Hobbes's Voluntarist Theory of Morals

Hobbes Studies 22 (1):49-69 (2009)
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Abstract

Two interpretations of Hobbes's theory of morals dominate the subject: the Egoistic Reading and the Naturalist Reading . According to ER, all of Hobbes's moral concepts are self-interested at their core. According to NR, Hobbes's Laws of Nature set down genuine moral obligations/virtues both inside of the state of nature and out. This article rejects both of these interpretations in favor of a Voluntarist Reading . On this reading, morality is an artifact of human endeavor, specifically covenanting. Unlike both ER and NR, VR takes seriously Hobbes's claim that there is “no obligation on any man which ariseth not from some act of his own”

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References found in this work

Thomas Hobbes: Moral theorist.David Gauthier - 1979 - Journal of Philosophy 76 (10):547-559.
Hobbes and Spinoza.Noel Malcolm - 1991 - Cambridge University Press.
Hobbes and individualism.Alan Ryan - 1988 - In Graham Alan John Rogers & Alan Ryan (eds.), Perspectives on Thomas Hobbes. Oxford University Press.
Hobbes on justice.D. D. Raphael - 1988 - In Graham Alan John Rogers & Alan Ryan (eds.), Perspectives on Thomas Hobbes. Oxford University Press.

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