Sovereignty and Obedience

Ursula Goldenbaum

in The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy in Early Modern Europe

Published in print January 2011 | ISBN: 9780199556137
Published online May 2011 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Philosophy

Sovereignty and Obedience

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  • History of Western Philosophy
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This article examines the treatment of the concepts of sovereignty and obedience in early modern Europe. It explores the conflicting conceptions of the people's right of resistance to the king as they developed in the political upheavals following the Reformation. It describes Thomas Hobbes and Baruch Spinoza's more differentiated and coherent concept of sovereignty and their discussion of civil rights. It also discusses the understanding of sovereignty and obedience that was developed by Samuel Pufendorf, John Locke, and Christian Wolff based on the radical ideas of Hobbes and Spinoza.

Keywords: sovereignty; obedience; Europe; people's right; Thomas Hobbes; Baruch Spinoza; civil rights; Samuel Pufendorf; John Locke; Christian Wolff

Article.  10938 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy ; History of Western Philosophy ; Social and Political Philosophy

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