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Was Leviathan a patronage artifact?

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Hobbes's experience with patronage, as the servant and client of the Earls of Devonshire and Newcastle, influenced the concepts of human nature and human action found in his major political works. The desire for honour, which he emphasized in Leviathan, constitutes one of the major motivations of behaviour both in the state of nature and the state, as it did in the status-driven society Hobbes knew from his own experiences as a client. Hobbes's concepts of free gift and gratitude reflect the dynamic interchanges which propelled and cemented the societal bonds created through patronage. Patronage also helps explain Hobbes's actions in presenting a copy of Leviathan to the uncrowned king, Charles II, and his subsequent return to England in 1652.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of History, Oregon State University, 306 Milam Hall, Corvallis, OR 97331-5104, USA.

Publication date: 2000-04-01

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