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The Logic of LeviathanThe Moral and Political Theory of Thomas Hobbes$
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David P. Gauthier

Print publication date: 1979

Print ISBN-13: 9780198246169

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198246169.001.0001

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Theory of Authorization

Theory of Authorization

(p.120) IV Theory of Authorization
The Logic of Leviathan

David P. Gauthier

Oxford University Press

This chapter suggests that the political doctrine of Leviathan represents a major advance in Thomas Hobbes's thinking, one which depends almost entirely on the introduction of the concept of authorisation. It sets out the structure of Hobbes's mature political theory in a manner that shows the essential role played by authorisation. The chapter employs the method of analysis used in setting out Hobbes's theory of morality: first, it gives formal definitions of Hobbes's primary political concepts; second, it provides material definitions of these concepts, and indicates briefly the content of the theory; third, it discusses a number of problems that arise in stating Hobbes's theory; fourth and finally, it assesses the adequacy of the theory, both in terms of Hobbes's aims and in terms of its interests.

Keywords:   Leviathan, Thomas Hobbes, authorisation, political theory, morality, political doctrine

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