The Elements of Law, Natural and Politic [1640]

Oxford University Press, 2008 (Human Nature and de Corpore Politico, J.C.A. Gaskin, ed.)

This is Hobbes’s first published philosophical work (1640), which was written in part in response to the conflicts between Charles I and Parliament. The book represents Hobbes’s initial attempt to address political matters with the deductive methods of geometry, and proposes a definition of sovereignty that remains central to Hobbes’s later political works. The Elements of Law has two parts: Human Nature and De Corpore Politico. This edition, edited by J. C. A. Gaskin, also includes chapters from Hobbes’s later work De Corpore, his prose and verse autobiography, and parts of John Aubrey’s Life of Hobbes.