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Hobbes, History, and Non-domination

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Pettit's and Skinner's stimulating books are open to historically-minded objections. Pettit's reading of Hobbes is Rousseauian, but he rejects the Hobbesian/Rousseauian belief that some modern people are driven by amour-propre/“glory”. If Hobbes is right, there is, in Pettit's sense, no “common good”. Skinner's treatment of the neo-Roman “theorists” over-estimates their self-consciousness and their consistency. Leviathan chapter 21 is not a response to neo-Romanism; it treats civil liberty as non-obligation, not as non-interference.

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