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Authority and justification : the case of Thomas Hobbes MacDonald, David Ross 1994

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AUThORITY AND JUSTIFICATION:THE CASE OF THOMAS HOBBESbyDAVID ROSS MACDONALDB.A., Simon Fraser University, 1992A THESIS SUBMI’UIbD IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OFTHE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OFMASTER OF ARTSinTHE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES(Department of Political Science)We accept this thesis as conformingto the required standardTHE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIAOctober 1994© David Ross MacdonaldIn presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanceddegree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make itfreely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensivecopying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of mydepartment or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying orpublication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my writtenpermission.(Signature)________________________________Department of roL.trl UkLThe University of British ColumbiaVancouver, CanadaDate Ocr :?DE-6 (2/88)ABSTRACTThis thesis reviews the concept of authority in general and critically examines thejustification for authority offered by Hobbes. The first chapter aims to develop aparticular conception of authority based on a distinction drawn by Joseph Raz betweenfirst and second order reasons for action. This conception construes the suspension ofjudgement that obedience to authority is typically said to entail in terms of bindingsecond order reasons for action which serve to pre-empt individuals’ contrary firstorder reasons. On this view, authority consists in the right to issue and enforce suchsecond order reasons, or laws. In the second chapter Hobbes’s justification forauthority is considered. The theory is presented in its own right before Hobbes’ s’conclusions are examined in light of the above mentioned conception of authority.This examination reveals an inconsistency in Hobbes’s theory with respect to the rightto rule. Hobbes’ s understands this right as the unimpeded natural right of thesovereign, however, the argument is here submitted that insofar as it entailsenforcement of a system of second order reasons, the right to rule is unlike any rightthat could exist in the state of nature. Insofar as it entails a right to enforce punitivesanctions for violations of authoritative second order reasons for action the right to ruleis essentially a new right. In concluding, the theoretical implications of thisinconsistency in Hobbes are considered and the suggestion is made that Hobbes’ snormative assumptions better support a “service conception” of government than hisown right-based conception.UTABLE OF CONTENTSAbstract iiTable of Contents iiiIntroduction 1Chapter One: The Nature and Problem of Authority 4Chapter Two: The Justification of Authority in Hobbes 33Conclusion 75Bibliography 78111IntroductionThe foundational question of political philosophy is on what grounds one human beingmay be bound to obey another. The correlated concepts of obligation and authority arethus at the very heart of the discipline. Obedience to authority is owed in respect ofthe right to rule, and it is the enjoyment of this right which distinguishes politicalauthorities from other force-wielding groups or individuals who may make behaviouraldemands. Thus, the central normative concern of political philosophers is thejustification of the right to rule. In the second chapter of this thesis we will considerone of the most (in)famous attempts at such a justification, the theory of ThomasHobbes. First, however, we will examine the concept of authority in its own right inan effort to develop a concrete conception of authority to facilitate the later critique ofHobbes.Chapter one begins by considering the place of authority in the state and proceeds tointroduce several important terminological distinctions with respect to authority. Adistinction owing to Joseph Raz between first and second order reasons for action isthen employed to conceptually express the binding character of legitimate authority.This conception is further developed in a discussion of the “surrender of judgement”and the “content-independent commitment” which are said to be entailed by legitimateauthority. The balance of the chapter is spent considering the rational and moral1conundrums that the concept of authority raises. The treatment of the related moralproblems is undertaken in the form of a critique of Robert Paul Wolff’s In Defense ofAnarchism. The chapter ends with the conclusion that the concept of authority isrationally and morally coherent but requires justification in virtue of the threat it posesto autonomy.Chapter two examines Hobbes’s attempted justification of authority. We begin byconsidering the psychological egoism and consequent ethical pluralism to whichHobbes’s ultimately ascribes the need for political authority. In this connection it isobserved that Hobbes’ s rejection of the concept of absolute moral truth left himwithout any obvious means of making his own theory morally compelling. Theinnovative theory of natural rights developed by Hugo Grotius (which posits auniversal right of self-preservation) to which Hobbes appealed in dealing with thisproblem is consequently examined. Having established the moral basis of Hobbes’ stheory, we turn to consider his theory more generally. Hobbes’s case for authority ispresented and its conclusions are examined in light of the conception of authoritydeveloped in chapter one. This examination reveals an inconsistency in Hobbes’stheory with respect to the right to rule. Hobbes views this right as the unimpedednatural right of the sovereign, however, the argument is here developed that to thedegree that it entails the right to enforce a system of authoritative second order reasonsthe right to rule is unlike anything that could exist in the state of nature. The2administration of justice, it is claimed, gives rise to a new kind of right. The chapterends with an attempt to show that Hobbes’ s view of the right to rule yields aconception of government as such which is difficult to square with Hobbes’s ownnormative assumptions. In closing, the suggestion is made that Hobbes might moreconsistently have adopted a “service conception” of government (whereby authority isjustified immediately in terms of benefits conferred on subjects), but was preventedfrom doing so by the urgency of his situation.A brief conclusion re-examines the theoretical implications of Hobbes’s conception ofthe right to rule and indicates how in appropriate circumstances the substantivecharacter of the right that might be justified in terms of the service conception ofgovernment would resemble that which Hobbes sought to justify in terms of a transferof rights. Finally, an open question is posed whether Hobbes recognised thiscoincidence and purposefully chose to couch his theory in more stringent terms, orsimply failed to realise the problems involved in theorising the right to rule in terms ofa transfer of natural rights.31 The Nature and Problem of AuthorityTextbooks of political science in their efforts to define the state occasionallyinvoke the Weberian criterion of a “monopoly of legitimate force.” The claim, ofcourse, is not that the state is alone in enlisting force in pursuit of its ends, formany parties within and outside the state also adopt such means; bank robbers andMafia hit men, to take a couple of obvious examples, employ force no less thanpolicemen and executioners do. Hence, it is not the use of force but the legitimateuse of force that is alleged to be the exclusive domain of the state. In order toexclude private appeals to force such as that of a bank robber or a hit man, thiscriterion of legitimacy at a minimum must require that force be administeredinstitutionally and in pursuit of public ends. Even acknowledging thisqualification, however, a definition of the state construed purely in terms of thelegitimate use of force seems unequal to its task.It has long been accepted that all necessary means are legitimate in acts of self-defence; and from the very nature of such acts it is obvious that these meansinclude force. There is no convincing argument to be made that an act of selfdefence is other than a private act undertaken for the defendant’s own sake, and itwould be patent absurdity to suppose that in undertaking such an act a defendant1 See Max Weber, The Theory ofSocial and Economic Organization, (revised ed.; London: WilliamHodge and Company Limited, 1947), P. 143, for the original statement of this thesis.4were automatically transformed into an agent of the state. If private appeals toforce such as that made in an act of self-defence are legitimate however, the statecan hardly be defined in terms of the alleged monopoly it enjoys in that regard. Ifwe are to find a distinguishing characteristic of the state therefore, we must lookbeyond the legitimate use of force.A definition of the state which depends on a monopoly of legitimate force isuntenable on account of the state’s inability to achieve the said monopoly.2 It isthe emphasis on legitimacy, however, rather than force that is responsible for thistheoretical shortcoming. Determinations of legitimacy are made in respect ofadequate grounds for justification. We have seen how, in light of the traditionalstrong presumption in favour of self-preservation, fixing on legitimate force as thecriterion of statehood renders one unable to narrow the relevant class of agents toinclude only states. Despite this ultimate failure, however, the attempt tocharacterise the state in terms of force is not ill-founded. Indeed, were a definitionto specify not merely that the force in question be legitimate but that it be justifiedin terms of specific conditions, one might successfully single out states in this way.The conditions in question are those which are required for the justification of2 In Weber’ s own mind, the relevant monopoly was not of the use of legitimate force, but rather of thecapacity to determine in any given case the legitimiwy of force. Thus, “the use of force is regarded aslegitimate only so far as it is either permitted by the state, or prescribed by it” (bc. cit.). However, evenon this reading it is not clear that such a monopoly exists. In the next chapter we will consider thetheory of Hobbes, who maintains that the legitimacy of self-defence is independent of the state, andhence that nothing the state might do can affect its legitimacy.5authority, for it is here that the state’s uniqueness lies. The state is privileged not inthe legitimate use of force but rather in its authoritative use. We have seen thatunder certain circumstances individuals might use force legitimately, but (quaindividuals) they cannot use it authoritatively.3 Thus it is in the authoritative use offorce, rather than the legitimate use, that we find the distinguishing characteristicof the state.What exactly is authority, then, that a state might be said to enjoy it in respect tothe use of force whereas a self-defending individual does not? Like the concept oflaw with which it is intertwined, authority does not lend itself to conventionaldefinition. It has recently been remarked that an “explanation of authority is not anattempt to state the meaning of a word. It is a discussion of a concept which isdeeply embedded in the philosophical and political traditions of our culture.”4 InThe case of domestic punishment raises interesting questions in this regard. For do not individuals useforce authoritatively in disciplining their children? While it is indisputable that parents act withauthority over their children and quite likely that the related entitlements extend to the administration ofcorporeal punishments, it is important to realise that a parent’s authority vests not in the individualproper, but in the office of guardian which he or she fills. (Cf. Weber, ibid., pp. 302-329, for adiscussion of the relation between “offices” and authority.) This fact explains how with the dissolutionof that office upon the child’s coming of age the erstwhile entitlements cease.Even allowing that individuals per se cannot authoritatively employ force, however, the fact thatguardians can might appear to land us back where we began, in that we are unable uniquely todistinguish the class of states by appealing to the authoritative use of force as a criterion. It will beappreciated, however, that guardianship is a special case since any single guardian exercises authorityover only a few specific individuals and these latter are not in full possession of their rational faculties.The uniqueness of the state consists in the fact that it exercises