Samuel Pufendorf's on the Natural State of Men. The 1678 Latin Edition and English Translation, with Notes and an Introduction

Author: Seidler, Michael
Pufendorf, Samuel


". . . his reconstruction of Pufendorf's thought and of the place that the notion of the state of nature has in modern natural law is both judiciously balanced and open to different suggestions and interpretations. Seidler's book is the product of high scholarship. . . its textual notes, although brief, show a loving and punctilious effort to make Pufendorf's often cryptic and allusive quotations clear to the modern reader. . . . Seidler has brilliantly solved many translation problems which were not at all easy." - History of Political Thought

"Briefly, this is an important and timely contribution to scholarship, and I recommend it highly. . . . The text Seidler presents is practically impossible to get hold of and has not previously been translated. The introduction itself is a substantial essay. In clear and unassuming prose it places Pufendorf in the relevant intellectual milieu . . . . It is both an excellent introduction to Pufendorf . . . and an original contribution to the interpretation of the baroque complexities of the theory." - J . B. Schneewind "The introduction is a much-needed survey of the secondary scholarship on Pufendorf and an important and original contribution to it. . . . This is a book that will be indispensable for all those working on 17th- and 18th-centuries political philosophy . . . ." - James Tully

"[Pufendorf's] contemporaries saw him as a central figure in the chain of natural law running from Grotius through Hobbes and Spinoza to Locke and Leibniz. When Locke was drawing up a short list of required readings for the educated man, he included Pufendorf's De Jure Naturae et Gentium, . . . and he ranked Pufendorf with Aristotle and Cicero as a moralist. . . . Professor Seidler is to be congratulated for an important contribution to the history of philosophy in this period." - Edwin Curley "No topic was more central to 17th century moral and political theory, and the text in question has been unavailable in translation or otherwise. . . . one mark of the success of a book is its ability to motivate scholarly interest in its subject. On that basis this work is bound to be successful. . . . unquestionably necessary. - Douglas Den Uyl

"Shas given us a decidedly workmanlike execution of his project, more dedicated to being useful to interested scholars than to making his own reputation by daring and individualistic interpretations. P is not patronized or exploited; he is helped to speak