And here are discussion questions

Introduction: (Hobbes’ Introduction is quite brief, but it is an exceptionally helpful explanation of what Hobbes plans to do in Leviathan, and rewards close reading.)

Answer the following questions:

1. [Para. 1] A state or commonwealth (the thing Hobbes refers to with the term Leviathan) is analogous to what?
2. [Para. 1] For what is the state intended, according to Hobbes?

3. [Para. 1] What does Hobbes think the function of the soul is for a natural individual (that is, a person created by nature)? What constitutes the state’s soul?

4. [Para. 1] What in the state correspond to health, sickness, and death?

5. [Para. 1] Natural persons can be thought of as having been created by God’s fiat (“Let there be man”). What is it that creates the state? 6. [Para. 2] What are the basic theses of the first two things that Hobbes aims to show in Leviathan?

7. [Para. 3 & 4] In what sense does Hobbes think it important for the person who would understand the nature of the state to ‘read thy self’ (as opposed to reading books!). How should a person who will govern a nation interpret the dictum to ‘read thy self’?


Of Man Part One of Leviathan is devoted to explaining human nature, since it natural man that makes up the matter of the state (see Introduction, paragraph 2). Hobbes is quite impressed with science and he himself worked on the physics of optics before he turned his attention to civil law & political authority in Leviathan. Hobbes is a ‘mechanist’—that is, he thinks life is nothing more than matter and motion, and all facts about humans (and the natural world) can be expressed in terms of matter and motion (see the Introduction, paragraph 1).

Chapter 3: Of the Consequence or TRAIN of Imaginations Sections §§4-7

8. After recognizing that some of our mental life is disordered or characterized by random sequences, Hobbes points out much of our thought is orderly or ‘constant’. What is it that regulates constant or ordered thought?

9. What two kinds of trains of regulated thought does Hobbes think characterizes human thinking? Which kind is shared between man and other animals? What kind does Hobbes think is characteristic only of humans?

This website has the audio versions of the whole book too which I found very helpful.

Later I am going to send a video lecture with questions as well.

and after answering the questions please watch and do the exercises on this link

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