Thomas Hobbes and the Ethics of Freedom

Inquiry 54 (5):541 - 563 (2011)
Abstract
Abstract Freedom in the sense of free will is a multiway power to do any one of a number of things, leaving it up to us which one of a range of options by way of action we perform. What are the ethical implications of our possession of such a power? The paper examines the pre-Hobbesian scholastic view of writers such as Peter Lombard and Francisco Suárez: freedom as a multiway power is linked to the right to liberty understood as a right to exercise that power, and to liberation as a desirable goal involving the perfection of that power. Freedom as a power, liberty as a right, and liberation as a desirable goal, are all linked within this scholastic view to a distinctive theory of law as constituting, in its primary form of natural law, the normative recognition of human freedom. Hobbes's denial of the very existence of freedom as a power led him to a radical revision both of the theory of law and of the relation of law to liberty. Law and liberty were no longer harmonious phenomena, but were left in essential conflict. One legacy of Hobbes is the attempt to base a theory of law and liberty not on freedom as a multiway power, but on rationality. Instead of an ethics of freedom, we have an ethics of reason as involving autonomy. The paper expresses some scepticism about the prospects for such an appeal to reason as a replacement for multiway freedom
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 10,304
External links
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
John Stuart Mill (1962). Utilitarianism. Cleveland, World Pub. Co..
Thomas Pink (2007). Normativity and Reason. Journal of Moral Philosophy 4 (3):406-431.
Thomas Pink (2009). Power and Moral Responsibility. Philosophical Explorations 12 (2):127 – 149.

View all 7 references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Similar books and articles
Analytics

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2011-09-09

Total downloads

42 ( #37,853 of 1,096,413 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

3 ( #87,121 of 1,096,413 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Start a new thread
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.