Why the Leviathan Is a Mortal God: From Nominalism to Mortalism


This paper attempts to answer the question of why Leviathan is a mortal god in Leviathan, despite the fact that when sovereignty was established, it was intended to be immortal, but because of the many inconsistencies in sovereignty itself, the seeds of natural death were planted. But the reason for this, firstly, is that sovereignty can die, not that Leviathan can die; secondly, Leviathan saw the possibility of civil war, so Leviathan's "death" could not be an intrinsic factor. Therefore, from the perspective of sovereign change, the reason that Leviathan is mortal is not sufficient. By analyzing the nominalistic ideas in Hobbes' thought, especially Ockham's natural law ideas. It is demonstrated how Hobbes established his own physical and natural law system within the framework of nominalism and proved that Leviathan is a result of voluntarism, possessing great power to resist civil unrest and provide protection. While demonstrating how Leviathan was established, the thesis also provides an in-depth analysis of the text and concepts of Leviathan. It also explores Hobbes' concept of mortalism, from the earlier to the later period of thought. In other works, he considers the soul to be in an immortal state and does not consider it to be capable of being in an unconscious state after death. In Leviathan, on the other hand, he considers the soul to be mortal, since immortal life is as terrible as eternal punishment. In the end, this thesis tries to answer the ideological reasons why Leviathan is mortal.

Author Information
Zhengchao Li, University of Tokyo, Japan

Paper Information
Conference: ACSS2023
Stream: Politics

This paper is part of the ACSS2023 Conference Proceedings (View)
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To cite this article:
Li Z. (2023) Why the Leviathan Is a Mortal God: From Nominalism to Mortalism ISSN: 2186-2303 – The Asian Conference on the Social Sciences 2023: Official Conference Proceedings https://doi.org/10.22492/issn.2186-2303.2023.4
To link to this article: https://doi.org/10.22492/issn.2186-2303.2023.4

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