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Hobbes and the Social Contract Tradition - Jean Hampton

Hobbes and the Social Contract Tradition

Paperback

Published: 26th August 1988
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This major study of Hobbes's political philosophy draws on recent developments in game and decision theory to explore whether the thrust of the argument in Leviathan, that it is in the interests of the people to create a ruler with absolute power, can be shown to be cogent. Professor Hampton has written a book of vital importance to political philosophers, political and social scientists, and intellectual historians.

'Hampton's ingenious argument ... is the best that has yet been advanced to explain how Hobbesian persons could institute a sovereign.' David Gauthier, Philosophy and Public Affairs

Acknowledgmentsp. ix
A note on texts and referencesp. xi
Introductionp. 1
"Of Man": the foundation of Hobbes's political argumentp. 5
The premisses of Hobbes's argumentp. 5
Hobbes's radical individualismp. 6
Hobbes's materialist psychologyp. 11
Human equalityp. 24
Hobbes's ethicsp. 27
What is the cause of conflict in the state of nature?p. 58
The rationality account of conflictp. 58
The passions account of conflictp. 63
Evaluating the two accountsp. 68
Problems with the passions account of conflictp. 69
Problems with the rationality account of conflictp. 74
Summaryp. 79
The shortsightedness account of conflict and the laws of naturep. 80
Conflict arising because of shortsighted pursuit of self-preservationp. 80
Review of the shortsightedness account of conflictp. 88
The laws of naturep. 89
Hobbes's science of moral philosophy reexaminedp. 92
God and the laws of naturep. 94
The argument for absolute sovereigntyp. 97
Hobbes's regress argument for absolute sovereigntyp. 98
Can absolute sovereignty be invested in all or some of the people?p. 105
Hobbes's legal positivismp. 107
The historical context of the regress argumentp. 110
Authorizing the sovereignp. 114
Authorizationp. 114
The textual evidencep. 117
The regress argument and authorizationp. 122
Authorization and Hobbes's nominalismp. 128
The permanence and continuity of sovereign rulep. 129
Hobbes's social contractp. 132
Problems with Hobbes's social contractp. 132
Agreements of self-interestp. 138
Instituting the sovereign, stage 1p. 147
Instituting the sovereign, stage 2: the leadership-selection problemp. 150
Solving battle-of-the-sexes problemsp. 154
Votingp. 161
Creating a commonwealth by acquisitionp. 166
Instituting the sovereign, stage 3: the problem of empowermentp. 173
Empowerment: the solutionp. 176
Review of the argument in this chapterp. 186
The failure of Hobbes's social contract argumentp. 189
Would Hobbesian people in the state of nature desire to institute a sovereign?p. 190
Leviathan shown to be a "rebel's catechism"p. 197
Can Hobbes's argument be salvaged?p. 208
The first modified argument: authorization as conversionp. 208
Hobbes's second modified argument: the fallback positionp. 220
The "agency" social agreement in the fallback positionp. 224
The fallback position in the textp. 239
Evaluating the fallback position: how Lockean is it?p. 247
How the traditional social contract argument worksp. 256
Can a consistent and plausible alienation social contract theory be constucted?p. 256
The justificational and explanatory force of agency social contract argumentsp. 266
Dissolving the paradox of being governedp. 279
Bibliographyp. 285
Indexp. 293
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780521368278
ISBN-10: 0521368278
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 318
Published: 26th August 1988
Publisher: CAMBRIDGE UNIV PR
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.94 x 15.24  x 2.18
Weight (kg): 0.44