chapter  14
Political Philosophy from Hobbes to Hegel
Pages 16

Modern writers have tended to regard epistemology and metaphysics as the central areas of philosophy, and to treat political thought as an implied branch of the subject. Of the two greatest modern philosophers-Kant and Wittgensteinthe first wrote in a scattered and fragmentary way about politics, while the second ignored it altogether. Plato’s most famous work consists in a sustained account of political life, in which philosophical problems are shown to arise from the business of living together in a community; few modern philosophers would give so central a place to questions of politics, and of the exceptions the most prominent are often regarded, like Marx, as pseudoscientists rather than philosophical thinkers in the strict sense of the word. There is, however, one modern philosopher who conceived the entire subject matter of politics in philosophical terms, and who saw political applications in almost every philosophical argumentThomas Hobbes (1588-1679), whose Leviathan and De Cive set the agenda for modern political philosophy.