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The Elements of Law Natural and Politic by Thomas Hobbes


The Elements of Law Natural and Politic Thomas Hobbes

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DownloadThe Elements of Law Natural and Politic by Thomas Hobbes 1640 To the Right Honourable William, Earl of Newcastle, Governor to the Prince his Highness, one of His Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council The Epistle Dedicatory My Most Honoured Lord, From the two principal parts of our nature, Reason and Passion, have proceeded two kinds of learning, mathematical and dogmatical. The former is free from controversies and dispute, because it consisteth in comparing figures and motion only; in which things truth and the interest of men, oppose not each other. But in the later there is nothing not disputable, because it compareth men, and meddleth with their right and profit; in which as oft as reason is against a man, so oft will a man be against reason. And from hence it comes, that they who have written of justice and policy in general do all invade each other, and themselves, with contradiction. To reduce this doctrine to the rules and infallibility of reason, there is no way, but first, to put such principles down for a foundation, as passion not mistrusting may not seek to displace: And afterward to build thereon the truth of cases in the law of nature (which hitherto have been built in the air) by degrees, till the whole be inexpugnable. Now (my Lord) the principles fit for such a foundation, are those which I have heretofore acquainted your Lordship withal in private discourse; and which, by your command I have here put into method. To examine cases thereby, between sovereign and sovereign, or between sovereign and subject, I leave to them, that shall find leisure, and encouragement thereto. For my part, I present this to your Lordship, for the true, and only foundation of such science. For the style, it is therefore the worse, because whilst I was writing I consulted more with logic, than with rhetoric. But for the doctrine, it is not slightly proved; and the conclusions thereof, are of such nature, as for want of them, government and peace have been nothing else, to this day, but mutual fear. And it would be an incomparable benefit to commonwealth, that every man held the opinions concerning law and policy, here delivered. The ambition therefore of this book, in seeking by your Lordship's countenance, to insinuate itself with those whom the matter it containeth most nearly concerneth, is to be excused. For myself, I desire no greater honour, than I enjoy already in your Lordship's known favour; unless it be, that you would be pleased in continuance thereof, to give me more exercise in your commands; which, as I am bound by your many great favours, I shall obey, being My most honoured Lord Your Lordship's most humble and obliged Servant Tho Hobbes Part I Human Nature

The Elements of Law Natural and Politic Thomas Hobbes




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