authoritative force generally, over thelarge numbers of mature and rational human beings who find themselve within a certain territorialdomain.Joseph Raz, “Authority and Justification,” in J. Raz (ed.) Authority, (Oxford: Basil Blackwell), 1990, p.138.6so far as we are to examine these traditions in what follows, this entire essayrepresents an attempt at such an explanation. There are however a few generalpoints which might be made by way of introduction.The word “authority” is typically used to designate either a particular sort of agent(person, government, etc.) or the capacity that such an agent possesses in virtue ofits relation to others. The present distinction is the rather obvious one betweenhaving authority and being an authority which is unlikely to cause much confusion.A second significant distinction is that between theoretical authority and politicalauthority. The former of these pertains to special expertise; it is the authoritypossessed by those who through study or experience are especially knowledgeablein a particular area. And of course one who attains to such knowledge is anauthority in that field. Beyond one brief reference in comparison, however, in whatfollows we will have nothing to say about theoretical authority as our primaryconcern is with authority in the political sense.It is customary to distinguish between two kinds of political authority: defacto andde juTe.5 De jure authority, which is the archetype to which de facto authoritypretends, is based on a right to rule. This right is correlated to an obligation toobey on the part of those subject to the authority. It is not enough that subjectsSee H. L. A. Hart, The Concept ofLaw, (Oxford:Clarendon Press, 1961), p. ? , for adiscussion of defacto and de jure authority which distinguishes between them in terms of subjects’ being obliged by theformer but having an obligation to the latter.7simply do obey in order for de jure authority to exist, for this they might do forreasons unrelated to obligation. Indeed, it is not enough that the subjects’obedience constitute for them a normative necessity. I might obey the commandsof a hostage taker who threatens to kill innocent people unless I comply with hiswishes. Such obedience might be based on a moral duty to preserve innocenthuman life. But from the fact that I am normatively bound to obey the commandsof the hostage taker it does not follow that he or she is related to me in the way of ade jure authority. De jure authority requires not simply that obedience benormatively grounded, but that it be so grounded in respect of a right to rule.Clearly, a hostage taker enjoys no such right.A related terminological convention contrasts authorities or governments withrespect to their legitimacy or illegitimacy. A government which niles by right it issaid to be legitimate, and is cast in opposition to that of a mere de facto authority,which rules without right. It is sometimes said of such illegitimate governmentsthat they possess not authority but power. The crucial difference between them,however, is that whereas an illegitimate government may oblige its subjects toobey, the subjects of a legitimate government are obligated to obey in virtue of thelatter’s right to rule.8To be obligated by a legitimate authority is to be bound to obey, where the relevantmodal character of “to bind” is one of normative necessity. One might equally besaid to be bound to obey a de facto authority, but what in that case would be meantis that there exists a system of punitive sanctions for disobedience. Were oneprepared to accept these sanctions as an acceptable price to pay for the violation oftheir conditions, it would make sense to say that one were not bound to obey. Indisobeying a legitimate authority, however, one’s error is normative as well asjuridical; and in so far as the relevant normative bonds are independent ofindividuals’ desires, individuals may be said to be bound categorically bylegitimate authority.We might express the binding character of legitimate authority in terms of itsproviding sufficient reasons for action. The fact that a particular action has beenforbidden or enjoined by a legitimate authority in itself provides a sufficient reasonfor either abstaining from or committing that action (as the case may be), and onewhich cannot be negated by any number of contrary reasons. Joseph Raz has thuscharacterised authoritative directives “pre-emptive” reasons for action.6 Razdenies that authoritative directives are simply further reasons to be balanced againstother reasons in the course of practical deliberation. Indeed, by calling thempreemptive Raz implies that these reasons have no “weight” at all. Authoritative6 Authority, p. 21. See also Leslie Green, The Authority of the State, (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1988),pp. 38-9 for a discussion of “exclusionary” reasons.9directives, he says, function not by outweighing other reasons for action but by preempting activity of balancing altogether.Raz’ s position rests on a distinction he draws between first order and second orderreasons.7 First order reasons comprise those hopes, needs, desires, fears, ideals&c., according to which individuals make and follow their life plans. Conflictsamong reasons at this level are resolved through comparing the relative merits ofthe inconsistent reasons and forsaking those which are less valuable from theperspective of one’s overall plan. This weighing of first order reasons is what ismeant by practical deliberation. Second order reasons, by contrast, are reasons foracting for or against the balance of first order reasons. The constitutive mark ofsuch reasons is the fact of their determining the enabling or disabling conditions ofan action on first order reasons; thus these second order reasons may be express orinadvertent. Given that it is capable of preventing one from doing what one haddecided to do on the balance of first order reasons, forgetfulness, for example, maybe a second order reason for action. The second order reasons which are mostrelevant to the present discussion, however, are express.In light of their ability to defeat individuals’ action on first order reasons we mightborrow a familiar conception from Rawls to say that second order reasons haveSee Joseph Raz, Practical Reason and Norms, (London: Hutchinson & Co., 1975). See also Green’sdiscussion in ibid., p. 38.10lexicographic priority over first order reasons. That is, action on first order reasonsfollows only where there is no second order reason that prevents it. Raz construesauthoritative directives as second order reasons which, in supplanting individuals’sundry first order reasons for action, serve to induce closure in areas of social lifewhere a high degree of compliance is required. By rendering first order reasonsirrelevant to individuals’ action in these areas second order reasons make possiblecomplex forms of social co-ordination. The simple example of a rule-governedgame will help to illustrate Raz’ s conception of pre-emptive second order reasons.By calling a foul, a referee does not tip the balance of first order reasons one wayor another. Were this the case the call might be overridden by adducing enoughcontrary reasons; but an official’s call is unimpeachable.8 Following Raz wemight say that the referee’s judgement generates a second order reason whichrenders otiose further discussion of first order reasons pertaining to that matter.Players’ are henceforth bound to conform to the official’s decision irrespective ofthe background conditions against which it was made. As a second order reason,the official’s call makes extraneous to player’s actions all related reasons but forthe call itself.8 Were a referee to make a series of arbitrary or very bad calls, the legitimacy of that person’s authoritywith respect to that game would be placed in question. In such a situation things might very well reach apoint at which the players refused to play the game any longer. The analogy here of course is withrevolution; but insofar as revolution is a function of the exercise of illegitimate authority, it lies beyondthe scope of our present concern which is to develop an understanding of authority in the legitimate, orde jure sense of the word.11The possibility of such self-subsisting reasons for action brings us to a secondimportant feature of legitimate authority, which relates to the content ofauthoritative directives. In the preceding example players are bound to accept thereferee’s call of foul as a reason for their action. They would be no less bound toaccept it, however, had the call been fair. The fact that players are equally boundby either one of these mutually inconsistent judgements shows that the referee’scall binds not in virtue of its substance, but rather of its provenance. So it is with(legitimate) authoritative directives in general. Such utterances differ fromattempts to persuade or advise by requiring that they be followed independently ofany special likelihood that they embody the “right” conclusions. Thus H. L. A.Hart has refered to authoritative directives as “content-independent” reasons foraction;9 reasons, that is, whose force is due not to their conditions but to the sourcefrom which they proceed. Thus, the will of a legitimate authority is viewed assufficient to bind subjects to obedience independently of the particular directives interms of which it is expressed.The idea that obedience to authority requires a surrender of judgement on the partof those who obey has been a recurring theme in political philosophy. In thepresent analysis we have expressed this idea in terms of the pre-emption ofEssays on Bentliam: Studies on Jurisprudence and Political Theory, (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1982),chap. 1012individuals’ first order reasons for action. For our purposes, judgement may beviewed as reflecting a person’s balance of first order reasons. Obedience then isaction which ensues from a surrender of personal judgement in respect of the preemptive directives of a legitimate authority. Emphasising this separation betweenjudgement and obedience casts light on two further aspects of authority. First,given the dependence of obedience on a surrender of first order judgement, it isclear that not all actions which accord with authoritative directives are at the sametime instances of obedience. Thus, one cannot infer merely from the fact thatsomeone does not disobey the law that therefore he obeys it. And second, thisseparation reveals the non-voluntary nature of all acts of obedience. Let usconsider these points in turn.By acting on the balance of their first order reasons most people will not commitmurder. In so far as this is the case the fact that murder is authoritativelyprohibited never affects their practical deliberations. Thus, in refraining frommurder these people act on first order rather than second order reasons, and giventhat it entails no suspension ofjudgement, this exercise of restraint does not havethe character of obedience. One contemporary student of political authority hasemphasised the importance of a surrender of judgement to the concept ofobedience by drawing a distinction in terms of motivation between action whichmerely coincides with the conditions of authoritative directives and action which13constitutes obedience to those directives. He observes: “Obedience is not a matterof doing what someone tells you to do. It is a matter of doing what he tells you todo because he tells you to do it.”