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Leviathan, Thomas Hobbes (1651), (Book II, Chapter XXI)

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  1. The context
  2. The social contract
  3. Thomas Hobbes as a founding father of the modern political philosophy

Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679) is one of the founding fathers of the modern political philosophy even though his writings have created controversy. He has been accused of legitimizing totalitarianism ; especially in his two main works Leviathan (1651) and De Cive (1642). However, his work cannot be apprehended without referring to its writing context. Indeed, at the time Thomas Hobbes compiled Leviathan, he had taken refuge in France fleeing the English Civil War (1642-1651) and the religious disturbances which were tearing England apart. This writing context is salient in the understanding and interpretation of Leviathan. While writing, Thomas Hobbes thoroughly focused on the historical context of England and envisioned a way to ensure the safety of the people as well as civil peace.

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