Hobbes Studies 24 (2):137-157 (2011)
AbstractThe degree to which Hobbes's citizenry retains its right to resist sovereign power has been the source of a significant debate. It has been argued by a number of scholars that there is a clear avenue for legitimate rebellion in Hobbes's state, as described in the Leviathan - in this work, Hobbes asserts that subjects can retain their natural right to self-preservation in civil society, and that this represents an inalienable right that cannot, under any circumstances, be transferred to the sovereign. The conclusion frequently drawn from this feature of Hobbes's account is that it places a considerable limit on sovereign authority. The right to self-preservation has been taken as proof that Hobbes sought to ensure that the sovereign's power relies upon the continual consent of the individuals that make up his or her constituency. I want to examine Hobbes's account of this civil right in Leviathan in order to show that this line of interpretation is ultimately unfounded. While self-preservation results from the individual's own judgment of threats to her personal safety, it is justified in only the most strictly delineated contexts. Judgments regarding the overall peace and security of the state do not, and cannot, fall to individual experiences and judgments. Hobbes is quite adamant that individuals are not appropriate judges of right and wrong action in matters the sovereign legislates
Similar books and articles
Hobbes's Struggle with Contractual Obligation. On the Status of the Laws of Nature in Hobbes's Work.Matthias Kiesselbach - 2010 - Hobbes Studies 23 (2):105-123.
The Seat of Sovereignty: Hobbes on the Artificial Person of the Commonwealth or State.Christine Chwaszcza - 2012 - Hobbes Studies 25 (2):123-142.
I. Yet Another Hobbes.David P. Gauthier - 1969 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 12 (1-4):449-465.
Why Hobbes' State of Nature is Best Modeled by an Assurance Game.Michael Moehler - 2009 - Utilitas 21 (3):297-326.
The Coherence of Hobbes's Leviathan: Civil and Religious Authority Combined.Eric Brandon - 2007 - Continuum.
State of Nature or Eden?: Thomas Hobbes and His Contemporaries on the Natural Condition of Human Beings.Helen Thornton - 2005 - University of Rochester Press.
Happiness in a Mechanistic Universe: Thomas Hobbes on the Nature and Attainability of Happiness.Severin V. Kitanov - 2011 - Hobbes Studies 24 (2):117-136.
Obligation and Advantage in Hobbes' Leviathan.Mark Peacock - 2010 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 40 (3):433-458.
Added to PP
Historical graph of downloads
References found in this work
Hobbes and Individualism.Alan Ryan - 1988 - In G. A. J. Rogers & Alan Ryan (eds.), Perspectives on Thomas Hobbes. Oxford University Press.
The Catching of Leviathan, or the Great Whale.John Bramhall - 1995 - In G. A. J. Rogers, Robert Filmer, George Lawson, John Bramhall & Edward Hyde Clarendon (eds.), Leviathan: Contemporary Responses to the Political Theory of Thomas Hobbes. Thoemmes Press.