° This point might be cast in Raz’ s terms bystating that obedience cannot follow from first order, but only from second orderreasons. Furthermore, the surrender of judgement entailed in action on secondorder reasons affects the voluntary status of those actions. To see how thissurrender affects the voluntary character of obedience let us look at the otherwiselargely parallel phenomena of charity and taxation.Empirically, a charitable donation and a payment of taxes might very well beequivalent, that is, the same amount of money might be given in both instances andit might produce the same amount of benefit in the world. Normatively howeverthese are very different actions. The grounds of this difference lie in the separaterelation in which each act stands to the judgement of the individual who commitsit. A charitable donation follows directly from the judgement of the donor andhence is a voluntary action. The obligatory payment of taxes, however, followsfrom pre-emptive reasons of the state. Action on these reasons entails a surrenderof judgement on the part of the payee, and the consequent separtation between anindividual’s judgement and his or her action in this regard makes the payment oftaxes a non-voluntary act of obedience.10 R. P. Wolff, In Defense ofAnarchy, (New York: Harper and Row, 1970), p. 9, (original emphasis).14The central characteristic of a voluntary action is the fact that it is freely chosen.We may skirt the difficult questions relating to the requisite range of this freedomby limiting ourselves to the claim that all freely chosen acts must follow from firstorder reasons. Voluntary action is inconsistent with second order reasons, both ofthe express and the inadvertent kind. By mistaking the day of the week, forexample, I do not voluntarily miss the concert I had planned to attend. Nor is myaction any more voluntary in obeying the directives of a legitimate authority.1’Voluntary acts must be willed by the individuals who commit them. The precedinganalysis has shown however that the directives of a legitimate authority pre-emptthe individual’s own judgement with reasons willed from without. By obeyingsuch an authority individuals take its will and not their own as the reason for theiractions. Acts of obedience therefore cannot be voluntary in nature.The non-voluntary character of obedience of course affects the moral standing ofsuch actions. Most significantly, the fact of their proceeding from second orderreasons means that they are unfit objects for praise or blame. Consider theforgoing comparison. In making a charitable donation a donor weighs relevantI do not mean to deny that one can either voluntarily or involuntarily comply with second orderreasons in the form of legitimate authoritative directives. But such adverbial voluntariness is notsufficient to allow us properly to call these actions voluntary so long as they are based on second orderreasons. Actions which merely coincide with the conditions required by authoritative directives (such asthe murder example above) but proceed from individuals’ first order reasons of course may be voluntary,but that is a different matter.15claims with respect to some case and decides on their merits that assistance iswarranted. Deriving from the free exercise of a donor’s judgement, the donation isa kind of self-expression and he or she might rightly be credited or blamed for it.The payment of taxes, by contrast, has nothing to do with citizens’ approving of therelated disbursements. Taxes are a content-independent commitment paid inrespect of an authoritative directive of the state. Being thus determined, theindividual’s payment of taxes is a matter of moral indifference to that person. Byparity of reasoning this conclusion applies to acts of obedience in general.Let us pause for a moment to recap our findings with respect to legitimateauthority. Such authority, we have seen, derives from a right to rule and ischaracterised by a power to require action. This power is exercised through theissuance of authoritative directives engendering “second order” reasons for actionwhich pre-empt whatever reasons individuals might independently have that areinconsistent with the conditions of those directives. Because their force derivesfrom the issuing authority and not from the conditions that they embody thesedirectives have been called “content-independent” reasons for action. Obedienceto an authority with power to pre-empt one’s first order reasons for action iscommonly said to involve a surrender of judgement, and acts proceeding from sucha surrender have been said to be morally indifferent to the individual who commits16them. With this basic sketch of authority before us let us return more closely toexamine a couple of important aspects.Nothing has been said to this point concerning the possibility of limits with respectto what may count as “content” in a content-independent reason for action. Thissilence does not reflect an absence of such limitations. Formally of course content-independent reasons are limitless, but insofar as such reasons may be embodied bythe directives of any actual authority they will indeed be bounded. The nature ofthis limitation may be observed by considering the previous example of the refereein a rule-governed game.Because it binds on account of its source rather that its substance, the call of thereferee constitutes a content-independent reason for action. Irrespective of theirparticular judgements concerning the matter in question, the players must take thereferee’s call as the basis for their action. This is not to say, however, that thereferee’s judgement binds the players absolutely, that is, in complete disregard ofits content. A player would not be compelled to accept the referee’s judgement, forexample, were this latter to try to assess a penalty in respect of the former’s badhaircut. The rules of the game give a referee no authority in matters of personalhygene, and hence he or she can issue no binding directives in that regard. Any17attempt to do so would sacrifice whatever legitimate authority the referee mightotherwise have enjoyed.The power to impose content-independent reasons pertains to legitimate authority.It follows that any action which impugns such authority also undermines thatpower. The content of content-independent reasons for action is thus limitedindirectly by the necessary conditions of legitimate authority. Of course, theseconditions will be much harder to determine in the case of political authority thanin than in that of a rule-governed game. However, an analogy can be drawn withrespect to this determination between the constitution of a state (written orunwritten) and the rule book in such a game.’2Also in need of further scrutiny is the idea that obedience depends on a surrenderof judgement. This metaphor is as strong as it is ambiguous, and misunderstandingit can jeopardise our entire understanding of legitimate authority. The danger liesin taking an overly literal interpretation of this surrender. The mention of asurrender of judgement is most likely to call to mind some form of psychoticderangement, either the sort of thing that happens in a fit of passion (only later tobe regretted), or else as the result of some advanced pathological state. In thussurrendering their judgement individuals become attitudinally disconnected from12 States, of course, are far too complex a social institution for this analogy to be anything more thansuggestive.18their own actions and all that goes on around them. Similarly, it might be thought,in obedience to authority individuals slip into a state of mindless subservience,blindly following commands. To view the matter in this way however is to abuse apotentially useful image.We have seen that obedience is action on authoritative, second order reasons. Inacting on such reasons individuals must forgo whatever inconsistent first orderreasons they might have. Herein lies the “surrender” on which obedience depends.It is not judgement part and parcel that is surrendered in obedience to authority,then, but only certain reasons for action. Most of the faculties that we associatewith judgement survive this surrender. Most importantly perhaps, individuals’attitudes towards this surrender are not sacrificed by the simple fact of theirobedience. Individuals thus are able to retain a critical distance from theauthorities they obey.Obedience is based on a behavioural rather than a dispositional criterion,’3 andindividuals can fully meet their obligations in this regard while disagreeing withthe directives that they follow. To return (one last time) to our earlier example, a13 In so far as obedience is an aspect of one’s normative obligation to legitimate authority the followingremarks of A. John Simmons are apposite. “[WJe would have a great deal of difficulty in making senseof a duty or obligation to feel a certain way. Moral requirements are generally supposed to range overour actions; having certain feelings (or experiencing certain emotions) seems inappropriate as thecontent of a moral requirement.” Moral Principles and Political Obligations, (Princeton, PrincetonUniversity Press 1979), pp. 166-7.19player need not agree with the call that has been made in order to discharge his orher duty to obey the referee. Taking the call as a reason for action is entirelysufficient. Because the required suspension of judgement leaves one’s criticalfaculties intact, obedience to authority is not mere subservience.’4 To claim thatobedience requires a suspension ofjudgement then is really another way of statingthat individuals’ acceptance of authoritative directives as reasons for their actionsis not conditional on their understanding and/or agreeing with their conditions(beyond being sure that they are compatible with legitimate authority).’5 Readinganything more into the concept of a surrender of judgement is to succumb to apoetic image.Even thus qualified, however, the notions of a surrender of judgement and content-independent reasons remain extremely troubling. This concern is ultimately due tothe separation between belief and action which both concepts presuppose. Thisseparation, which is the result of binding second order reasons, is the centralnormative issue of authority. It is on its account that authority is deemed to be afitting subject for justification; and all of the moral and rational conundrums that14 A failure clearly to distinguish in terms of obedience between the outward conformity of action andthe inward mental states of individuals accounts for the uneasiness many have felt reading Rousseau onthe general will.15 Consiruing obedience to authoritative directives as conditional on the acceptance of those directives asthe sort that could be issued by a legitimate authority might appear to open the door to the undoing ofauthority relations altogether. However, in any actual case the degree of uncertainty that is therebyinjected is unlikely to be fatal. Once established, the marks of legitimacy are apt to be readilyidentifiable and within such bounds authoritative directives will be immune to challenge. Of courseperiods of rapid normative transition will have a destabilising effect on authority, but once a newworking consensus emerges authority will again become stable.20arise in that regard can be traced back to this beginning. The sort of moralpeculiarities that this separation entails have already been hinted at in remarkingthat acts of obedience are morally indifferent with respect to the individuals whocommit them. The separation of action from belief is as much an issue ofrationality as it is of responsibility, however, and these former aspects must also beconsidered. Indeed, the rational problems with authority promise to be formidableas the concepts of obedience and rationality appear directly to conflict.Part of what is meant by saying that someone is rational is that he or she acts onappropriate reasons. Acting on such reasons is not a sufficient proof of rationality,however, for (with help) children or lunatics also might act appropriately. Whatcauses these latter to be less than rational is that they are unable to identify suchreasons for themselves. Rationality thus entails a capacity for independentdecision; rational individuals decide for themselves on appropriate reasons foraction. And in so far as they are rational agents, individuals exercise that capacity.To say that rational agents decide for themselves on (appropriate) reasons foraction is not to say that they must generate those reasons independently. It isentirely possible for such individuals to acquire their reasons for action fromothers, for it is not the source of a reason but the character of the decision to act onit which is essential to rational agency. A rational agent might, for example, take21the opinion of a theoretical authority as his or her reason for action (which, bydefinition, is likely to be appropriate), without in any way endangering his or herstatus as a rational agent. Given the appropriateness of the reason, the solerequirement of rational agency is that the individual freely decide to act on it.As a reason for action, an expert opinion has the character of advice. Adviceconstitutes a content-dependent reason for action, which means that the ground ofits acceptance is a function of its terms. In contrast to an authoritative directivewhose basis of obligation is independent of its content, advice derives itsmotivating force purely from the perceived appropriateness of its conditions. Eventhe expert advice of a theoretical authority compels only insofar as it appears toembody appropriate reasons for action. Decisions with respect to appropriatenessare inevitably in the final instance made by the individual who accepts or rejectsthe advice. In arriving at this decision relevant issues are weighed concerning thecredentials of the person offering the advice, the relationship of this person to theadvisee, whether he or she is interested or disinterested with respect to the actioncounselled, its overall plausibility, etc. Even in taking a piece of advice as a reasonfor action, therefore, the individual first “makes it his own”6 by means of thisdeliberative process. Heeding the