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Hobbes V


									Hobbes V (Pt II, chs. 19-21)

          PHIL 2345
                   Regimes (ch. 19)
Regime             Monarchy           Aristocracy      Democracy

Alternate          Tyranny            Oligarchy        Anarchy

Succession         No issue/ infant   n/a              n/a
                   under regency

Vices              Greed, a few       Demagogues,      Demagogues,
                   flatterers         some favorites   many favorites
                                                       (cf. Aristotle)
Internal discord   One cannot         The few may      Mob fickleness
                   disagree w/        readily agree    (cf. Aristotle)
       Dominion by Conquest--
         ’Despoticall’ (ch. 20)
• Instead of instituting the sovereign by
• Sovereign may be imposed by conquest
• This is acceptable because you are saving
  your own life:
  – right of nature (ch. 14)
  – analogy to paying a ransom for a person’s life.
      What is the difference?
• In case of institution by Covenant:
  – ‘…men who choose their Soveraign, do it for
    fear of one another, and not of him whom they
• Institution by conquest:
• ‘…in this case, they subject themselves, to
  him they are afraid of’ (111).
     Dominion by Conquest (ch. 20)

• Master-servant relation
• Submission by ‘Vanquished, to avoyd the
  present stroke of death’
• Submission is voluntary; the Vanquished could
  elect to be killed (but this contrary to RoN);
• Right of Victor to dominion is sealed by a
  Covenant between the Vanquished and the
  Victor (113);
• Covenant, not conquest, confers the right of
  dominion (113).
 Dominion by Generation (ch. 20)
• Usually settled by law
• Father usually has dominion over the
  child, but not necessarily;
• Child may give its consent--‘expresse or
  by other sufficient arguments declared’
• In SoN, however, dominion belongs to the
• The same rule prevails today in Judaism!
         Summary (ch. 20)
• ‘In summe the Rights and Consequences
  of both Paternall and Despoticall
  Dominion, are the very same with those of
  a Soveraign by Institution; and for the
  same reasons: which reasons are set
  down in the precedent chapter’ (114).
    Why any Sovereign is better
        than none—again!
• ‘…there happeneth in no Common-wealth any
  great Inconvenience, but what proceeds from
  the Subjects[‘] disobedience, and breach of
  those Covenants, from which the Common-
  wealth had its being’ (114).
• ‘In those Nations, whose Common-wealths have
  been long-lived…the Subjects did never did
  dispute the Soveraign power’ (114).
             Liberty (ch. 21)
       from Latin, ‘libertas’, liberal
• = ‘absence of Opposition’
• Fear/necessity consistent w/ liberty:
   – When we act from fear, we still act freely, e.g.
     throwing our goods overboard to save a ship is a
     voluntary act
   – Yet every action has a cause, and is therefore
     necessary, pre-determined (like acting according to
• Laws = ‘Artificiall Chains’
   – one end fastened to lips of Sovereign Man/Assembly;
     other to ears of subjects.
                    Liberty, cont.
• Liberty to choose abode, diet, education
   – freedom of choice where law is silent; depends on law of
     particular state (122)
   – May sue the S. in matters separate from S’s power (123)
   – no universally valid laws/rights for all humans, except RoN.
• Power of life/death rests w/ Sovereign
• Subject authorizes what Sovereign does (119)
• Individual = a subject, under law and sovereign, by
• Recall that there may be no limit set to the actions of the
 Exceptions to obligation (124)
• Banishment: one does not owe allegiance
  to Sovereign during period of exile
• POW’s—may serve one’s captor,
  according to RoN
  – But also entitled to seek to escape for same
  – A great deal—you can have it both ways!
• Sovereign dies w/out issue or intestate
• Sovereign abandons sovereignty.
      Essence of Sovereignty—
         binds the Subjects
• Job of Sovereign is to provide protection
• If it cannot or will not do this, the subjects’
  obligation Is void:
  – ‘The Sovereignty is the Soule of the Common-
    wealth, which once departed from the Body,
    the members doe no more receive their
    motion from it. The end of Obedience is
    Protection…’ (123).
  Negative vs Positive Freedom
• Sir Isaiah Berlin (20th cent.)
• Positive Freedom =
   – ‘the freedom to’
   – States in SoN/SoW
   – Liberty of most ancients (Hobbes, 119)
• Negative freedom
   – ‘the freedom from’
   – liberty of Athenians, Aristotle, Cicero
   – universalised particular laws of their commonwealths
• Wrong notion: liberty as personal freedom.
      Hobbes on Democracy
• ‘…by reading of these Greek and Latin
  authors, men from their childhood have
  gotten a habit…of favouring tumults and of
  licentious controlling of their Soveraigns…
• …as I think I may truly say, there was
  never any thing so deerly bought, as these
  Western parts have bought the learning of
  the Greek and Latine tongues’ (121).
      RoN and the Sovereign
• Rights that cannot be transferred to the
  – right to do anything possible to preserve one’s
    life (RoN)
• Even If this means fighting the Sovereign
• Probably futile, but one’s natural
The Right that cannot be abrogated
• The Subject may resist orders (121-2)
  – to kill, maim or wound himself
  – to abstain from food, drink, air or other necessities
  – to incriminate himself
  – to be conscripted—to run from battle is natural and
    merely dishonorable, not unjust
  – (However, a volunteer soldier is obligated to serve!)
• But he may not oppose Sovereign’s assaults on
  others (122):
  – To do so is to obstruct the S’s role of protecting us.

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