Leviathan Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. Describe briefly Hobbes' contract of a commonwealth.

Once people enter into the covenant, or contract, of a commonwealth, they are subjected to the laws their sovereign makes. The sovereign has the right and responsibility to write all the laws he feels are necessary and important to the safety of the people. The sovereign always has to think of the best way to distribute justice and cannot act simply on his own desires.

2. How does Hobbes illustrate what he calls compound imagination?

Compounded imagination is when man thinks of two different objects experienced at different times. For example, a person that has seen a horse and a man can imagine what the two would look like together and can imagine a centaur, a fictitious character.

3. How does Hobbes say people reason?

People reason by analyzing the sum or remainder of two thoughts which are added or subtracted. Logicians put two words together to see if they create an affirmation or subtract a word from another to see if it can stand alone.

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