Obligation and advantage in Hobbes' leviathan

Canadian Journal of Philosophy 40 (3):433-458 (2010)
Abstract
In this essay, I examine two claims Hobbes makes about obligation in Leviathan:that obligation and 'prudence' (or advantage) are conceptually separate;that fulfilling one's obligations is to one's advantage.My thesis is that Hobbes seeks to reconcile these apparently conflicting claims by arguing that obligation and advantage are empirically identical. He does so, I hold (in contrast to many of his interpreters), without 'reducing' obligation to advantage. That is, he does not hold that people should only keep covenants if doing so is in their self-interest.In section I, I analyse the temporal structure of covenants and distinguish the decision to enter (or not to enter) a covenant from the decision to break or ..
Keywords Contemporary Philosophy  General Interest
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ISBN(s) 0045-5091
DOI cjphil201040329
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