The Paradoxical Hobbes

Political Theory 37 (5):676-688 (2009)
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Attention has turned from Hobbes the systematic thinker to his inconsistencies, as the essays in the Hobbes symposium published in the recent volume of Political Theory suggest. Deborah Baumgold, in “The Difficulties of Hobbes Interpretation,” shifted the focus to “the history of the book,” and Hobbes’s method of serial composition and peripatetic insertion, as a major source of his inconsistency. Accepting Baumgold’s method, the author argues that the manner of composition does not necessarily determine content and that fundamental paradoxes in Hobbes’s work have a different provenance, for which there are also contextual answers. Hobbes was a courtier’s client, but one committed early to a materialist ontology and epistemology, and these commitments shackled him in treating the immediate political questions with which he was required to deal, leading to systemic paradoxes in his treatment of natural law, liberty, authorization, and consent.
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Hobbes, Civil Law, Liberty and theElements of Law.Patricia Springborg - 2016 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 19 (1):47-67.

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