Hobbes Studies 28 (2):132-148 (2015)

Authors
Gregory Robson
Iowa State University
Abstract
_ Source: _Volume 28, Issue 2, pp 132 - 148 A striking feature of Thomas Hobbes’s account of political obligation is his discussion of the Fool, who thinks it reasonable to adopt a policy of selective, self-interested covenant breaking. Surprisingly, scholars have paid little attention to the potential of a psychological defense of Hobbes’s controversial claim that the Fool behaves irrationally. In this paper, I first describe Hobbes’s account of the Fool and argue that the kind of Fool most worth considering is the covert, long-term Fool. Then I advance and critically assess two psychological arguments according to which the Fool’s policy of self-interested covenant breaking is prudentially irrational. The first argument holds that, taken together, the deep guilt from early-stage covenant breaking, the cumulative guilt from continued covenant breaking, and the high statistical risk of detection during high-volume covenant breaking render the Fool’s policy irrational. The second argument holds that the Fool’s policy is irrational because it puts him at risk of adopting a psychologically intolerable view of his fellow covenanters and, specifically, the extent to which they can be trusted.
Keywords guilt   covenants   justice   Leviathan   Hobbes’s fool
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1163/18750257-02802003
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

 PhilArchive page | Other versions
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

The Rational Versus the Reasonable.W. M. Sibley - 1953 - Philosophical Review 62 (4):554-560.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Hobbes’ Reply to the Fool.David Gilboa - 2000 - History of Philosophy & Logical Analysis 3.
How Fool Is a "Holy Fool"?Agneta Schreurs - 2007 - Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 13 (3):205-210.
Hobbes's Un Reasonable Fool.Rosamond Rhodes - 1992 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 30 (2):93-102.
The Fool's Heart and Hobbes' Head.Thomas Scally - 1981 - Dialogue 20 (4):674-689.
Hobbes's Reply to the Fool.Michael LeBuffe - 2007 - Philosophy Compass 2 (1):31–45.
Why Justice and Injustice Have No Place Outside the Hobbesian State.Johan Olsthoorn - 2015 - European Journal of Political Theory 14 (1):19-36.
No Fool Like an Old Fool.Maryanne J. Bertram - 1988 - Philosophy Research Archives 14:333-342.
Fool-Proof Proofs of God.Frank B. Dilley - 1977 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 8 (1):18 - 35.
Obligation and Advantage in Hobbes' Leviathan.Mark Peacock - 2010 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 40 (3):433-458.
The Common Consent Argument From Herbert to Hume.Jasper Reid - 2015 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 53 (3):401-433.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2015-10-30

Total views
2,066 ( #1,552 of 2,433,235 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
358 ( #1,140 of 2,433,235 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes