Love and the Leviathan: Thomas Hobbes’ Critique of Platonic Eros

Political Theory: An International Journal of Political Philosophy, 36(6): 803-826, 2008

Posted: 5 Mar 2016

Date Written: September 1, 2008

Abstract

Hobbes's understanding of love, and its significance for his political thought, has received insufficient attention. This essay contends that Hobbes has a consistent and comprehensive teaching on love that directly repudiates what he regards as the Platonic teaching on eros. In attacking the Platonic idea of eros, Hobbes undermines a pillar of classical political philosophy and articulates a significant aspect of his new understanding of the passions in terms of power, which is itself a critical part of his new political science most famously presented in Leviathan.

Keywords: Hobbes, Leviathan, Platonic love, beauty, tyranny, eros, liberalism

Suggested Citation

Patapan, Haig and Sikkenga, Jeffrey, Love and the Leviathan: Thomas Hobbes’ Critique of Platonic Eros (September 1, 2008). Political Theory: An International Journal of Political Philosophy, 36(6): 803-826, 2008. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2741415

Haig Patapan (Contact Author)

Griffith University ( email )

170 Kessels Road
Nathan, QLD 4111
Australia

Jeffrey Sikkenga

Ashland University ( email )

Ashland, OH 44805
United States

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