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Machiavelli, Hobbes, and Rousseau$
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John Plamenatz, Mark Philp, and Zbigniew Pelczynski

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199645060

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199645060.001.0001

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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: 22 January 2022

Obligation, Law, and Covenant I

Obligation, Law, and Covenant I

(p.99) 7 Obligation, Law, and Covenant I
Machiavelli, Hobbes, and Rousseau

Mark Philp

Z. A. Pelczynski

Oxford University Press

Hobbes is the first systematic attempt to explain how obligation and law are connected to man’s needs and interests. The central problem is to explain why men should keep covenants when they could gain by not doing so, while sustaining Hobbes’s view that obligations arise only from covenants. Hobbes sometimes implies that there can be no obligations in a state of nature, and some argue that obligations arise from laws of nature conceived as commands of God. A further issue is whether there is anything moral about Hobbes’s view of obligation?

Keywords:   Hobbes, law, obligation, consent, covenant, duty, right, Warrender, God, reciprocity, state of nature, war, trust, egoism

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