Hobbes’s Demanding Consequentialism: Comments on Bernard Gert’s Hobbes: Prince of Peace

Hobbes Studies 25 (2):188-198 (2012)
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Abstract

I take issue with Bernard Gert’s interpretation of Hobbes on two main points. First, I argue that Hobbes’s moral theory reduces to a sophisticated form of consequentialism. Second, I argue that Hobbes’s moral theory is more demanding than Gert’s interpretation, and some of Hobbes’s own remarks, make it appear. I focus on Gert’s reading of Hobbes’s second law of nature, and argue that the law presents us with a Hobson’s choice—that is, the appearance of a choice of how much liberty to relinquish when really there is none

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