Kaygi 19 (2):464-484 (2020)

James Griffith
Middle East Technical University
For Foucault, Hobbes is important for the transition from sovereignty to governmentality, but he does not always go into great detail how. In “Society Must Be Defended”, Hobbes’s reactions against the political historicism of his time lead him to an ahistorical foundation to the state. In Security, Territory, Population, his contract is emblematic of the art of government still caught in the logic of sovereignty. Management techniques, one of which being inheritance laws like primogeniture, inducing changes in a population’s milieu so that its interest is properly directed allow the art of government to escape this logic. Hobbes supports primogeniture, but its historical position in the common law makes this support unexpected. This article examines the historical context of primogeniture and the reasoning for Hobbes’s support of it in light of Foucault’s claims about him in order to give more precision to those claims. The result is that primogeniture as a law of nature produces the family as an interested unit of the population. Yet this interest is itself historicized, so Hobbes’s attempt to de-historicize politics did not fully succeed.
Keywords Hobbes  Foucault  Sovereignty  Governmentality  Primogeniture
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References found in this work BETA

Leviathan.Thomas Hobbes - 2006 - In Aloysius Martinich, Fritz Allhoff & Anand Vaidya (eds.), Early Modern Philosophy: Essential Readings with Commentary. Blackwell.
Truth and Power (1977).Michel Foucault - 2007 - In Craig J. Calhoun (ed.), Contemporary Sociological Theory. Blackwell. pp. 201--208.
Second Treatise on Government.John Locke - 1690/1980 - In Elizabeth Schmidt Radcliffe, Richard McCarty, Fritz Allhoff & Anand Vaidya (eds.), Late Modern Philosophy: Essential Readings with Commentary. Blackwell.

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