‘To avoyd the present stroke of death:’ Despotical Dominion, force, and legitimacy in hobbe's leviathan
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Philosophy 74 (2):221-245 (1999)
The logic of Leviathan is formally made to derive commonwealth and the rights of sovereignty (the obligations of subjects, read the other way around) from an elaborate process beginning in the physiology of human perception and passions, through language and reason, into the state of nature (the war of all against all) and, finally, under the direction of the laws of nature, to a collective and formal resignation of all their natural rights to create an absolute sovereign. This process of ‘instituting’ the sovereignty stamps the resulting sovereign with legitimacy. Early in the Second Part of Leviathan, however, Hobbes moves to attach all the rights and legitimacy of that instituted sovereignty onto what he calls ‘Despotical Dominion’, the power created when a conqueror exacts a promise from the conquered on pain of immediate death. The result is to translate all that Hobbes has said about sovereignty in general into a defence of the legitimacy of this crude force and violence. The whole of Leviathan's political argument is coloured, then, by this strategy and the best reading of it turns out to be the oldest one—that it is a defence of tyrannical power.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|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
Patrick Macklem (2008). Humanitarian Intervention and the Distribution of Sovereignty in International Law. Ethics and International Affairs 22 (4):369-393.
M. Kahler (2011). Legitimacy, Humanitarian Intervention, and International Institutions. Politics, Philosophy and Economics 10 (1):20-45.
Patricia Sheridan (2012). Resisting the Scaffold: Self-Preservation and Limits of Obligation in Hobbes's Leviathan. Hobbes Studies 24 (2):137-157.
Thomas Hobbes (2008). Leviathan, or, the Matter, Forme and Power of a Commonwealth Ecclesiasticall and Civil. Touchstone.
Tom Sorell & Luc Foisneau (eds.) (2004). Leviathan After 350 Years. Oxford University Press.
Eric Brandon (2007). The Coherence of Hobbes's Leviathan: Civil and Religious Authority Combined. Continuum.
M. Coakley (2011). On the Value of Political Legitimacy. Politics, Philosophy and Economics 10 (4):345-369.
S. A. Lloyd (1992). Ideals as Interests in Hobbes's Leviathan: The Power of Mind Over Matter. Cambridge University Press.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads19 ( #105,148 of 1,692,915 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #193,926 of 1,692,915 )
How can I increase my downloads?