Chapter

Sovereign Authority and the Right of Resistance I

Mark Philp and Z. A. Pelczynski

in Machiavelli, Hobbes, and Rousseau

Published in print June 2012 | ISBN: 9780199645060
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191741616 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199645060.003.0010
Sovereign Authority and the Right of Resistance I

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Plamenatz examines Hobbes’ claims that the sovereign can never act unjustly; that unlimited sovereign authority should be concentrated in the hands of one man whose subjects cannot rightfully disobey; and that the sovereign’s right is unlimited. The argument for absolute authority ignores the need for security of those who covenant, the distinction between sovereignty by consent and conquest, and the force of the obligations under the law of nature. Each suggests limits on sovereign authority. Hobbes’s account of the sovereign’s authority over religious belief is analysed.

Keywords: Hobbes; sovereignty; authority; law; justice; iniquity; disobedience; right of nature; security; religious belief; toleration

Chapter.  10029 words. 

Subjects: History of Western Philosophy

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