Chapter

Theory of Authorization

David P. Gauthier

in The Logic of Leviathan

Published in print October 1979 | ISBN: 9780198246169
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191680939 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198246169.003.0004
                   Theory of Authorization

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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

Chapter.  20739 words. 

Subjects: History of Western Philosophy ; Social and Political Philosophy

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