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Abstract

The classical social contract tradition of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries has come under significant scrutiny from those interested in the place of women in the philosophical canon, and Thomas Hobbes has been indicted along with John Locke, Immanuel Kant, and Jean-Jacques Rousseau. These philosophers have been accused of holding misogynistic beliefs and, more damningly, founding their theories on sexist and patriarchal assumptions. This paper explores the extent to which Hobbes deserves his place on the list of the condemned.