A PRIMA FACIE DEFENSE OF HOBBESIAN ABSOLUTISM
Article first published online: 11 NOV 2009
© 2009 The Author. Journal compilation © 2009 University of Southern California and Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
Pacific Philosophical Quarterly
Volume 90, Issue 4, pages 419–449, December 2009
How to Cite
COURTLAND, S. D. (2009), A PRIMA FACIE DEFENSE OF HOBBESIAN ABSOLUTISM. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly, 90: 419–449. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-0114.2009.01348.x
- Issue published online: 11 NOV 2009
- Article first published online: 11 NOV 2009
Hobbes advocates ‘thin absolutism’; a system of authority that merely ensures respect of the core concepts of sovereignty – hierarchy and normative closure. This new interpretation of Hobbes's absolutism shows that the concerns regarding sovereign tyranny are not fatal to his account of political authority. With thin absolutism, the sovereign is neither necessarily ineffective nor inherently dangerous. This, then, leaves Hobbesian absolutism in the position of being a ‘reasonable contender’– a system of political authority that might require our allegiance, but at the very least requires serious attention.