The Difficulties of Hobbes Interpretation

Political Theory 36 (6):827-855 (2008)
Abstract
Idiosyncrasies of Hobbes's composition process, together with a paucity of reliable autobiographical materials and the norms of seventeenth-century manuscript production, render interpretation of his political theory particularly difficult and contentious. These difficulties are surveyed here under three headings: the process of "serial" composition, which was common in the period; the relationship between Hobbes's three political-theory texts-- the "Elements of Law, De Cive ", and "Leviathan", which is basic to defining the textual embodiment of his theory, and controversial; and his method of writing. I argue that Hobbes's composition process undercut his intention to produce a deductive, logical theory of politics and opened the door to inconsistency and muddle in his arguments.
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DOI 10.1177/0090591708323363
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References found in this work BETA

Hobbes on Law, Nature, and Reason.Kinch Hoekstra - 2003 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 41 (1):111-120.
Ii &Ast;—the End of Philosophy.Kinch Hoekstra - 2006 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 106 (1):23-60.
Ii*-the End of Philosophy.Kinch Hoekstra - 2006 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 106 (1):23-60.
'Leviathan' After 350 Years.Tom Sorell & Luc Foisneau - 2006 - Philosophical Quarterly 56 (225):614-616.

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Citations of this work BETA

Hobbes, Civil Law, Liberty and theElements of Law.Patricia Springborg - 2016 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 19 (1):47-67.
Hobbes Contra Liberty of Conscience.Johan Tralau - 2011 - Political Theory 39 (1):58-84.
Hobbes on Teleology and Reason.Guido Parietti - 2017 - European Journal of Philosophy 25 (4):1107-1131.

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