Thomas Hobbes and the Natural Law Tradition

Author: Norberto Bobbio

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 0226062481

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 228

View: 789

Pre-eminent among European political philosophers, Norberto Bobbio has throughout his career turned to the political theory of Thomas Hobbes. Gathered here for the first time are the most important of his essays which together provide both a valuable introduction to Hobbes's thought and a fresh understanding of Hobbes's place in the theory of modern politics. Tracing Hobbes's work through De Cive and Leviathan, Bobbio identifies the philosopher's relation to the tradition of natural law. That Hobbes must now be understood in both this tradition as well as in the seemingly contradictory positivist tradition becomes clear for the first time in Bobbio's account. Bobbio also demonstrates that Hobbes cannot be easily labelled "liberal" or "totalitarian"; in Bobbio's provocative analysis of Hobbes's justification of the state, Hobbes emerges as a true conservative. Though his primary concern is to reconstruct the inner logic of Hobbes's thought, Bobbio is also attentive to the philosopher's biography and weaves into his analysis details of Hobbes's life and world—his exile in France, his relation with the Mersenne circle, his disputes with Anglican bishops, and accusations of heresy leveled against him. The result is a revealing, thoroughly new portrait of the first theorist of the modern state.
Thomas Hobbes and the Natural Law

Author: Kody W. Cooper

Publisher: University of Notre Dame Pess

ISBN: 9780268103040

Category: Philosophy

Page: 342

View: 933

Has Hobbesian moral and political theory been fundamentally misinterpreted by most of his readers? Since the criticism of John Bramhall, Hobbes has generally been regarded as advancing a moral and political theory that is antithetical to classical natural law theory. Kody Cooper challenges this traditional interpretation of Hobbes in Thomas Hobbes and the Natural Law. Hobbes affirms two essential theses of classical natural law theory: the capacity of practical reason to grasp intelligible goods or reasons for action and the legally binding character of the practical requirements essential to the pursuit of human flourishing. Hobbes’s novel contribution lies principally in his formulation of a thin theory of the good. This book seeks to prove that Hobbes has more in common with the Aristotelian-Thomistic tradition of natural law philosophy than has been recognized. According to Cooper, Hobbes affirms a realistic philosophy as well as biblical revelation as the ground of his philosophical-theological anthropology and his moral and civil science. In addition, Cooper contends that Hobbes's thought, although transformative in important ways, also has important structural continuities with the Aristotelian-Thomistic tradition of practical reason, theology, social ontology, and law. What emerges from this study is a nuanced assessment of Hobbes’s place in the natural law tradition as a formulator of natural law liberalism. This book will appeal to political theorists and philosophers and be of particular interest to Hobbes scholars and natural law theorists.
Thomas Hobbes and the Debate over Natural Law and Religion

Author: Stephen A. State

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 9781134050475

Category: Philosophy

Page: 276

View: 528

The argument laid out in this book discusses and interprets the work of Hobbes in relation to religion. It compares a traditional interpretation of Hobbes where Hobbes’ use of conventional terminology when talking about natural law is seen as ironic or merely convenient despite an atheist viewpoint, with the view that Hobbes’ morality is truly traditional and Christian. The book considers other thinkers of the age in tandem with Hobbes and discusses in detail his theology inspired by corporeal mechanics. The position is that there are significant senses in which Hobbes can be said to be a traditional natural law theorist.
Morality in the Philosophy of Thomas Hobbes

Author: S. A. Lloyd

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 9780521861670

Category: History

Page: 437

View: 729

In this book, S. A. Lloyd offers a radically new interpretation of Hobbes's laws of nature, revealing them to be not egoistic precepts of personal prudence but rather moral instructions for obtaining the common good. This account of Hobbes's moral philosophy stands in contrast to both divine command and rational choice interpretations. Drawing from the core notion of reciprocity, Lloyd explains Hobbes's system of "cases in the law of nature" and situates Hobbes's moral philosophy in the broader context of his political philosophy and views on religion. Offering ingenious new arguments, Lloyd defends a reciprocity interpretation of the laws of nature through which humanity's common good is secured.
Hobbes’s ‘Science of Natural Justice’

