Defending the Hobbesian Right of Self-Defense.

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  • Author(s): Sreedhar, Susanne
  • Source:
    Political Theory. Dec2008, Vol. 36 Issue 6, p781-802. 22p.
  • Additional Information
    • Subject Terms:
    • Abstract:
      A well-known part of Hobbes's political theory is his discussion of the inalienability of the right of self-defense. In this article, I present and defend a reinterpretation of Hobbes's account of self-defense. I begin by showing the weaknesses of the standard interpretation of this account: It rests on an implausible thesis about the evil of death; it renders Hobbes's applications of the right of self-defense inexplicable; and it conflicts with Hobbes's claim that there are cases in which the right of self-defense can be given up. I argue that we should understand Hobbes's claim to be that the right of self-defense is inalienable only in the social contract, and I offer a new interpretation of how his argument on this point might go. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
    • Abstract:
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