recommendation of a theoretical authority is thus16 R. P. Wolff, op cit, p. 13.22an exercise rather than an infringement of rational agency; something which cannotbe said of obedience to political authority.To the extent that action constitutes obedience, individuals do not themselvesdecide on its reasons. Acts of obedience have been shown to follow fromauthoritative, second order reasons which pre-empt the individual’s owndeliberative conclusions. In virtue of this basis in pre-emptive, second orderreasons, obedience presents a dilemma from the point of view of rationality. Ifrational agents act on the balance of reasons as they see them, it is not clear how itcould ever be rational for them to reject that balance of reasons in basing theiractions on the contrary second order reasons of an authority. And if it cannot berational thus to act against one’s reason, how can rational creatures be subject toauthority at all?This dilemma is in fact more apparent than real as it derives from a failure todistinguish between different levels of analysis, and can accordingly be resolved.By taking a single act in isolation one might correctly conclude that to act contraryto the apparent balance of reasons would be to act irrationally. This is not to say,however, that acting against the balance of reasons might not be rational when thatact is considered as one in a set of interrelated acts. The point is most clearly madeby considering the situation of two co-operating actors in an iterated prisoner’s23dilemma. By focusing on any single iteration one might conclude that each playeracts irrationally since either might have scored better by defecting. This conclusionwould not reflect the fact of the matter however, so much as a failure to understandthe nature of the enterprise in which the players were involved. By sub-optimisingon single turns, the players maintain a co-operative regime which enables each toreap a greater long-run total. In “failing” in each instance to act on the bestbalance of reasons considered singly, the players maximise their advantages overtime. On a standard, utility-maximising model of rationality, this is rational action.It is possible to view the apparent dilemma between rationality and obedience insimilar terms.’7 Whereas in any single instance it would be irrational to actcontrary to the apparent balance of reasons, such contrary action might well berational if the benefits gained thereby outweighed the losses incurred. If the cost ofmaintaining a generally beneficial system were that individuals be prepared to act17 The theoretical conclusions that can legitimately be drawn through application of the prisoner’sdilemma to concrete social phenomena is limited by the fact that the formal properties of that modelbracket questions of justice. The prisoner’s dilemma constructs a situation in which equal sacrifices arerequired in order to achieve an equal mutual gain. In the iterated version we are considering, it issupposed that each player must make that equal sacrifice in order to benefit from the cooperative regime.In most concrete cases, however, sacrifices will not be proportional. Moreover, it will often be the casethat the benefits enjoyed by parties who make above average sacrifices still exceed what they would enjoyby being excluded from the system altogether. Where the excess demanded of such parties is notessential to the working of the system itself (as is the greater contribution of the hegemon according tohegemonic stability theory [see RobertO. Keohane, After Hegemony, (Princeton: Princeton UniversityPress, 1984) pp. 32-5 for an account of hegemonic statability theory]), they might agitate for a moreequal share of burdens. Such is the nature of civil disobedience, whereby individuals who areprejudicially treated by a generally beneficial system seek to redress an arbitrary imbalance of burdens.In its typical formulation the prisoner’s dilemma is impervious to such problems. It is appealed to in thepresent connection only to establish that obedience to authority is not necessarily irrational; furtherquestions pertaining to the rationality of obedience in any particular case are left unexamined.24on reasons contrary to their personal judgements in certain cases where actingaccording to those judgements were not more important than the benefits conferredby the system, it would be irrational for those individuals not to act on suchreasons. Thus, there is no formal inconsistency between obedience and rationality.There are however some areas in which it would not be rational to surrender one’ srational agency.’8 These are the areas in which acting on one’s own judgement ismore important than the increase of benefits that might be enjoyed were one to acton reasons contrary to one’s judgement.’9 In so far as it is required for themaintenance of a beneficial system, then, and subject to the aforementionedlimitations, the surrender of judgement entailed in acting on second order reasonsmay indeed be rational.The distinctly moral difficulties surrounding the concept of authority have beenmost ardently exposed by R. P. Wolff in his book In Defense ofAnarchism.Wolff’s argument has a decidedly Kantian flavour, but the intuitions upon which itdraws are general. Thinkers of many persuasions have attached special importanceto individuals’ following their own conscience. This valuation may be defendedon various different grounds. To have and act on deeply held moral beliefs might18 The intended distinction between rationality and rational agency is made in terms of action. Whereasthe former consists in the ability to decide on appropriate reasons for action, the latter entails the abilityto act on those decisions. It is only rational agency that is surrendered in obedience, for the ability todecide on appropriate reasons, like the ability to entertain attitudes toward the surrender of judgementare not affected by individuals’ obligation of obedience.and free speech have been the traditional constituents of this category, with matters ofsexuality being a more recent addition.25be thought in some way to be constitutive of human identity. That is, it might beheld that one fails fully to achieve personhood in the absence of thosecharacteristics. Alternately, the importance of that commitment might be construedin terms of duty. One might be said to owe it to oneself, to some other(s), or toGod, to develop and maintain this sort of moral personality. Or self-determinationmight simply be seen as providing the necessary basis of self-respect. Upon any ofthese rationales, however, individuals’ moral integrity appears threatened by thelegitimate authority of the state, for how can individuals freely follow theirconscience so long as they are bound by its directives? Although it will be arguedthat Wolff’s treatment of this problem is essentially flawed, his account isillustrative of the issues involved. Considering it will allow us to better understandthe nature of the threat that authority poses to autonomy, while at the same timesharpening some of the distinctions that have been drawn above.Wolff sees legitimate authority as a moral impossibility. He does not deny thatsome government could not come to enjoy a right to rule, but rather that citizenscould rightfully give it; and since it is only by means of such a grant that Wolffallows a right to rule might be established, the idea of legitimate authority in hisview is spurious.26Wolff’s case against authority is grounded on the assumption of an indefeasibleduty of autonomy, which he sees as implicit in the idea of morality itself.Responsibility, which is the basic term of moral discourse, presupposes a capacityfor rational choice, which in turn is based on individuals’ possessing free will andreason. Aside from creating the moral fact of responsibility however, the jointpossession of these characteristics engenders a moral duty on the part of thepossessor; for in addition to being responsible for his or her actions, one possessedof both freedom and reason must also take responsibility for those actions. InWolff’s view, taking responsibility for one’s actions “means making the finaldecisions about what one should do”2° and it is this moral requirement which herefers to as the duty of autonomy.The duty of autonomy is in Wolff’s mind the “primary obligation of man”2’ and, invirtue of its priority, overrides any other moral duty with which it may conflict.Specifically, Wolff seeks to show that the obligation of autonomy makesimpossible those duties that are associated with political obligation. Such duties ofcourse include obedience to authoritative directives. For his part, however, Wolffinsists that “[fjor the autonomous man, there is no such thing, strictly speaking, asa command.”22 InWolff’s view, the individual’s obedience to authoritativecommands is inconsistent with this primary obligation since “by refusing to engage20 R. P. Wolff, op Cit., p. 15.21 Ibid., p. 19.22 Ibid., p. 15, (emphasis removed).27in moral deliberation, by accepting as final the commands of others he forfeits hisautonomy.”23This last remark betrays a misunderstanding of obedience. Our analysis has shownthat there is nothing in the nature of obedience that requires an individual to forgomoral deliberation; it is only certain reasons for action that must be abjured. Wolffis mistakenly here suggesting that in the face of authority it is necessary tosurrender judgement entirely, which we have seen is not the case. The fact that thisnecessary surrender extends no further than to reasons for action does greatdamage to Wolff’s position, for elsewhere he admits that “[wihen we describesomeone as a responsible [i.e. autonomous] individual, we do not imply that healways does what is right, but only that he does not neglect the duty of attemptingto ascertain what is right.”24 Clearly, obedience to authority will not in most casesinterfere with the individual’s ability to ascertain what is right. Hence, even onWolff’s own terms it is not clear that obedience conflicts with autonomy.What is clear, however, is that Wolff takes this to be the case. “The autonomousman,” he says, “insofar as he is autonomous, is not subject to the will ofanother.”25 With this statement Wolff seeks to establish the impossibility ofpolitical subordination among autonomous individuals. Nothing Wolff says in his23 Ibid., p. 14.24 Ibid.,p. 13.25 Ibid., p. 14.28theory however would cause us to apply this principle to political relationshipsonly. His statement is perfectly general in nature. And given the absolutecharacter ofWolff’s commitment to autonomy, the effects of this principle whenapplied generally to society would be apt to render life unrecognisable. It isanybody’s guess what sort of world would result where individuals’ primary moralobligation were to avoid becoming subject to the wills of others. The animalkingdom probably affords as good an indication as any.26Without subjection to the wills of others no binding commitment is possible. Theproblem is most clearly seen in the case of open-ended promises but it affects allbinding commitments equally.27 By making a promise, say, to one’s nephew totake him to see some movie whenever he likes, one becomes subject to his will.Henceforth, the nephew’s expressed desire to go to see the film has for thepromissor the force of a second order reason for action. Even if on the balance offirst order reasons one would prefer to do something else, one must leave off thesethings in order to discharge one’s commitment to one’s nephew. This is the sort of26 Wolff does not see himself as advocating descent into a Hobbes-like state of nature; indeed, heimplicitly denies that the adoption of what he calls “philosophical anarchism” would have any practicaleffect at all. Wolff believes that individuals have prudential reasons for acting as if they were subject tothe wifi of others. It is clear, however, that prudence will not dictate gratifying the engenderedexpectations of others in every case that being faithful to one’s word would, and Wolff seems oblivious tothe possibility that a viscious circle of insecurity might be started in this way. It is at the very least safeto say that Wolff underestimates the potential his giving moral priority to autonomy entails for serioussocial malfunction.27 See Green, op. cit., p. 34, for a discussion of the effects of promissing on autonomy.29thing that Wolff maintains is not possible for an autonomous individual.28 Such anindividual, he says, always decides for himself what to do. That is, he only everacts on first order reasons. And if, as in the example just considered, the balanceof those reasons dictates some action other than that which one had promised, then,in Wolff’s mind, to fulfil that promise would be to act wrongly. But we do notthink of fulfilling promises in such situations as wrong.It is of the