S. A. Lloyd proposes a radically new interpretation of Hobbes's Leviathan that shows transcendent interests--interests that override the fear of death--to be crucial to both Hobbes's analysis of social disorder and his proposed remedy to it. Most previous commentators in the analytic philosophical tradition have argued that Hobbes thought that credible threats of physical force could be sufficient to deter people from political insurrection. Professor Lloyd convincingly shows that because Hobbes took the transcendence of religious and moral interests seriously, he never believed that mere physical force could ensure social order. Lloyd's interpretation demonstrates the ineliminability of that half of Leviathan devoted to religion, and attributes to Hobbes a much more plausible conception of human nature than the narrow psychological egoism traditionally attributed to Hobbes.
"...refreshingly original...a brilliant reading of Hobbes, rigorously argued and tightly written. It deserves to revolutionize the study of Hobbes' political theory." International Studies in Philosophy "For those who want to understand what Hobbes's political theory is, this will be the book to consult." Alan Donagan, California Institute of Technology "The Hobbes scholarship is admirable, the writing is clear, and the quality of argument is uniformly high. Most importantly, Lloyd presents a genuinely original interpretation of Hobbes and meticulously constructs a very plausible argument in support of that interpretation." Greg Kavka, University of California, Irvine "A rich and powerful book with an extremely intriguing thesis." Choice "...this is a brilliant reading of Hobbes, rigorously argued and tightly written. It deserves to revolutionize the study of Hobbes' political theory." International Studies in Philosophy