Hobbes Studies 16 (1):95-104 (2003)

Currently the dominant interpretation of Hobbes in the field of moral and political philosophy is as a social contract theorist: that he legitimates moral rules and sovereign power by arguing that we would agree we are better off obeying a sovereign than living in a state of nature, and that we are best off if that sovereign is an absolute monarch. There are interesting alternatives to this reading of Hobbes—Warrender’s divine-command interpretation and Boonin-Vail’s virtue theory interpretation, to name just two—but it is not my purpose here to debate their relative merits. Rather, I want to comment on one of the main features of the social contract view, namely, the means of maintaining political stability.
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DOI 10.1163/187502503X00063
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