Hobbes Studies 29 (2):148-167 (2016)

Authors
Marcus Schultz-Bergin
Cleveland State University
Abstract
_ Source: _Volume 29, Issue 2, pp 148 - 167 Thomas Hobbes’s attempt to resolve the problem of commanded blasphemy in _Leviathan_ results in a dilemma for his theory. According to what I call the _Authority Dilemma_, Hobbes is simultaneously committed to subjects being the authors of all that the sovereign does and commands as well as to the sovereign being the sole author of commanded blasphemy, meaning the subjects are _not_ the authors of that command. I review a variety of ways Hobbes and various commentators have attempted to resolve this tension, but ultimately suggest that the tension persists. I spell out the implications of both horns of the authority dilemma: if subjects authorize all actions and commands, then the possibility of commanded blasphemy risks the stability of the commonwealth; if subjects do not authorize all actions and commands, then the commonwealth is not properly unified and thus cannot be stable. Thus, either way, Hobbes fails to establish how individuals can form a stable commonwealth. I conclude with a Hobbesian inspired solution that accepts that subjects authorize all actions and commands, including blasphemy. However, I leverage two recent lines of scholarship – one regarding the inalienable right of self-preservation and the other regarding the fear of eternal damnation – to provide a means for disobedience without the risk of instability.
Keywords sovereignty   self-preservation   representation   authorization
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1163/18750257-02902003
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 63,319
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

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Authorization and the Right to Punish in Hobbes.Michael J. Green - 2016 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 97 (1):113-139.
Defence, Civil Honour, and Artificial Will.Boyd Jonathan - 2015 - Hobbes Studies 28 (1):35-49.
Public Reason and the Hobbesian Dilemma.Shane Courtland - 2007 - Hobbes Studies 20 (1):63-92.
Egoism, Reason, and the Social Contract.A. P. Martinich - 2012 - Hobbes Studies 25 (2):209-222.
Hobbesian Political Authority and the Right of Resistance.Andrew I. Cohen - 1994 - Dissertation, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
The Right to Punish in Thomas Hobbes's Leviathan.Arthur Yates - 2014 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 52 (2):233-254.
Austin and the Electors.Pavlos Eleftheriadis - 2011 - Canadian Journal of Law and Jurisprudence 24 (2):441-453.
Hobbes's Theory of Rights.Eleanor Ann Curran - 1998 - Dissertation, City University of New York

Analytics

Added to PP index
2016-10-30

Total views
18 ( #586,224 of 2,448,685 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #447,034 of 2,448,685 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes