David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Teoria Politica 2:77-99 (2012)
Contemporary debates on obedience and consent, such as those between Thomas Senor and A. John Simmons, suggest that either political obligation must exist as a concept or there must be natural duty of justice accessible to us through reason. Without one or the other, de facto political institutions would lack the requisite moral framework to engage in legitimate coercion. This essay suggests that both are unnecessary in order to provide a conceptual framework in which obedience to coercive political institutions can be understood. By providing a novel reading of Hobbes’s Leviathan, this article argues that both political obligation and a natural duty to justice are unnecessary to ground the ability of political institutions to engage in legitimate coercion. This essay takes issue with common readings of Hobbes which assume consent is necessary to generate obedience on the part of citizens, and furthermore that political obligation is critical for the success of political institutions. While the failure of the traditional Hobbesian narrative of a consenting individual would seem to suggest the Leviathan is indefensible as a project, this paper argues that the right of war in the state of nature was more central for Hob- bes’s understanding of political institutions than obligation. Furthermore, Hobbes provides an adequate defense of political institutions even if his arguments about consent, obligation and punishment are only rhetorical. In this way Hobbesian law is best understood as a set of practical requirements to avoid war, and not as moral requirements that individuals are bound to comply with. Thus Hobbesian political institutions are not vulnerable to contemporary philosophical anarchist criticisms about political obligation and political institutions as such. To develop this reading, I focus primarily on the Leviathan, including interpretations by Skinner, Kateb, Flathman, and Oakeshott. Ultimately, this argument provides insight into contem- porary political institutions of the state, citizenship, criminality, and the law in a world where political obligation has not been adequately justified.
|Keywords||Hobbes Obligation War Obedience Punishment|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Dorota Mokrosińska (2013). What is Political About Political Obligation? A Neglected Lesson From Consent Theory. Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 16 (1):88-108.
William A. Edmundson (2010). Political Authority, Moral Powers and the Intrinsic Value of Obedience. Oxford Journal of Legal Studies 30 (1):179-191.
Dorota Mokrosinska (2012). Rethinking Political Obligation: Moral Principles, Communal Ties, Citizenship. Palgrave Macmillan.
Pavlos Eleftheriadis (forthcoming). Citizenship and Obligation. In Julie Dickson & Pavlos Eleftheriadis (eds.), Philosophical Foundations of European Union Law. Oxford University Press.
Ruth C. A. Higgins (2004). The Moral Limits of Law: Obedience, Respect, and Legitimacy. Oxford University Press.
Jason Wyckoff (2010). The Inseparability Thesis. Southwest Philosophy Review 26 (1):51-59.
James E. Napier (1992). Hobbes. Social Philosophy Today 7:283-297.
R. George Wright (1992). Legal and Political Obligation: Classic and Contemporary Texts and Commentary. University Press of America.
Florian Wettstein (2010). For Better or For Worse. Business Ethics Quarterly 20 (2):275-283.
Philip Soper (2002). The Ethics of Deference: Learning From Law's Morals. Cambridge University Press.
P. J. Markie (2009). Political Obligation and the Particularity Problem. Ratio 22 (3):322-337.
Abner Greene (2012). Against Obligation: The Multiple Sources of Authority in a Liberal Democracy. Harvard University Press.
Daniel Schwartz (2008). Francisco Suárez on Consent and Political Obligation. Vivarium 46 (1):59-81.
Dudley Knowles (2010). Political Obligation. Routledge.
Susanne Sreedhar (2010). Hobbes on Resistance. Cambridge University Press.
Added to index2012-09-12
Total downloads280 ( #1,487 of 1,101,944 )
Recent downloads (6 months)71 ( #913 of 1,101,944 )
How can I increase my downloads?