Philosophy Dictionary of Arguments

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Thomas Hobbes on Social Contract - Dictionary of Arguments

Höffe I 214
Social Contract/Leviathan/Hobbes/Höffe: [Leviathan's title copperplate] is an image of the state or sovereign being the representative of all citizens: The citizens authorize the sovereign to act on their behalf.
On the other hand, the citizens are completely absorbed in the almighty state. Neither do they have an existence outside the state, nor can they claim any rights against the sovereign, except the right to protection: the sovereign has to ensure their survival. The community is represented in the body of the king: the king is the people.
HöffeVsHobbes: The title character would be modern if it could also be seen as the reversal of the fact that the people are the king, with the citizens taking possession of the king, i.e. the governance. What speaks against this is that only the body below the head, not the head itself, is made up of little people. >Governance/Hobbes.
Hobbes I 227
Because the contract is a legal transaction to which each party must freely agree, but which is bound by its consent, the pattern of argumentation takes the form of a contract, or more precisely the form of the contract that creates a political society, which is called the "social contract" and the associated theory "(social) contract theory", recently also called contractualism.
Forerunner: Hobbes did not invent the idea of contracts. A precursor is the covenant that the God of Israel makes with his people. In modern times, the idea of a covenant can already be found in John Althusius (1557-1638). But only Hobbes, with the help of the thought experiment "natural state" and legitimatory individualism, worked out the motive into a veritable theory.


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Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.

Hobbes I
Thomas Hobbes
Leviathan: With selected variants from the Latin edition of 1668 Cambridge 1994

Höffe I
Otfried Höffe
Geschichte des politischen Denkens München 2016

Hobbes I
Thomas Hobbes
Leviathan: With selected variants from the Latin edition of 1668 Cambridge 1994


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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2021-07-27
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