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Chapter Summary

This introductory chapter presents an overview of the book that shows the ways in which Thomas Hobbes turns to and appropriates these cognitive and aesthetic dimensions of representation in the context of his scientific and especially political programmes. The book demonstrates how the different components of Hobbes's thinking on representation are tied together as the constituent elements of his understanding of how man's natural power to form representations through the imagination and artifice underpins his capacity to fashion an artificial world that best suits his needs. This involves releasing Hobbes's theory of representation from the bondage imposed by an idea of what counts as political thinking that owes more to contemporary preconceptions than to a genuine appreciation of the dimensions of representation which Hobbes thought to be integral to his political programme.

Keywords: political thinking; Thomas Hobbes



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