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Vol 21 No 9 Sept/Oct 2016

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Goode on Commercial Law

Edited by: Ewan McKendrick
Price: £170.00

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Hobbes on Legal Authority and Political Obligation

ISBN13: 9781137490247
Published: September 2015
Publisher: Palgrave Scholarly
Country of Publication: UK
Format: Hardback
Price: £60.00

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According to the standard interpretation, Hobbes argues that subjects have binding political obligations because the sanctions for non-compliance provided by the law give them sufficient reason to obey. This view comprises an account of law and a theory of political obligation. The standard interpretation considers that for Hobbes the characteristic feature of law lies in its causal capacity to compel subjects to obey by the use of physical force or the threat to use physical force. In turn, this reading states that subjects are bound to obey the law because so acting best promotes their rational self-interest.

Hobbes on Legal Authority and Political Obligation challenges this reading, and develops an alternative interpretation of Hobbes's theory of political obligation. According to the account developed in the book, the directives issued by the sovereign introduce authoritative requirements, so that the subjects are morally obligated to obey them.

Chapter 1. Introduction
1.1. The Project
1.2. Method
1.3. Strategy
1.4. Textual Evidence
Chapter 2. Coercion, Rational Self-Interest, and Obligation
2.1. Conflict in the State of Nature
2.2. Anti-Social Passions and Sanctions for Non-Compliance
2.3. Legal Coercion, Private Good, and the Common Good
2.4. The End of the Story?
2.5. Lloyd's Account
Chapter 3. The Authority of Law
3.1. The Concept of Authority
3.2. Even For the Rationally and Morally Perfect
3.3. The Command Theory of Law
3.4. Arbitration
3.5. Beliefs or Actions?
Chapter 4. Political Obligation
4.1. Egoism
4.2. Moral Reasons in Hobbes?
4.3. The Theory of Political Obligation
4.4. The Mutual Containment Thesis
4.5. The Rationale for Political Disobedience
Chapter 5. Contractarianism
5.1. Hobbes' Account: An Interpretation
5.2. What Difference does the Sovereign Make?
5.3. Contractual Obligation: Prudential or Deontological?
5.4. Obligation and Reason
Chapter 6. The Hobbesian Analysis of Contracts under Coercion: A Critique
6.1. Hobbes on Voluntariness, Coercion, and Obligation
6.2. Coercion, Rationality and Voluntariness
6.3. Rationality without Voluntariness
6.4. Conclusion
Final Remarks