A Pseudo Dichotomy: Hobbism and Kantianism in Political Philosophy



This article examines the nature of a common tendency in studies of the political philosophies of Hobbes and Kant to presume that a dichotomy exists between them. In order to investigate this tendency, the two prevailing approaches in current scholarship on Kant and Hobbes are explored, and the content of two ideologies on which these studies heavily rely, Hobbism and Kantianism, are revealed. In the final section, a discussion of Hobbes' and Kant's theories of international politics will be used to point to how this tendency functions and what consequences it has for the study of political philosophy. The article closes by drawing attention to the wider implications of this tendency when it is applied to studies of Western political thought.