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Hobbes on Politics and Religion$
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Laurens van Apeldoorn and Robin Douglass

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198803409

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198803409.001.0001

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Religious Conflict and Moral Consensus

Religious Conflict and Moral Consensus

Hobbes, Rawls, and Two Types of Moral Justification

(p.239) 14 Religious Conflict and Moral Consensus
Hobbes on Politics and Religion

Daniel Eggers

Oxford University Press

This chapter is devoted to Hobbes’s attempt to set up the moral theory that grounds his political argument in a way that makes it equally acceptable to proponents of quite different religious and ideological views. The purpose of the chapter is, first, to demonstrate that Hobbes does in fact pursue this strategy and appeal to a consensus omnium at various points of his derivation of the state of war and his doctrine of natural law and natural right; secondly, to systematically describe Hobbes’s underlying approach as an example of ‘extra-moral justification’ and contrast it with John Rawls’s appeal to an ‘overlapping consensus’ as an example of ‘intra-moral justification’; and thirdly, to assess the respective merits of the two types of moral justification with regard to the challenge of religious pluralism.

Keywords:   Thomas Hobbes, John Rawls, moral justification, consensus, contractarianism, reciprocity interpretation, Golden Rule

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