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The Opinion of MankindSociability and the Theory of the State from Hobbes to Smith$
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Paul Sagar

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780691178882

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691178882.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM PRINCETON SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.princeton.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Princeton University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PRSO for personal use.date: 20 September 2021

History and the Family

History and the Family

Chapter:
(p.67) Chapter Two History and the Family
Source:
The Opinion of Mankind
Author(s):

Paul Sagar

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691178882.003.0003

This chapter examines the role of history and the family in debates over human sociability and the foundations of politics, drawing attention to how David Hume was able to revolutionize the use of state-of-nature conjectures in order to elucidate the emergence of institutional structures and related moral values. According to Thomas Hobbes, human psychology was fundamentally characterized by the balancing of appetites and aversions: all motivation could be explained in terms of the seeking of private pleasure and the avoidance of private pain. Bernard Mandeville essentially followed Hobbes, refusing to give any role to fellow feeling in explaining human sociability. The chapter first considers Hume's rejection of Hobbes's and Mandeville's reductive accounts of human psychology before discussing Hobbes's views on the question of the family and his notion of the state of nature. It also analyzes the debate involving Hobbes's British successors, namely: Mandeville, Anthony Ashley Cooper, and Francis Hutcheson.

Keywords:   history, family, sociability, David Hume, Thomas Hobbes, human psychology, Bernard Mandeville, state of nature, Anthony Ashley Cooper, Francis Hutcheson

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