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The Making of Modern Liberalism$
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Alan Ryan

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780691148403

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691148403.001.0001

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Hobbes’s Political Philosophy

Hobbes’s Political Philosophy

(p.159) 8 Hobbes’s Political Philosophy
The Making of Modern Liberalism

Alan Ryan

Princeton University Press

This chapter examines some questions in Thomas Hobbes's political philosophy, with the objective of identifying what, if anything, Hobbes thought to be the central problem, or problems, of politics. It links these questions to an account of why the state of nature is so intolerable, of how we may leave it, and whether the manner of our leaving is well explained by Hobbes. The chapter also considers the implications for Hobbes's account of the rights and duties of the sovereign, along with the contentious issue of the subject's right, in extremis, to reject his sovereign and rebel. Finally, it analyzes Hobbes's account of the nature of punishment, his conception of the law of nature, his theory of political obligation, the role (or lack of a role) of religious belief in his political system, and his views on liberty.

Keywords:   political philosophy, Thomas Hobbes, politics, punishment, law of nature, political obligation, religious belief, liberty, rights

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