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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

Chapter:
(p.120) IV Theory of Authorization
Source:
The Logic of Leviathan
Author(s):

David P. Gauthier

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198246169.003.0004

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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