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Constitutions and the ClassicsPatterns of Constitutional Thought from Fortescue to Bentham$
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Denis Galligan

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780198714989

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198714989.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 03 December 2021

Constitutions in Hobbes’s Science of Politics

Constitutions in Hobbes’s Science of Politics

(p.108) 4 Constitutions in Hobbes’s Science of Politics
Constitutions and the Classics

Tom Sorell

Oxford University Press

This chapter begins by showing how Hobbes’s preference for concentrated and unlimited sovereignty grows out of his view that being warlike is human nature. It then traces the systematic opposition between Hobbes’s views and those on citizenship and constitutions in Aristotle’s Politics. It considers the ways in which Hobbes can plausibly call the Aristotelianism that he repudiates ‘pre-scientific’. It argues that Hobbes’s radical reduction of Aristotelian constitutional forms, and his deflationary understanding of justice and citizenship, reduce the need for practical wisdom as an adjunct to political life. This helps us to understand what Hobbes means by political science, even if we are not persuaded that it is the huge advance on all previous writers that Hobbes proclaims it to be.

Keywords:   Aristotle, human nature, citizenship, political life, political science, Aristotelianism, constitutional forms

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