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The ethical and political philosophy of Hobbes are so intimately related that they cannot really be separated. In consequence of this, the extracts from his writings, which form the major part of this volume, have been chosen with reference to a study of both. To this end Parts I. and II. of Leviathan, and Chapters VI. and VII. of De Corpore Politico, have been selected. The extracts from the De Corpore Politico deal with the main subject discussed in Part III. of Leviathan, but in a much more summary manner; hence the substitution. The book thus constructed is designed for use in classes in the History of Ethics and the History of Political Science, where these subjects are studied according to the method contemplated by the “Series” to which this book belongs. Portions of Part I. of Leviathan, which deal with the Psychology and Logic of Hobbes, have been retained for the purpose of adapting the book also for use in courses in the History of Philosophy. Chapters I.-IX. deal chiefly with these subjects, and may be omitted by the student who is merely interested in the ethical and political speculations of Hobbes, especially since the psychological basis of these speculations is mainly contained in the chapters following. The text of this volume is based on Sir Wm. Molesworth's English Edition of Hobbes's Works, with a few changes in punctuation, and a substitution of quotation marks for italics, which are so frequently used by Hobbes. The Introduction is chiefly concerned with an interpretation of the ethical and political philosophy of Hobbes. In the biographical sketch, Robertson's account of the life of Hobbes, as contained in his excellent book entitled Hobbes, Philadelphia and Edinburgh, 1886, has, in the main, been followed.
THE Ethical Series, of which this book on Hobbes's Ethics, by the Editor of the Series, is the third number, will consist of a number of small volumes, each of which will be devoted to the presentation of a leading system in the History of Modern Ethics, in selections or extracts from the original works. These selections will be accompanied by explanatory and critical notes. They will also be introduced by a bibliography, a brief biographical sketch of the author of the system, a statement of the relation of the system to preceding ethical thought, and a brief explanation of the main features of the system and its influence on subsequent ethical thought. The volumes will be prepared by experienced teachers in the department of Ethics and with special reference to undergraduate instruction and study in colleges.
The Series at present will include six volumes as follows: HOBBES, the Editor of the Series. CLARKE, President F. L. Patton, Princeton University. HUME, Dr. J. H. Hyslop, Columbia College. KANT, Professor John Watson, Queen's University, Canada. HEGEL, Professor J. Macbride Sterrett, Columbian University. SCHOPENHAUER, Professor G. M. Duncan, Yale University.
The increasing interest in the study of Ethics and the consequent enlargement of the courses in college curricula suggest to every teacher the need of better methods of teaching the subject than those which have quite generally