nature of a commitment that it binds irrespective of the presentjudgement of the individual(s) to whom it applies. A prospective action whosecompletion is contingent on its according with the balance of an agent’s first orderreasons for action is not a commitment. Because commitments are not in this waydependent on first order reasons they create certainty, and certainty makes planninga rational activity. Even the most rudimentary forms of social organisationpresuppose some degree of planning. First order reasons will undoubtedly provetoo thin a fuel on which to run any society whatever, and thus to forswear secondorder reasons would be to radically proscribe human possibilities.28 Wolff does allow that autonomous individuals might be subject to law in a system of unanimous directdemocracy, because each individual would have consented (i.e., willed) in the abstract any law by whichhe or she might be bound. Even this limiting case however cannot answer Wolff’s requirement ofautonomy. It is not enough for a subject to once have willed the law to which he or she is subject inorder to be autonomous. An autonomous individual (in Wolff’s sense) must will the existence of that lawso long as he or she observes it. Clearly, no prescription that can be vetoed simply by some member ofthe subject society changing his or her mind with respect to its validity can properly be said to be a law.In acknowledging unanimous direct democracy to be legitimate Wolff demonstrates a failure toappreciate the full implications of his emphasis on autonomy. For a critique of Wolff’s views in regardto direct democracy see L. Green, op cit., pp. 30-1.30We get a glimpse of the source ofWolff’s confusion in one of the many statementsof the dilemma he sees between the autonomy of the individual and the authority ofthe state. We read: “If all men have a continuing obligation to achieve the highestdegree of autonomy possible, then there would appear to be no state whosesubjects have a moral obligation to obey its commands.”29 Here we see that theduty of autonomy which Wolff considers individuals to be under is not a dutysimply to be autonomous but to be autonomous to the highest possible degree. Onwhat grounds, one might ask, does Wolff include this maximising condition? Theanswer, it seems, is not far to find. The same characteristics of freedom and reasonwhich make possible autonomy are in Wolff’s mind also responsible for humandignity.3° In correctly insisting that human dignity be maximised, Wolffmistakenly assumes that autonomy should be maximised as well. However, this isa non sequitur. It might very well be the case that maximising autonomy in theway Wolff suggests would detract from human dignity. Man is dignified not onlyby his status as a free and rational being, but also by his ability to engage incomplex forms of social co-operation. We may fairly assume that the value ofpossessing the characteristics of freedom and reason would be considerablycheapened if by seeking to maximise autonomy individuals were to become unableto enter into binding commitments. The suggestion has been made that such is theinevitable effect ofWolff’s emphasis on autonomy.29 Ibid., p. 19.° “When I place myself in the hands of another, and pennit him to determine the principles by which Ishall guide my behavior, I repudiate the freedom and reason which give me dignity.” Ibid., p. 72.31The inadequacy ofWolff’s conclusion in no way disparages the concern fromwhich his project springs. Given the nature of authority there is a very real dangerof its interfering with individuals’ autonomy. Some level of constraint onindividual freedom is a necessary condition of social existence. Within the boundsof this necessity it does not seem right to call that constraint an “interference” withautonomy. However, the separation of action from belief that such constraintsentail presents a real threat to personal intergrity, and because of the value of thelatter there exists a prima facie presumption against them. It is the job of politicaltheory to establish the necessity and the bounds of authoritative reasons. In thelatter half of this paper we consider one of the most renowned attempts at suchjustification, that of Thomas Hobbes.322 The Justification of Authority in HobbesHobbes is regarded by some as the quintessential theorist of authority. In contrast tothe Aristotelians who came before him and the liberals who came after, for whom “thesocial” and “the political” represent two distinct domains which, in effect, negativelydefine one another, Hobbes considered these two “domains” to be one in virtue ofauthority. Authority was in Hobbes’s mind responsible for the cohesion of society,and he consequently denied that “the social” could exist for an instant without “thepolitical” to sustain it. In the following pages we will examine Hobbes’s theory ofauthority, laying out its normative and logical structure before critiquing itsconclusions in light of the conception of authority developed in chapter one. Thiscritique will reveal an anomaly in Hobbes’ s theory with respect to the right to rule, thetheoretical implications of which will be considered at the end of the present chapterand in a brief conclusion.Politics and society are necessarily wedded, Hobbes believed, on account of therelative nature of ethical values and the need for agreement on moral principles insocial life. Hobbes followed moral sceptics such as Lipsius and Montaigne inrejecting the Aristotelian cum Christian moral view which professed belief in a single33and determinate moral truth.1 These earlier sceptical writers had emphasised thediversity of moral and cultural beliefs and practices in the world and the absence ofobjective criteria for deciding between them. Though he was deeply impressed bythese views, Hobbes sought for his part to show that the rejection of the Scholastics’moral view followed as a matter of logic from within his own philosophical system.On the basis of his psychological theory (later to be considered) Hobbes endeavouredat once to establish and explain the fact of ethical relativism.2“Every man,” Hobbes says, “for his own part, calleth that which pleaseth, and isdelightful to himself, GOOD; and that EVIL which displeaseth him: insomuch thatwhile every man differeth from other in constitution, they differ also one from anotherconcerning the common distinction of good and evil.”3 In Hobbes’s mind, evaluativeterms such as “good” and “evil” thus report, not on any property inherent in thesubjects of which they are predicated, but rather on the attitude of the person makingthe attribution. In addition, Hobbes stressed the difference between the objectivismimplicit in moral language and the subjective nature of the evaluations which the useof such terms represents. This disparity, Hobbes believed, was responsible for no endof confusion and conffict in society.4 “For several men praise several customs, and1 See Richard Tuck, Hobbes, (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989), for an account of the backgroundinfluences on Hobbes thought.2 SeeTuck, ibid., p. 55.The Elements ofLaw, Natural and Politic, ed. Ferdinand Toennies, 2nd edn., (London: M. M.Goldsmith, 1969).See Tuck, op cit., p.56. “It was conflict over what to praise, or morally to approve, which Hobbesisolated as the cause of discord, rather than simple conflict over wants.”34that which is virtue with one, is blamed by others; and, contrarily, what one calls vice,another calls virtue, as their present affections lead them.”5 The role of authority wasin Hobbes’s mind to maximally eliminate such potentially devastating ambiguity.If we agree on some summer day that the tree in my backyard in an oak tree, then it iscertain that we will agree again in December, even though the tree has no leaves.Were we similarly to agree that a thing is good or evil, however, there is no analogouscertainty that we would still agree were it to undergo some equivalent change. Inmaldng our original evaluations we might fix on separate aspects of the thing inquestion which differentially persist over time. Alternately, as Hobbes pointed out, thething itself might remain unchanged but in virtue of some change in one’s own“constitution” one might no longer deem it as before (we can imagine an old drinkingbuddy might arriving at a disagreement in this way with a reformed alcoholic).Because of the subjective character of its terms, a moral vocabulary is indeterminatewith respect to things in the world, and a concurrence in normative terms does notguarantee an intersubjective understanding among the individuals who use them as,say, a concurrence in arboricultural terms does. It is the need of individuals in societyfor such an intersubjective understanding with respect to moral principles which, inHobbes’s mind, identifies social with political life; for according to Hobbes the onlyHobbes, Behemoth, The History of the Causes of the Civil Wars ofEngland, (New York: Burt Franidin),p. 58.35way that such an understanding can be achieved is through the institution of asovereign.The relation of the sovereign to society as conceived of by Hobbes is analogous to thatof a conductor to an orchestra. Though the members of an orchestra all read from thesame score, without the conductor to co-ordinate the performance, the differentinterpretation given by each musician to the notes on the page would eventuate incollective confusion. The conductor is required to provide an authoritativeinterpretation that can serve as an object for general consensus. By accepting thatinterpretation, not as the only or even as the best possible interpretation, but as the onethat is relevant to the performance at hand, the players are able to combine theirindividual performances into a single symphony. Similarly, Hobbes thought,individuals in society could acknowledge common moral principles yet on account ofthe different interpretations given to those principles they might arrive at terribleconfusion. Indeed, in Hobbes’s day the most destructive conflict in recent memorywas due to such interpretational differences. The Wars of Religion had been foughtnot over which moral principles should be accepted, but what was entailed in theadoption of moral principles that were commonly accepted by all. Through the eyes ofa moral relativist like Hobbes, such a conflict was doubly ridiculous since there was nomoral fact of the matter in relation to which either position might be said to be betterthan the other. Such a conflict arose not from a metaphysical clash of absolutes, but36rather from people’s sentimental attachments to what in the end were equally arbitrarypositions. Since the cause of the conflict existed nowhere but in the contents ofpeople’s minds, and since these were themselves malleable, Hobbes took suchconflicts to be in principle resolvable. What was required in order to preventinterpretations from diverging in such critical areas was a form of direction analogousto that of an orchestra conductor. This direction could, in Hobbes’ s view, only begiven by a sovereign whose power was at once absolute and undivided. The burden ofHobbes’ s theory of politics is to show how the need for such a sovereign follows fromthe facts of human nature and of the human social predicament.On account of his relativistic moral beliefs, Hobbes faced certain difficulties inconstructing a political theory, with respect to first principles; for by rejecting the ideaof objective moral truth he was left with no clear means of making his own conclusionnormatively compelling. Hobbes was not the first theorist to find himself in thisposition, however, and in confronting it he followed the lead of Grotius, who in TheLaw ofWar and Peace had stemmed the slide from moral relativism intothoroughgoing scepticism by developing a novel theory of natural rights.Traditionally, natural rights had been seen as corresponding to natural law, which wastaken to represent God’s will with respect to human beings. The criterion of such law37was the fact of its deriving from God, and often no clear distinction was made in theseterms between natural phenomena which might be taken to reflect His will (such aspregnancy or ageing), and the prescriptive social rules which it was supposed God hadlaid down to govern individuals’ mutual interactions.6 Obligation to these latter ruleswas grounded ambiguously between a dept of gratitude to Providence on the part ofindividuals and a proprietary right of God over His creation. The idea of post-mortempunishments and rewards, of course, was never far away, but God’s powers in thisregard were generally considered to be supplementary to and not constitutive ofindividuals’ primary obligation to obey his conimands.7 God’s will being a universaland self-subsisting grounds of obligation, natural law was considered to be binding onhuman beings as such, within