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Changes of StateNature and the Limits of the City in Early Modern Natural Law$
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Annabel S. Brett

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780691141930

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691141930.001.0001

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Kingdoms founded

Kingdoms founded

(p.115) Chapter Five Kingdoms founded
Changes of State

Annabel S. Brett

Princeton University Press

This chapter focuses on the question of the formation of the commonwealth. The question of the formation of the commonwealth implicates precisely the question of its form, the metaphysics of which pervades even the most anti-Aristotelian of theorists, Thomas Hobbes, whose book Leviathan (1651) is subtitled “the Matter, Forme and Power of a Common-wealth.” Two key words elucidate the form of the commonwealth: unity and order. The central issue around which the debate turned is the separability or otherwise of these two aspects of its being: that is, whether the commonwealth can exist as a unity independently of the particular order of command and obedience that informs it, or whether that order just is the commonwealth.

Keywords:   commonwealth, anti-Aristotelian, Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan, unity, order

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