Language as a Factor of Integration or Segregation in Modern States

Hobbes Studies 24 (1):15-23 (2011)
This paper aims at showing that Hobbes's theory of language, which allows men to communicate among themselves like no other animal species, is an importante factor in the integration of modern states. Both his nominalism and the fact that he considers language previous to reason play a role in the formation of social groups. This leads him, as Johnston points out, to make political order depend upon linguistic order. In consequence, Hobbes aims at building a political philosophy by introducing a suitable vocabulary and setting basic propositions from which to deduce valid conclusions, proceding more geometrico . He also points out the importance of language for men to emerge from the state of nature and to draw a compact for peace and security. He also stresses the relation between language and power. Biblical references are included to reinforce the role of language in society, It is also shown that occasionally language may be a disgregating factor. Examples are put rather to show the integrating force of language
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