or outside society. Explorers in the New World,therefore, were no less bound by its prescriptions than shipwrights or shoemakers backhome. Civil governments might undertake to enforce the conditions of natural law butthey did not thereby create duties where there had been none before.Obligation to natural law was thus seen as underwritten by the general duty to doGod’s bidding. And although the terms of that law might include obligations toothers, the grounds of those obligations remained a prior duty to God.8 Hence, in6 See Karl R. Popper, “Nature and Convention”, chap. 5, The Open Society and its Enemies, (Princeton:Princeton University Press, 1950), for his related discussion of “naive naturalism.”Compare John Plamenatz, Man and Society, (London: Longmans 1963), p. 123. “The doctrine that theultimate ground of all obligation is the will of an omnipotent God is not to be reduced to a special case ofthe principle that ‘might is right”.8 For an mterpretaion of Hobbes that construes obligation in this way see Howard Warrender, ThePolitical Philosophy ofHobbes, (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1957), p. 147: “appart from a prior obligation38loving one’s neighbour, say, in accordance with natural law, one’s duty was in the firstinstance to God, and only derivatively to one’s neighbour. The indirect derivation ofthese duties, however, makes them no less real; and it was the mutual obligations thatindividuals are under in respect of their duty to God which underpinned the traditionaltheory of natural rights.According to this traditional theory, in their dealings with one another individuals areentitled reciprocally to require respect for the will of God; a respect which is exercisedin their treating one another in accordance with His law.9 Upon this understanding ofthe matter, natural rights serve to mark an individual’s moral entitlement to thebenefits of natural law; or, in other words, such rights reflect the duties of others toobserve the laws of nature toward him.’° In virtue of their relation to natural law,natural rights were seen in the traditional theory as deriving their moral force from thewill of God.at natural law to obey the sovereign, the punishments of the sovereign could be regarded simply as acts ofhostility, to be resisted by force on any favourable occasion.”Thus Plamenatz, ibid., p. 123, observes: “It was thought that men, because there are rules which theyought to conform to even in the absense of all human government, have natural rights against one anotherEveryone has a right to require of others that they should keep to the rules in their dealings withhim.”10 Compare Warrender, op cit., p. 18: “the term ‘right’ has a rhetorical rather than a philosophical value.Whatever can be said in the rights-formula can be said in the (other people’s) duties-formula, and thereinstated more precisely.”39A moral theory based on the will of God presupposes that the content of God’s willcan be known. This presupposition in turn raises questions in relation to the sources ofthat knowledge. It was traditionally supposed that God’s will could be known boththrough common sense and scripture. Scripture, of course, provided a positive accountof God’s will, which gave rise to definite obligations. The morals of these teachings,however, were not seen as exhaustive of man’s duties, and it was thought that theycould be supplemented in a theory of natural law by means of human reason. God’swill was assumed to be implicit in existence itself, and thus in principle to bediscernible to the human mind directly.” Many rules of conduct which were notfound in scripture but which had been observed among civilised people from timeimmemorial were attributed to the rational apprehension of God’s will implicit increation. Such rules were considered to be self-evident moral truths and along withthe rules of scripture were held to be binding on rational beings as such.The traditional theory of natural rights did not fare well in the hands of the moralsceptics, who invoked the emerging global perspective to expose its parochial nature.In many corners of the world, it seemed, God’s laws went unheeded; a fact which washard to square with the assumed universality of the moral principles that those lawsrepresented. The fact that many of the traditionally observed social rules were notacknowledged by the seemingly rational members of complex societies elsewhere inSee Frederick Pollock, “The History of the Law of Nature,” in his Essays in the Law, (London:Macmillan and Co., 1922) p, 33.40the world engendered doubt in the minds of some as to the validity of the moral theoryof which they were said to be part. Sceptics denied that within the global perspectiveany universal moral principles could be found. In their view, the world wascharacterised by too much moral diversity to allow for theoretical reconciliation of anykind. While granting the sceptics’ point with respect to traditional ethical theories,Grotius sought to avoid their conclusion by postulating what he took to be a trulyuniversal right of nature, and one on the basis of which ethical certainty might beattained.None of the recent anthropological discoveries, nor anything to be found in history, sofar as Grotius could tell, contained the least suggestion that anyone would deny thatpeople had a right to defend themselves against unprovoked attack. For all of themanifest cultural diversity both in the actual and historical world, in Grotius’ s mind, allhuman societies appeared to have had this belief in common: that individuals possess aright of self-preservation, and (conversely) that gratuitous violence against others isunjustifiable. Upon the slender basis of this cross-cultural commonality, Grotiusendeavoured to construct an ethical theory which would be immune to the sceptic’sattack.41The primary means whereby sceptics had eroded the assumption of certainty in ethicswas through the use of counterexamples. Sceptics themselves, however, had oftenremarked on the ubiquity of self-preservation. Grotius regarded himself simply asspelling out the moral implications of this fact which was acknowledged by thesceptics; and given his opponents’ endorsement of the central issue, he considered histheory to be unassailable.Shorn of the extensive rights and duties that the earlier Christian version hadcontained, Grotius’ s post-sceptical theory of natural rights was a very austere relationof the theory which it replaced.12 The cost of ethical certainty, in Grotius’ s mind, hadbeen to reduce the content of morality to the positive right of self-defence and thenegative duty not to cause unnecessary suffering; for upon this core of rights andduties all people could agree. Any rules of conduct extending beyond these basicnorms, such as those requiring acts of positive beneficence (for example), were to beregarded as supererogatory cultural accretions, lacking the requisite universality oftruly moral rules. On account of their containing such culturally specific elements,existing ethical theories had been rejected. In Grotius’s view, however, the scepticshad fixed too narrowly on such particularities, and had failed to acknowledge the12 See Hugo Grotius, The Law ofWar and Peace, trans. Francis W. Kelsey (New York: Bobbs MeririllCo, 1925), P. 13. “Long ago the view came to be held by many, that [a] discriminating allotment is a partof law, properly and strictly so called ; nevertheless law, properly defmed, has a far different nature,because its essence lies in leaving to another that which belongs to him, or in fulfilling our obligations tohim.”42common core that all moral theories and practices share; that core which provided thebasis of his new theory of natural rights.In addition to its minimal content, Grotius’s moral theory is remarkable for theinductive means whereby it is established; for by deriving his theory in this mannerGrotius effectively bypassed the will of God in accounting for obligation. Grotiusdoes not claim that the right of self-defence and the prohibition on senseless violenceare morally obligatory because they accord with the will of God, but because rationalindividuals throughout history and the world have always recognised them as such.Grotius believed that the moral character of these actions may be discerned directly byan exercise of reason; there was no special need to inquire after the will of God. “Thelaw of nature”, Grotius observes, “is a dictate of right reason, which points out that anact, according as it is or is not in conformity with rational nature, has in it a quality ofmoral baseness or moral necessity; and that, in consequence, such an act is eitherforbidden or enjoined by the author of nature, God.”3A conception which sees moral goodness as relating to the will of God, not in terms ofimmanent causality, but by virtue of being a rational property and His willing a rationaluniverse has far-reaching theoretical implications. So long as God’s will is viewed assufficient independently of all other considerations to determine the moral character of13Ibid., pp. 38-39.43actions, individuals’ obligations might well remain inscrutable to them.’4 God, itcould be said, works in mysterious ways and it is not for mere mortals to question hismotives; it is enough that they know what he wills and conduct themselvesaccordingly. If, however, as Grotius suggested, natural law is grounded in rationalityand relates to God simply in virtue of His being the ultimate source of all reason, allobligations must in principle be comprehensible. If God necessarily wills rationally,His will can never make obligatory an action that is contrary to reason. Given therelation this theory posits between reason and obligation, it is to be expected that ajustification of authority given in these terms would concentrate on the rationality ofobedience.Grotius’ s idea of a natural right to self-defence afforded Hobbes the moral toe-hold heneeded in order to give normative force to his political conclusions. Obedience topolitical authority was for Hobbes a moral as well as a practical necessity; and byassuming this Grotian-style natural right he endeavoured to establish the moralnecessity in terms of the practical one.In Hobbes’ s day, the doctrine of the divine right of kings demonstrated how the will ofGod might be enlisted in support of a claim to the right to rule. This doctrine held14 See J. B. Schneewind, “The Divine Corporation and the History of Ethics”, eds. Richard Rorty et al.,Philosophy in History: Essays on the Historiography ofPhiolosophy, (Cambridge: Cambridge UniversityPress 1984), pp. 173-191.44subjects’ obedience to the king to be morally obligatory on account of God’s willingthat the king should command them. Obedience to the king was therefore simply anaspect of subjects’ duty to God, and nothing further was required to morally justify thatobedience than a knowledge of God’s desire that the king should be ruler. Theincreasing awareness among thinkers of the age of the difficulties involved inascertaining the desires of God, however, brought the divine right theory to grief; forshort of direct revelation, it is unclear how the central claim of that theory could everbe satisfactorily established. So long as different views were possible with respect tothe content of God’s will, the potential for disagreement and (ultimately) violenceloomed largely. The disruptive effects of this sort of equivocality were abundantlyclear in Hobbes’s day. Accordingly, he sought a justification of authority whosepremises would not allow of such potentially destabilising ambiguity. Hobbesbelieved that he had found the necessary element of certainty in the assumption of arationally grounded natural right of self-preservation.One effect of eschewing the traditional natural rights scheme and adopting aframework based on rationally self-evident rights is that the obligations accounted forin those latter terms must be accessible to reason. Accounts of obligation whichappeal to natural right in terms of a brute fact corresponding to the (potentiallyarbitrary) will of God, leave open the possibility that the relation thus accounted formight be at once morally necessary and irrational. Because such an account construes45the grounds of obligation as formally independent from the canons of rationality, therational and the obligatory will not necessarily be coincident. An explanation ofobligation based on rationally revealed natural rights, however, will only succeed ifobligation can be shown to be rational. Given the rational character of the rights insuch accounts, it would be logically inconsistent to hold that some action wereobligatory and yet irrational. The prominence of the attempt to demonstrate therationality of obedience in Hobbes’ s justification of authority is due to this need forrational consistency between the rights he assumes and