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Leviathan, or the Matter, Forme, & Power of a Common-wealth Ecclesiasticall and Civill.
Printed for Andrew Crooke at the Green Dragon in St. Paul's Church-yard, London 1651 - 2 blank leaves + Illustrated, engraved title-frontispiece + TP + [i]-[ii] = The Epistle Dedicatory + [iii]-[iv] = The Contents of the Chapters + 1-396 + 2 blank leaves, folding table between pp 40-41; Small Folio. First Edition, First Printing [MacDonald & Hargreaves #42].The first printing of the first edition with the winged "head" ornament on the second title page. There are three editions with title-pages that claim to be from 1651, but the second issue (with a "bear" ornament) was printed outside of England (probably Amsterdam), and the third (with a triangular-type "ornament") is generally considered to date from around 1680. (See MacDonald & Hargreaves, pp. 27-30 for a full accounting of these differences.) ONE OF THE FOUNDATION WORKS IN THE FIELD OF POLITICAL THEORY, Leviathan details Hobbes's notion of the origin of the State as a product of human reason meeting human need - through to its destruction as a consequence of human passions. According to Hobbes, the State, as an aggregate of individual men (so well portrayed in the famous engraved title), should always be tendered the obedience of the individual (except to save his own life), as any government is in Hobbes's view, better than the natural anarchic state. Hobbes is a unique figure in the history of English political thought with his defence of absolutism - unpopular from the day it was published to the present with proponents of individual liberties - being based on expediency. "Hobbes's ideas have never appealed to proponents of the individual rights of man or to the modern totalitarians with their mystical vision of Volk, the fundamental nature of Hobbes's speculation has stimulated philosophers from Spinoza to the school of Bentham who reinstated him in his position as the most original political philosopher of his time" (PMM 138)Printing & the Mind of Man 138 In a recent recreation of a contemporary, full red turkey morocco binding with gilt decorations on the front and back panels and each of six compartments on the spine. With the early inscription by two former owners to the second front blank leaf (W G Johnston [?] and E. N. Kirk) along with an almost completely faded 1" diameter oval stamp. With a 1½" brown stain to the upper inside edge of both the portrait page and the title page. There is a ¼" x 1½" piece of old reinforcement (?) tape to the verso of the title page in what would be the middle of the title page word "Commonwealth." There is no visible sign of a tear in the title page. The required foldout is found between pages 40 and 41 and it has a 1½" x 1½" piece missing from the upper outside corner (see photos). Otherwise, this a beautiful and well-preserved copy of this monumentally important book for Western philosophy and political theory. PHOTOS AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST. [Attributes: First Edition]
      [Bookseller: Athena Rare Books ABAA]
Last Found On: 2013-12-03           Check availability:      AbeBooks    

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