PHL265 T Sept 20 hobbes 14,15,20,21.docx

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19 Apr 2012
PHL265 T Sept 20, 2011 and W Sept 21, 2011 Hobbes Chapters 14,15,20,21 and Kavka Reading Notes
Chapter 20: Of Dominion Paternal and Despotical
-a commonwealth by acquisition is that where the sovereign power is acquired by force
-acquired when men singly or plurally for fear of death or bonds give up their lives and liberty to a single power
-men who choose their sovereign do so for fear of one another, and not of him who they institute
-when acquired by force, men do fear their sovereign and choose him because of this
-both cases are motivated by fear
-he that promises has no right in the thing promised
-the rights and consequences of sovereignty are the same in both methods of acquisition (p218 {3})
Dominion acquired in two ways
-by generation, that which parent has over child, is paternal
-in the state of nature, the mother has dominion over the child because only she knows the father
-the child ought to obey him who preserve it
-he that has dominion over another also rules all that is his, as well as him
-dominion acquired by conquest or victory in war is despotical; master over servant relationship
-man’s own covenant gives the right of despotical dominion
-rights and consequences of paternal and despotical dominion are the same with a sovereign by institute
-where a number of men are manifestly too weak to defend themselves united, he must do his best to defend himself
-the sovereign is responsible to be judge, to prescribe rules of discerning good and evil, which rules are laws, and so he
has the legislative power
-the worst occurrence to a commonwealth is when its subjects disobey the covenants that form the commonwealth
Chapter 21: Of the Liberty of Subjects
Liberty/Freedom signifies absence of opposition (external impediments of motion) and is applied to both rational and
irrational beings
Free-man he who has the power to do what is in his strength and wit to do without hindrance, at his will
-that which is not subject to motion is not subject to impediment
Free-will man finds no stop in doing what he has the will, desire or inclination to do
-liberty and fear co-exist, although fear of consequence is in place; a man is not coerced to act through fear, but so
submits to act of his own free will
-all actions proceed from necessity through being an effect of a cause; liberty and necessity are thus compatible; water
flows freely, but also descends by necessity to a like e.g.
-God created the necessity of man having freewill if God is free to create, liberty is not restricted, as God cannot be
restricted because of what defines him as God
-commonwealth is artificial, created by artificial chains known as civil laws, which they themselves impose by covenants
-the commonwealth cannot completely restrict liberty of its subjects (thoughts, words, etc.) and so it necessarily follows
that men have the liberty of doing what their own reasons shall suggest are the most profitable to themselves
-liberty of the subject is consistent with unlimited power of sovereign
-in the act of our submission consists both our obligation and liberty; all men equally are by nature free
End of the institution of sovereignty the peace of the subjects within themselves, and their defence against a common
-every subject has liberty in all those things the right whereof cannot by covenant be transferred
-covenants not to defend one’s own body are void
-a man is not bound to confess his crimes because no man can be obliged by covenant to accuse himself
-no man is bound by the words themselves, to kill himself or any other human
-a man that is commanded as a soldier to fight, thought his sovereign has the right to punish his refusal with death, has
the right to refuse (without injustice, if he finds a replacement, and so does not desert his duty to his commonwealth)
-to avoid battle is not injustice, but cowardice
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