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Machiavelli, Hobbes, and Rousseau$
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John Plamenatz, Mark Philp, and Zbigniew Pelczynski

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199645060

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199645060.001.0001

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A General Assessment of Hobbes’s Political Philosophy

A General Assessment of Hobbes’s Political Philosophy

Chapter:
(p.83) 6 A General Assessment of Hobbes’s Political Philosophy
Source:
Machiavelli, Hobbes, and Rousseau
Author(s):

Mark Philp

Z. A. Pelczynski

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199645060.003.0007

Plamenatz emphasizes that Hobbes is a systematic thinker, who turns to politics (and away from his plan of work) only because of the context in which he wrote. His conclusions were new and bold and derived from a view of the working of the human mind and of human needs. He showed how submission to authority is related to distinctive human wants and capacities. He was a materialist and nominalist who believed in the importance of clear definitions and an axiomatic structure to arguments, but he himself often fell short of this standard.

Keywords:   Hobbes, psychology, definitions, language, geometry, materialism, nominalism, utilitarianism, individualism, religion

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