Hobbesian

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English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Hobbes (a surname) +‎ -ian; referring to the 17th century English author Thomas Hobbes, whose best-known work, Leviathan, describes a situation of unrestrained, selfish and uncivilized competition.

Adjective[edit]

Hobbesian (comparative more Hobbesian, superlative most Hobbesian)

  1. Involving unrestrained, selfish, and uncivilized competition among participants.
    a Hobbesian cutthroat environment
    • 1995, Fred Pfeil, White Guys: Studies in Postmodern Domination and Difference, page 150:
      In Hammett's writings, the social is constructed as a vast Hobbesian landscape of grim functionaries and desperate scrabblers []
    • 2017 February 22, Mike Isaac, “Inside Uber’s Aggressive, Unrestrained Workplace Culture”, in New York Times[1]:
      Yet the focus on pushing for the best result has also fueled what current and former Uber employees describe as a Hobbesian environment at the company, in which workers are sometimes pitted against one another and where a blind eye is turned to infractions from top performers.
  2. (political philosophy) Relating to Thomas Hobbes or his philosophical theories.

Translations[edit]