The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy

Volume 41, 1998

Political Philosophy

Omar Astorga
Pages 1-5

La Institution Imaginaria del Leviathan

I discuss the basic conditions that allow us to grasp Hobbes's theory of the State from the standpoint of the imagination. I employ three interpretative points of view. First, I consider the role played by the concepts "person," "representation," and "theatre" in the institution of the social and political structure of the State. Second, I discuss the metaphorical value of the State, the persuasive function of which is derived from the biblical image of 'Leviathan.' Third, I consider the role taken by the counsellors of the State in the creation of images oriented toward obedience. In this way I attempt to demonstrate that the Hobbesian State can no longer be taken as an abstraction, but as a concrete result constituted by human nature as formulated by the imagination. Hence, one can understand Hobbes as extending the interpretation of modern political thought beyond the linguistic imperative of univocity. In this way we can grasp Hobbes's importance for the modern age.