Author: C. Walton

Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media

ISBN: 9789400934856

Category: History

Page: 314

View: 820

Unlike many major figures in Western intellectual history, Hobbes has refused to become dated and quietly take his appointed place in the museum of historical scholarship. Whether by way of adoption or reaction, his ideas have remained vibrant forces in mankind's attempts to understand the problems and dilemmas of living peaceably with one another. As Richard Ashcraft said a few years ago: One of the standards by which the greatness of political theorists is measured, is their ability to evoke in us new insights into 'the human condition'. Only a few political writers have risen Dionysus-like from the titanic assaults of their critics to become even more formidable forces in the shaping of our destiny. One of these giants is surely the irascible l and irrepressible Thomas Hobbes . Given the power of Hobbes's thought, it is not then perhaps surprising to find that his writings have generated seemingly endless scholarly controversy and an astonishing range of imcompatible interpretations. Among other things, he has been interpreted as a theist and an atheist, as a utilitarian and a deontologist, a humanist and a scientist, as a traditional natural law theorist and a legal positivist, a contractualist and an absolutist - indeed, as Professor Morris notes in his contribution to the present volume, 'as almost any kind of philosophical 'ist except Platonist or Aristotelist'.
Natural Law

Author: Howard P. Kainz

Publisher: Open Court Publishing

ISBN: 0812694546

Category: Law

Page: 172

View: 811

Is there such a thing as an objective law of morality? Natural law theorists maintain that there is, and Natural Law probes the history and implications of this powerful concept. Tracing the development of natural law from ancient times to the present, the book also examines the leading figures, transitions, and turning points in the idea's evolution, and brings a natural law approach to contemporary issues such as abortion, homosexuality, and assisted suicide.
Thomas Hobbes

Author: Preston T. King

Publisher: Taylor & Francis

ISBN: 0415080819

Category: Ethics

Page: 487

View: 813

This collection brings together the rich periodical literature on one of the greatest English philosophers. These definitive essays range across Hobbes' work in ethics, metaphysics, law, politics, history, science and religion.
State of Nature Or Eden?

Author: Helen Thornton

Publisher: Boydell & Brewer

ISBN: 9781580461962

Category: Psychology

Page: 263

View: 894

State of Nature or Eden? Thomas Hobbes and his Contemporaries on the Natural Condition of Human Beings aims to explain how Hobbes's state of nature was understood by a contemporary readership, whose most important reference point for such a condition was the original condition of human beings at the creation, in other words in Eden. The book uses ideas about how readers brought their own reading of other texts to any reading, that reading is affected by the context in which the reader reads, and that the Bible was the model for all reading in the early modern period. It combines these ideas with the primary evidence of the contemporary critical reaction to Hobbes, to reconstruct how Hobbes's state of nature was read by his contemporaries. The book argues that what determined how Hobbes's seventeenth century readers responded to his description of the state of nature were their views on the effects of the Fall. Hobbes's contemporary critics, the majority of whom were Aristotelians and Arminians, thought that the Fall had corrupted human nature, although not to the extent implied by Hobbes's description. Further, they wanted to look at human beings as they should have been, or ought to be. Hobbes, on the other hand, wanted to look at human beings as they were, and in doing so was closer to Augustinian, Lutheran and Reformed interpretations, which argued that nature had been inverted by the Fall. For those of Hobbes's contemporaries who shared these theological assumptions, there were important parallels to be seen between Hobbes's account and that of scripture, although on some points his description could have been seen as a subversion of scripture. The book also demonstrates that Hobbes was working within the Protestant tradition, as well as showing how he used different aspects of this tradition. Helen Thornton is an Independent Scholar. She completed her PhD at the University of Hull.
Virtues And Rights

Author: R. E. Ewin

Publisher: Westview Press

ISBN: UOM:39015028402850

Category: Philosophy

Page: 232

View: 867

This book is a timely new interpretation of the moral and political philosophy of Thomas Hobbes. Staying close to Hobbes's text and working from a careful examination of the actual substance of the account of natural law, R.E. Ewin argues that Hobbes well understood the importance of moral behavior to civilized society. This interpretation stands as a much-needed corrective to readings of Hobbes that emphasize the rationally calculated, self-interested nature of human behavior. It poses a significant challenge to currently fashionable game theoretic reconstructions of Hobbesian logic. It is generally agreed that Hobbes applied what he took to be a geometrical method to political theory. But, as Ewin forcefully argues, modern readers have misconstrued Hobbes's geometric method, and this has led to a series of misunderstandings of Hobbes's view of the relationship between politics and morality. Important implications of Ewin's reading are that Hobbes never thought that "the war of each against all" was an empirical possibility for citizens; that his political theory actually presupposes moral agency; and that Hobbes's account of natural law forces us to the conclusion that Hobbes was a virtue theorist. This major contribution to Hobbes studies will be praised and criticized, welcomed and challenged, but it cannot be ignored. All philosophers, political theorists, and historians of ideas dealing with Hobbes will need to take account of it.