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
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
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