This paper examines the interpretation of Hobbes as a political formalist which is developed by F. S. McNeilly in The Anatomy of Leviathan. McNeilly argues that Hobbes's demonstration of the necessity of political society is independent of Hobbes's particular view of man as an egotist bent at all costs on his own preservation. The first part of the argument of the paper uses techniques of decision theory and game theory to show that this argument which McNeilly ascribes to Hobbes is not valid. However, the argument which Hobbes is traditionally supposed to put forward is shown to be valid. The second part of the paper examines McNeilly's interpretation of the text of Leviathan and shows that he has insufficient grounds for supposing that Hobbes attempted to construct a purely formal science of politics
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DOI 10.1080/00201746908601579
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References found in this work BETA

The Ethical Doctrine of Hobbes.A. E. Taylor - 1938 - Philosophy 13 (52):406 - 424.
The Political Philosophy of Hobbes.R. S. Peters & Howard Warrender - 1959 - Philosophical Quarterly 9 (37):375.

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Pre-Emptive Violence: A Reply to Gauthier.F. S. McNeilly - 1972 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 15 (1-4):330 – 341.

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