1st Edition

Hobbes on Law

Edited By

Claire Finkelstein

ISBN 9780754621782
Published March 4, 2005 by Routledge
608 Pages

USD $350.00

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

In the course of articulating his monumental theory of political justification, Thomas Hobbes developed a sustained and detailed approach to law and legal questions. Unfortunately legal philosophers have largely ignored Hobbes' remarks on law, and philosophers have only begun to explore it. This collection aims to spur interest in Hobbes' legal philosophy, by collecting the best recent philosophical writings on Hobbes' views on law. The essays address questions such as whether Hobbes was a positivist, a natural law theorist or neither. They also address Hobbes' treatment of natural law, his account of equity, as well as his more specific views on topics like contract, punishment, self-defense, civil disobedience, and international law. The essays collected here provide an excellent survey of the various legal questions Hobbes addressed.

Table of Contents

Contents: Hobbes's Legal Theory: Hobbes on law, M.M. Goldsmith; Was Hobbes a legal positivist?, Mark C. Murphy; Thomas Hobbes and the contractarian theory of law, David Gauthier; Hobbes and the legitimacy of law, David Dyenhaus; In defense of a Hobbesian conception of law, Robert Ladenson. Hobbes on Natural Law and Natural Right: Hobbes and the laws of nature, David Gauthier; Hobbes' self-effacing natural law theory, S.A. Lloyd; The right of nature in The Leviathan, D.J.C. Carmichael; Right reason and natural law in Hobbes's ethics, Gregory S. Kavka. Hobbes on Equity: Hobbes on equity and justice, Larry May; Justice and equity: an inquiry into the meaning and role of equity in the Hobbesian account of justice and politics, William Mathie. Hobbes on Contract: The legal origins of Thomas Hobbes's doctrine of contract, Robinson A. Grover; Analyzing Hobbes's contract, M.T. Dalgarno; Hobbes's contract theory, Larry May. Hobbes on Punishment and Compensation: Hobbes's theory of punishment, Mario A. Cattaneo; Hobbes on capital punishment, David Heyd; Hobbes, formalism and corrective justice, Anita L. Allen and Maria H. Morales. Hobbes on Self -Defense, Revolution and the Duty to Obey the Law: Hobbes on fidelity to law, Larry May; A puzzle about Hobbes on self-defense, Claire Finkelstein; Subjects and soldiers: Hobbes on military service, Deborah Baumgold; Hobbes on conscientious disobedience, Mark C. Murphy; Democracy and the rule of law, Jean Hampton; Hobbes, Locke, and the problem of the rule of law, Michael P. Zuckert. Hobbes on International Law: Hobbes and the international anarchy, Hedley Bull; Hobbes and the concept of international law, Robinson A. Grover; Hobbes on international relations, Tommy L. Lott; Name index.

View More



Claire Finkelstein is Professor at the School of Law, University of Pennsylvania, USA.


’Finkelstein has done non-specialists a service by collecting, in one place, a variety of readings that make close analysis of Hobbes' ideas... readily available’ The Law and Politics Book Review, Vol. 15 No. 11