the obligations he seeks toestablish.A natural-rights account of political authority like Hobbes’s further departs from thetraditional divine right theory with respect to the locus of the principle rights inquestion. Whereas the fundamental right in this latter doctrine is the divine right of theking, the crucial right in Hobbes’s modem theory is the right of self-preservation thatis enjoyed by subjects and rulers alike. On the divine right account, the king’s right torule comes “ready-made” (as it were) directly from God. The Hobbesian sovereign’ sright to rule, by contrast, is a terrestrial creation. It is the achieved result of thesubjects’ alienation of their natural rights by “transfer” to the sovereign. Unlike theking’s right, then, which divine right theory construes as a brute fact about the world,the right of the Hobbesian sovereign is the result of a rational procedure. On Hobbes’ saccount, it is not God but the subjects themselves who hold moral sway. The onus is46on Hobbes, however, to show how the subjects’ transfer of natural rights might be saidto be a rational action. It is this demonstration which occupies Hobbes throughoutLeviathan.Beyond the moral assumption which we have been considering, Hobbes’ s politicalconclusion rests on two main factual assumptions: that individuals innately fear death,and that they seek ever greater power in society. Both of these factual assumptions aregrounded on what Hobbes calls “endeavour.”The concept of endeavour reflects Hobbes’ s general theory of explanation as it relatesto human beings. In Hobbes’ s view, all of reality is in principle explicable in terms ofmatter in motion. Hobbes did not distinguish in this regard between overtly physicalphenomena such as the orbiting of the planets, and ostensibly “spiritual” matters suchas perception or emotion. All things were in Hobbes’s mind equally suited to a singleexplanatory framework.In keeping with this theory, Hobbes sought to provide an explanation of human natureand society purely in materialist terms. In his view, all of the psychological and socialcomplexities of human life could be reduced to two basic kinds of motion (i.e.,“endeavour”). Hobbes distinguished between “vital motion,” on the one hand, which47comprises unwilled movements such as the beating of the heart, blood flow, digestion&c., and “animal” or “voluntary motion,” on the other, which consists in movementsthat are “first fancied in our minds.”15 This latter sort of motion takes the form ofeither “appetites” or “aversions,” depending on whether the action in question istoward or away from something which promises to aid or to impede an individual’svital motion respectively.By designating these latter sorts of actions “voluntary” Hobbes simply meant that theyare meditated by the will. Hobbes did not thereby intend to suggest that individualsenjoy the sort of metaphysical freedom which is often associated with that word. Theidea of free will is in Hobbes’s mind specious; for the will, he says, is nothing but the“last Appetite in Deliberating.”6 The voluntary motions that proceed from the willare thus, for Hobbes, not the result of a wholly unfettered choice, but rather reflect anintentional calculation of benefits. Hobbes sees individuals as strongly predisposed topursue that which to them appears most likely to serve their vital motion, and hencethe effective range of their choice is limited to a decision on means. Although theymay make mistakes in this regard, or even diverge (within limits) from this generalrule (by indulging in drunkenness, etc.), Hobbes did not doubt that, for theoreticalpurposes at least, individuals’ behaviour may thus be described.15 Leviathan, (1651), ed. C. B. Macpherson, (Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 1968), p. 118.16 Ibid., p. 128 (italics removed).48In light of this theory of human motivation Hobbes arrived at the first of his factualpremises. For the individual, death is the ultimate surcease of motion. Fear of death,then, is simply the logical conclusion of aversion. Consequently, Hobbes concludesthat “every man.. . shuns. . . death; and this he doth, by a certain impulsion of nature,no less than that whereby a stone moves downward.”17 Hobbes’s theoreticalconclusion was, of course, a virtual restatement of an empirical generalisation that (wehave seen) even the sceptics had allowed. For Hobbes, as for others, the propositionthat individuals fear death was self-evident, and upon its certainty he hoped (in part) toground his political conclusions.Hobbes second factual premise has a more complex derivation, which involves bothpsychological and social considerations. In the former regard, Hobbes attributes toindividuals a desire for “felicity,” by which he means “Continuall successe inobtaining those things which a man from time to time desireth”.’8 In many ways, thisdesire for felicity is simply the converse of individuals’ fear of death, for a certaindegree of success in obtaining the things that one desires is necessary for life itself. Todesire felicity is simply to wish to go on living. A concept like nirvana, or total releasefrom desire, for Hobbes was unimaginable. “Life it selfe is but motion,” he says “and17 From Philosophical Rudiments Concerning Government and Society, Ch. 1, sec. 7, as quoted in theeditor’s introduction to ibid., p. 28.18 Ibid., p. 129.49can never be without Desire.”9 In Hobbes’s mind, then, desiring is as necessary tolife as breathing, and in so far as the very concept of desire presupposes a wish forfulfilment, human life is characterised by a desire for felicity.The social considerations entailed by this second factual premise concern theimplications of Hobbes’ s relativism for his conception of power. We have seen thatfor Hobbes, “whatsoever is the object of any mans Appetite or Desire; that is it, whichhe for his part calleth Good. And the object of his Hate, and Aversion, Evill”.2° Onthis view, society is possessed of as many different goods as there are views ofindividuals about how best to provide for their particular vital motion. This plurality ofgoods in society bears on Hobbes’ s conception of power, which he defmes in terms ofa person’s “present means, to obtain some apparent Good.”2’ Viewing that good inisolation, such means might be thought in principle to be expressible in terms of someabsolute measure. Hobbes denied, however, that power could properly be conceivedof in this way.The various goods in society correspond to the vital motions of the particularindividuals who compose it. It hardly bears mentioning that these vital motions oftenare not harmoniously related. (What is good for the vital motion of the master, will not19 Ibid., p. 130.20 Ibid., p. 120.21 Ibid., p. 150.50be good for that of the slave.) And given the contrary relations of many goods insociety, it is clear that some may be attained only through the frustration of others.From this fundamental opposition, Hobbes inferred that powers in society also areopposed. On account of this opposition, Hobbes perceived that an absolute increase inone individual’s power would entail a decrease in power for the rest, even if theresources of the latter do not change. Given differential luck and the certainty thatsome individuals will seek to increase their share of power, Hobbes saw thisinterdependency giving rise to a kind of natural inflation whereby “[a man] cannotassure the power and means to live well, which he hath at present, without theacquisition of more.”22 In light of the human desire for felicity and the relative natureof power, therefore, Hobbes posits as a second factual premise “a general inclinationof all mankind, a perpetual and restlesse desire of Power after power, that ceasethonely in Death.”23Upon these three premises, then, the moral assumption of an inherent right to self-preservation, and the two factual assumptions that individuals naturally fear death andthat they pursue ever greater power in society, Hobbes based his political argument.Unlike earlier justifications of authority, Hobbes took his case to derive fromindisputable first principles and thus to embody absolute certainty in its conclusion. InHobbes mind, to reject his view would be to deny that human beings are to sort of22 Ibid., p. 161.23 Ibid., p. 161.51creatures that they are universally acknowledged to be. Hence, Hobbes’s endeavour inLeviathan is not to engender new beliefs, but to lay bare the necessary implications ofbeliefs that his readers afready hold.By isolating the rudiments of human nature, Hobbes sought to identify the rawmaterials out of which any society must be built. No social or political order waspossible, Hobbes thought, which would conffict with the basic characteristics which hehad revealed. Clearly, however, within the range of possible orders there would bebetter and worse ways to accommodate these basic characteristics. Certain social andpolitical arrangements would be able better to provide for “felicity” than others.Hobbes believed that the optimal political order was that of an absolute and undividedsovereign, and he sought to deduce this conclusion from his postulates by employingthe theoretical construct of the state of nature.The state of nature, of course, may be employed in political argument either as alogical abstraction (as in Hobbes) or as an assumed historical fact. It pictures a precivil state in which individuals coexist in the absence of political authority. This imagetypically serves as a prelude to some kind of origin myth (or assumed fact) that issupposed to account for the character of actual government.24 The state of nature was24 The concern for political beginnings which is implicit in the state-of-nature/contract construct reflectsthe felt need to respond to the “genetic’ accounts of political authority against which such theories were52well-suited to Hobbes’s purposes as it allowed him to place before the reader in aparticularly vivid manner the implications of human nature as he saw them. Thefrightening prospect of a “return” to the state of nature is immanently responsible forthe cogency of Hobbes’ s argument.Hobbes attributes to individuals in the state of nature the three essential characteristicsmentioned above. Morally, Hobbes sees such individuals as characterised by the“right of nature.” That is, “the Liberty each man hath, to use his own power, as he willhimselfe, for the preservation of his own Nature; that is to say, of his own Life; andconsequently, of doing any thing, which in his own Judgement, and Reason, hee shallconceive to be the aptest means thereunto.”25 In the language of last chapter, this rightmight be expressed as the (moral) freedom to act on whatever first order reason anindividual sees fit. Nothing that an individual might construe as useful to his or herself-preservation is off-limits as a reason for action, for in the Hobbesian state ofnature, “every man has a Right to every thing; even to one anothers body.”26Given the social facts of conflicting interests and the competitive nature of power,Hobbes viewed the unfettered right of nature as a formula for disaster. It was certain,originally a reaction. For an account of the genetic explanatory paradigm see Gordon Schochet,Patriarchalism in Political Thought, (Oxford, Basil Blackwell, 1975), PP. 8-10 and passim.25 Leviathan, p. 189.26 Ibid., p. 190.53he thought, to lead individuals into war, “and such as war as is of every man, againstevery man.”27 Unlike a conventional war between two internally cohesive adversaries,Hobbes pointed out that a war of omni contra omnes would engender such pervasiveinsecurity as to preclude all industry and enjoyments whatever. Thus, actingexclusively on first order desires would condenm individuals to a life of indigence anduncertainty, which Hobbes (now famously) characterised as “solitary, poore, nasty,brutish, and short.”28 In this situation, Hobbes believed, individuals natural fear ofdeath would cause them to reflect on their precarious existence in the hope of findingsome better way to preserve their vital motion.In Hobbes’ s thinking, of course, individuals are driven by desire. The Platonic view,which sees reason as marshalling the passions, was in his mind wrong-headed.Although reason may direct voluntary motion this way or that according to the mostlikely means of fulfilment, by itself, Hobbes insisted, reason can never initiate action.Despite this subordinate position, however, Hobbes believed that it was reason thatcould save individuals from the state of nature. Hobbes assumed that by reflecting ontheir frustrated desires individuals would come to recognise the horrendousopportunity costs entailed in exercising the right of nature. That is, each individualwould see that what he or she gains through being able always to act on first orderreasons does not compare to what is lost through everyone else’s