Aristotle's Politics

The Mortal God: A Comparative Analysis College

The leadership of the Leviathan, or, the ‘mortal god’, is a central theme in Thomas Hobbes’ theoretical masterpiece, The Leviathan. Literally, the word Leviathan comes from the Hebrew word livyathan, which etymologically denotes “to wind, turn, twist”[1]. In biblical tradition, it refers to the “dragon, serpent, huge sea animal”[2] in the book of Job. Leviathan, a text written in the 17th century CE, proposes a conceptual political structure designed to achieve an ideal authority that best fits human nature. Through his famous notion of the hypothetical human State of Nature, Hobbes rationally constructs that the best government rules like a mortal god. Other political theorists, such as Aristotle (4th century BCE) and Machiavelli (15th and 16th century CE), have developed their own conceptions of human nature and the ideal political realm suitable for it. Particularly, the views of Aristotle in Politics, and Machiavelli in The Prince and The Discourses compare and contrast with Hobbes’ proposed political project. Although there are some commonalities in their understandings of human nature and political authority, Machiavelli and Aristotle’s proposed authorities mainly conflict with Hobbes’ conceptual Leviathan, because of the...

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