In an article for the Chronicle of Higher Education (September 8, 2014), Carlin Romano remarks that a sure way to ‘shut down interest’ in a classical work is to present it in original complicated prose, with its relevance to students’ own contemporary lives subsequently obscured. These are sentiments which Nancy Stanlick claims to share, and a problem she and her co-editor Daniel Collette propose to address in regards to Thomas Hobbes’ landmark work in political philosophy: Leviathan.Stanlick insists that the Essential Leviathan is a translation of Hobbes’ work, due to the fact that certain words and grammar have been altered to make the text more approachable. This ‘translation’ is very good: it makes the text highly accessible, certainly for the first time reader, but achieves this without jeopardising original spirit or meaning. When essential terms that may appear strange to modern readers remain necessarily unaltered, as is the case with ‘diffidence’, a supplementary footnote is included providing definition and explanation. This is also supported by a glossary of terms. This greatly enhances the reading experience and accessibility without compromising Hobbes’ original meaning.Something which grasps one’s attention is how incredibly short Stanlick’s introduction is; only two pages, consisting of a
Hobbes Studies – Brill
Published: Mar 23, 2018
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