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Hobbes on Equality: Context, Rhetoric, Argument *

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It is often argued that Hobbes’s arguments for natural and political equality are used instrumentally. This paper does not argue against the instrumental arguments but seeks to broaden the discussion; to analyse aspects of Hobbes’s arguments and comments on equality that are often ignored. In the context of the anti-egalitarian arguments of leading contemporary royalist commentators, Hobbes’s arguments and remarks are strikingly egalitarian. The paper argues, first, that there is an ideological disagreement between Hobbes and leading royalists on equality. Second, that Hobbes believes in natural equality as well as using the arguments for equality instrumentally.

Affiliations: 1: Lecturer; Kent Law School, University of Kent, Eliot College Canterbury CT2 7NS, UK, E-mail: e.a.curran@kent.ac.uk

10.1163/18750257-02502003
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/content/journals/10.1163/18750257-02502003
2012-01-01
2016-12-03

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