A Defense of Hobbes's "Just Man"

Hobbes Studies 15 (1):68-86 (2002)
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Is genuinely just behavior possible for Hobbesian agents? More perspicuously, does Hobbes allow that at least some individuals conceive of justice as not simply a means to self-preservation, but furthermore, as a worthwhile end in its own right? In a recent issue of Hobbes Studies I answered both of these questions in the affirmative.1 Therein, however, for reasons of space I neglected to explore and defend adequately Hobbes's conception of the "Just Man" as someone for whom genuinely just behavior is, in the Jamesian sense, a "live option." I intend to correct this scholarly deficit forthwith by proffering what I consider to be a thorough defense thereof. Those who advocate the Standard Reading of Hobbes as an egoist will, of course, α priori dismiss such claims as "astonishing" to say the least.2 Nonetheless, if my exegesis and defense is successful then SR will have to undergo a transformation; succinctly, proponents of SR will be forced to acknowledge the Just Man's presence and to weaken their presuppositions and conclusions accordingly . I begin by cataloging and critically commenting upon the numerous references Hobbes makes to the "Just Man" throughout the major works that constitute his moral and political corpus: The Elements of Law , De Cive and both the English and Latin versions of Leviathan .3 I then turn in the next section to a defense of the possibility of genuinely just behavior on the part of Hobbesian individuals by responding to four powerful objections proffered by the proponents of SR



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Citations of this work

Evidencia crucial: la teoría de la obligación contractual de Hobbes.Luciano Venezia - 2016 - Las Torres de Lucca: Revista Internacional de Filosofía Política 5 (8):151-184.

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References found in this work

Hobbes and Psychological Egoism.Bernard Gert - 1967 - Journal of the History of Ideas 28 (4):503-520.

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