Università degli Studi di Urbino Carlo Bo / Portale Web di Ateneo


Hobbes's Leviathan: science, psychology and politics
Il Leviatano di Hobbes: scienza, psicologia, politica

A.Y. Credits
2019/2020 6
Lecturer Email Office hours for students
Raffaella Santi On the Blended, via skype or by phone (by appointment)

Assigned to the Degree Course

Clinical Psychology (LM-51)
Curriculum: COMUNE
Date Time Classroom / Location
Date Time Classroom / Location

Learning Objectives

General Objective: the course is aimed at providing the historical-critical tools required to know and understand the fundamental stages of the development of scientific thought in England during the 17th  century, historically contextualizing them, but also knowing how to evaluate the durable impact on the techno-scientific mindset of today's man. Furthermore, it also aims to refine the philological-hermeneutic competences required for analyzing a classical text such as Thomas Hobbes's Leviathan, observing the most important theoretical aspects and comparing them to those of other authors.

Specific objectives:

1. to be able to understand the specific vocabulary of the discipline on a specialistic level;

2. to acquire full awareness of the historical development of the philosophy of science;

3. to acquire knowledge and awareness of the epistemological complexity of the different theories taken into account;

4. to know how to read and understand a philosophical-scientific text;

5. to know how to historically contextualize the text examined;

6. to be able to interpret and analyze the text in question on a specialistic level, identifying the underlying theories and arguments used by the author to support them;

7. to know how to compare the text in question with other related texts, identifying similarities and differences in theories and topics;

8. to be able to recognize any incongruity and inconsistency in the argumentative flow and in the ideas expressed by the author;

9. to be able to reason in a transdisciplinary sense; 

10. to know how to formulate an autonomous opinion on the theories that emerged from the analysis of the text and whether they have a significance or not in today’s world.


The course focuses on the reading and comment of an influential classical text: Thomas Hobbes's Leviathan:

1. Of Sense

2. Of Imaginaton

3. Of the Consequence or Train of Imaginations

4. Of Speech

5. Of Reason and Science

6. Of the Interior Beginnings of Voluntary Motions, commonly called the Passions; and the Speeches by which they are expressed

7. Of the Ends or Resolutions of Discourse

8. Of the Virtues, commonly called Intellectual; and their contrary Defects

9. Of the Several Subjects of Knowledge

10. Of Power, Worth, Dignity, Honour, and Worthiness

11. Of the Difference of Manners

12. Of Religion

13. Of the Natural Condition of Mankind as concerning their Felicity and Misery

14. Of the First and Second Natural Laws, and of Contract

15. Of other Laws of Nature

16. Of Persons, Authors, and Things Personated

17. Of the Causes, Generation, and Definition of a Commonwealth

18. Of the Rights of Sovereigns by Institution

19. Of several Kinds of Commonwealth by Institution; and of Succession to the Sovereign Power 

20. Of Dominion Paternal, and Despotical

21. Of the Liberty of Subjects

22. Of Systems Subject, Political, and Private

23. Of the Public Ministers of Sovereign Power

24. Of the Nutrition, and Procreation of a Commonwealth

25. Of Counsel

26. Of Civil Laws

27. Of Crimes, Excuses, and Extenuations

28. Of Punishments, and Rewards

29. Of those things that Weaken, or tend to the Dissolution of a Commonwealth

30. Of the Office of the Sovereign Representative

31. Of the Kingdom of God by Nature 

Bridging Courses


Learning Achievements (Dublin Descriptors)

1. Knowledge and the ability to comprehend: to have acquired, on a specialistic level, the content foreseen by the program, understanding the fundamental lines and the particular aspects, even in a comparative perspective.

2. Application of knowledge and the ability to understand: know how to apply the concepts, ideas, theories and methodologies learned, even in contexts other than the original one; to be able to also extend across a transdisciplinary level.

3. Autonomy of judgments: reflecting and thinking about the various contents learned, developing a critical, autonomous, and flexible thought; being “open-minded”: open to the complexity of what is real, with an exploratory and investigative attitude; being able to question the theories of others and also one’s own.

4. Communicative skills: to demonstrate that we have acquired a mastery of the vocabulary of discipline and to know how to use it within a speech that is internally coherent and logically structured, according to a correct sequence of topics; the argumentative capacity must be in the use of analysis and synthesis, of inductive and deductive processes, as well as in the application of rhetorical techniques, up to the remodulation of the subject according to the supposed interlocutor.

5. Learning skills: knowing how to use complementary resources available in addition to study texts – the materials entered by the lecturer in the Moodle platform, but also search engines on the web, bibliographic tools, etc. – to create a personal in-depth course.

Teaching Material

The teaching material prepared by the lecturer in addition to recommended textbooks (such as for instance slides, lecture notes, exercises, bibliography) and communications from the lecturer specific to the course can be found inside the Moodle platform › blended.uniurb.it

Supporting Activities


Materials published in the e-platform Moodle: blended.uniurb.it

Didactics, Attendance, Course Books and Assessment


Traditional lectures; however, students will be engaged as often as possible.


It's not compulsory.

Course books

1. Thomas Hobbes, Leviatano, a cura di Arrigo Pacchi, Laterza, Roma-Bari 2011 (or previous editions): only Chapters I-XXXI.

2. Merio Scattola e Paolo Scotton (a cura di), Prima e dopo il Leviatano, Cleup, Padova 2014 (295 pp.).


Oral exam.

Additional Information for Non-Attending Students


Didactic materials available on the Moodle platform (see above).


It's not compulsory.

Course books

1. Thomas Hobbes, Leviatano, a cura di Arrigo Pacchi, Laterza, Roma-Bari 2011 (or previous editions): only Chapters I-XXXI.

2. Merio Scattola e Paolo Scotton (a cura di), Prima e dopo il Leviatano, Cleup, Padova 2014 (295 pp.).


Oral exam.


For the oral exam students are free to choose their preferred language: Italian, English or French.

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