'The Elements' and Hobbesian moral thinking
Cromartie, A. (2011) 'The Elements' and Hobbesian moral thinking. History of Political Thought, 32 (1). pp. 21-47. ISSN 0143-781X
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It is easy to read Hobbes's moral thinking as a deviant contribution to 'modern' natural law, especially if Leviathan (1651) is read through a lens provided by De Cive (1642). But The Elements of Law (1640) encourages the view that Hobbes's argument is 'physicalist', that is, that it requires no premises beyond those required by his physics of matter in motion. The Elements included a draft De Homine and its argument is intimately connected with De Cive's; it shows how such concepts as 'reason', 'right', 'natural law' and 'obligation' can be understood in physicalist terms. But Hobbes's decision to print the latter work in isolation has led to serious misunderstandings
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