11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Warning: Not the Leviathan you may expect,
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This review is from: Thomas Hobbes: Leviathan (Longman Library of Primary Sources in Philosophy) (Paperback)
I've just received this. The synopsis says:
'Part of the "Longman Library of Primary Sources in Philosophy," this edition of Hobbes's Leviathan is framed by a pedagogical structure designed to make this important work of philosophy more accessible and meaningful for undergraduates.'
I'd assumed that meant there'd be a lot of explanatory notes and maybe a commentary. In fact, there are almost no notes at all and there's no commentary. There's a 28 page introduction, but that's it.
In addition, this isn't the whole book. This edition offers just the first two of Leviathan's four parts, because the editor claims these are the parts most commonly studied today, while 'the last two sections ... deal with issues that were much more specific to Hobbes' particular historical context'. (Introduction, page vii)
Perhaps the most disturbing thing about the book is the fact that 'this particular edition is a quasi-translation of Hobbes' language into a somewhat more contemporary form.' (Introduction, page viii) That is, the editor has messed around with Hobbes' English. He says he has changed 'almost every sentence in some way - sometimes just in minor ways, but sometimes quite substantially.' (Introduction, page ix) As far as I can see, these changes are silent - that is, they aren't indicated or acknowledged at any point in the text beyond a few examples he gives in his introduction.
I suppose this book may be useful to somebody, but, for me, a book about Leviathan would be preferable to this unreliable-looking attempted rewrite.
I also wish that Pearson Longman had mentioned the fact that this is an abridged and doctored version on the back, but they restrict themselves to saying it is 'framed by a strong pedagogical structure.' - a massive overstatement, in my view. (They do say the series 'offers an ... inexpensive translation or edition of a seminal work in philosophy',- but you don't normally expect to see a translation of a text originally written in English. The blurb on the back is certainly less than candid, I'd say.)
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Initial post: 26 Aug 2013 15:35:11 BDT
R. I. Peel says:
While this is a fine review it is for the wrong product. This product is not the pearson Longman version being reviewed. And so this review should be ignored in the context of the Oxford World Classics version of the book.
Amazon do this all the time and so there are many reviews for the wrong product
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