizations within a…

    The people of Israel demand a king. "First Book of Samuel Chapter 8-2" by Distant Shores Media/Sweet Publishing. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

    Leviathan: II.XX

    II.XX Hobbes shifts briefly from his discussion of a “commonwealth by institution” to the nature of a “commonwealth by acquisition,” which is that where the sovereign…

    Succession is the most difficult issue facing monarchy, according to Hobbes.

    Leviathan: II.XIX

    II.XIX Having established our responsibility to the commonwealth, Hobbes now turns to two critical questions in the field of political science: what kinds of commonwealths might…


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