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From Precision to Peace; Hobbes and Political Language

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My intention is to explore the Hobbesian account of civil association in terms of his conception of the state of nature, especially as it relates to his view of language in politics. I start from the view that the achievement of a political philosopher must be to reveal some central presupposition of our thought and action, as the Greeks did in their exploration of justice, Rousseau with the general will, and Locke with the idea of property. Hobbes takes the view that we cannot properly understand ideas such as sovereignty, government, law, obligation and so on without presupposing the kind of unstable conflict-ridden situation he called the condition of nature.

Affiliations: 1: London School of Economics


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