similarly acting on27 Ibid., p. 185.28 Ibid., p. 186.54such reasons. Hobbes imagined that, in this way, individuals would realise that fromthe point of view of vital motion a regime regulated by the right of nature is extremelyinefficient and that far greater felicity could be attained in a condition of peace. Toshow how such individuals might act on this realisation Hobbes invokes to the conceptof natural law.In Hobbes’ s view, a law of nature is “a Precept, or generall Rule, found out byReason, by which a man is forbidden to do, that, which is destructive of his life, ortaketh away the means of preserving the same; and to omit, that, by which he thinkethit may be best preserved.”29 There is some ambiguity in Hobbes’s discussion ofnatural law with respect to the character of this prohibition. Most often, Hobbesappears to suggest that it is the “Rule” rather than God that does the forbidding. Thus,analogously it might be said that Ohm’s law “forbids” us from assuming that doublingvoltage at constant resistance will not affect current, or Murphy’s law from assumingthat if something can go wrong it won’t. In these latter cases it is clear that theprohibition such laws entail is underwritten not by the will of the author but by therequirements of rationality. Of course, the distinction between rationality and will asthe basis of obligation cannot be so easily drawn in the case of “God’s law,” sincereason itself is said to follow from His will (as it does not from Murphy’s or Ohm’ s).But the tenuousness of that distinction in the case of the law of nature does not make it2 Ibid., p. 186.55unimportant; for given this supposed basis in rationality, conforming to natural lawwill in the first instance be an act of rational prudence or necessity and onlyincidentally one of obedience. On the very point of the pre-eminently prudentialcharacter of the subjects’ obligation by his account, many of Hobbes’ s readers havedenied that his argument constitutes a moral theory at all.Elsewhere, Hobbes refers to natural law in more traditional terms as the dictates ofGod, “that by right commandeth all things.”3° The emphasis here is clearly on theobedience entailed by such laws rather than their rational desirability. It must beobserved, however, that these passages often appear perfunctory compared to thosewhich stress the rational character of natural law. But this fact is hardly surprisinggiven that the concept of God’s will is much less determinate than any derived fromreason, and that Hobbes endeavoured to argue from certainty. Since, for Hobbes, thewill of God is revealed only through reason,3’ there was little sense in dwelling onGod’s will in the abstract to the exclusion of what could be known concretely. To oneof Hobbes’ s convictions, it was enough to ensure that a conception of natural lawembodied principles of reason in order to know that it was based on the will of God.30 Ibid., p. 217.31 Hobbes, of course, did not deny revelation, but thought that it too could be subsumed by rational laws.56Hobbes believed that individuals in the state of nature would fix on such rational rulesas “convenient articles of peace”32 whereby they might transcend that perilouscondition. Both the fact and the extent of the advantages of peace over war arereflected in the precept Hobbes takes as the first law of nature. This “FundamentalLaw” consist in the proposition: “That every man, ought to endeavour Peace, as farreas he has hope of obtaining it; and when he cannot obtain it, that he may seek, and use,all helps, and advantages ofWarre.”33 Hobbes introduces a second law of nature toindicate the means whereby this coveted peace may be attained: “That a man bewilling, when others are so too, as farre-forth, as for Peace, and defence of himselfe heshall think it necessary, to lay down [his] right to all things; and be contented with somuch liberty against other men, as he would allow other men against himselfe.”34Hobbes’ s second law of nature thus is based on an implicit diagnosis of the problem ofthe state of nature, and suggests that it might be resolved by renouncing the unbridledright of nature that individuals “enjoy” in that state. In terms of our previous analysisthis proposition amounts to the claim that individuals might achieve peace byreciprocally forswearing certain reasons for action. We might imagine that by32 Leviathan, p. 188.Ibid., p. 190 (italics removed). Over the years much ink has been spified in disputing the character ofthe “ought” in this law. It is unclear from Hobbes’s words whether he takes himself here to be reportingon a standing moral duty or offering a piece of common-sense advice. Some who have held the latter viewhave consequently denied that Hobbes’ s theory has any moral basis. It will be suggested below, however,that such a criticism results from taking Hobbes too much at his word. Viewed generally, common-senseadvice is a perfectly inteffigible basis for a moral theory, and it will be argued that this was Hobbes’ sintuition. In addition, we will observe the confusion that results from Hobbes’s use of antiquatedcategories in putting forth his novel moral theory (a confusion from which Hobbes himself did notescape). Only by mistaking this novelty in Hobbes and seeking to read him as the natural rights theoristthat he appears on the surface to be can the above mentioned distinction be said to detract from the moralcharacter of his theory.Ibid., p.190.57agreeing, for example, not to act on reasons which have as their effects the death orserious injury of others, individuals in the state of nature could considerably amelioratetheir condition. Unfortunately, Hobbes insisted, no such agreement would be possibleamong individuals in that state.We have considered Hobbes’ s view that individuals act on appetites, and that thoseappetites aim at what is best for the vital motions of the individuals who have them.Moreover, we have seen that Hobbes views individuals as sufficiently rational to seethat greater felicity can be achieved in a condition of peace than in one of war, and thatpeace requires individuals’ limiting their reasons for action. The difficulty, however,individuals in the state of nature face with respect to such a limiting agreement, is thatwhat subsequently is best for the vital motions of particular individuals will not alwayscoincide with the conditions of the promise by which they have agreed. Eachindividual stands to gain most from a limiting regime through non-reciprocity; whichis to say, where the reasons for action of others are limited and one’s own are not,one’s felicity will be maximised.35 From Hobbes’s theory of motivation it follows thatin the state of nature individuals cannot be trusted to keep their word. And of courseunder those conditions no agreement is possible between rational individuals.Admittedly, there is a fine line to be drawn here, for certain non-reciprocating actions will subvert theregime entirely or result in one’s exclusion, neither of which is in one’s interest; but there are bound to beample instances short of these in which an individual stands to gain more by transgressing than byobserving the terms of the limitation agreement. The point is in any case moot, for in the state of naturesuch an agreement could never get off the ground.58Thus, in the Hobbesian state of nature individuals are unable simply to “lay down”their right of nature, even though all agree that the condition of peace which dependson its surrender is preferable to the state of war in which they currently live.36 Thecertainty of the fact that individuals’ interests will diverge from the conditions of anylimiting agreement would prevent those in the state of nature from exposingthemselves to the losses that would inevitably be entailed in abiding by a failedagreement. Hobbes believed that in this situation rational individuals would see,however, that a limiting agreement could work and thus that peace would be attainableif individuals’ interests could be prevented from diverging from its terms. If the threatto individuals’ vital motions in abrogating the agreement were greater than any gainthey could hope to achieve by means of abrogation, individuals could be counted on toabide by their word, and undertaking such an agreement would be a rationalendeavour. What was required then was some kind of enforcement mechanism which,by attaching adequate sanctions to actions at variance with the plan, could ensure thatindividuals’ interests would coincide with the conditions of the limiting agreement. Inthis situation Hobbes did not doubt that individuals would make the one agreementwhich is possible from within the state of nature—that which brings it to a close byestablishing a sovereign.36 Compare Plamenatz, Ibid., p. 133. “Anyone who, in the state of nature, in fact renounced his right toanything unless others did so too would be a simpleton, a fool, and would pay dearly for his folly byplacing himself at the mercy of others.”59By engendering a power capable of enforcing compliance, the agreement to create asovereign to enforce natural law differs from other agreements which might(fruitlessly) be undertaken in the state of nature.37 We have seen that, for Hobbes, anagreement is possible only where advantages to individuals’ vital motions coincidewith fulfilment of its terms. The creation of a sovereign establishes a credible threatthat the vital motions of those who act on forbidden reasons will suffer more thanwould be the case were they to act on sanctioned reasons. Against these backgroundconditions it is reasonable to expect that restraint exercised in regard to one’s ownreasons for action will be reciprocated by others (it is also becomes prudent not toviolate the sanctioned code). The existence of a sovereign thus makes participating ina reason-limiting regime a rational activity and thereby enables individuals to enjoy theadvantages of peace.There is disagreement in the literature as to whether Hobbes’s account of the origin of the sovereign isultimately successful. It has been maintained that without some kind of “moral glue” to compelindividuals to keep their promises prior to the institution of the sovereign (such as a binding natural law,for example) the agreement which creates the sovereign would be no less ill-fated that any otheragreement in the state of nature. This criticism properly points out that the power of the sovereigndepends on individuals’ complying with their agreement, but it errs in suggesting that such compliancewould not be possible upon Hobbes’ s account. The institution of the Hobbesian sovereign would indeed bean impossibility were each of the parties to the instituting agreement simultaneously to be offered anopportunity for greater felicity by abrogating than by abiding by their promise, for in that case there wouldbe no power left to apply punitive sanctions. Empirically, however, such a situation is extremely doubtful.It is much more likely that opportunities for illicit advantages will present themselves differentially toindividuals. In that case each individual considering such an action would have to count on theopposition of all other individuals who stand only to loose by it. Hobbes’ s theory requires that the threatof such opposition be substantial enough to make the commission of such an act inadvisable. There is noreason to doubt that under normal circumstances the combined strength of those with nothing to gain byabrogation would be entirely sufficient in this regard. (See Plamenatz’s discussion of this point in op cit.,pp. 135-8.)60Hobbes thus endeavoured to show that individuals would not be able effectively to livewith the right of nature, nor to surrender it at will, but that their only hope to be rid ofit (and hence to live in peace) would be to transfer that right to a sovereign. It was thistransfer, in Hobbes’ s mind, which was the origin of political obligation and authority;for he saw the alienated rights of the subjects as responsible for the sovereign’s right torule.Hobbes’ s attempt to provide a general account of political authority in terms of thealienation of subjects’ natural rights through a transfer to the sovereign is ultimatelyunsuccessful, however, and this failure is indicative of a tension in Hobbes’ s theorybetween two incongruous moral frameworks. The consequentialist considerations interms of which Hobbes seeks to justify the original transfer of rights is at odds with themoral picture that results in light of that transfer; for, once justified, this transfer ofnatural rights renders inconsequent considerations of subjects’ well-being to thecharacter of their obligation to government.38 Hobbes’ s belief that government of anykind would be superior to life in the state of nature does not adequately explain whythe normative relevance of subjects’ well-being should extend no farther than thejustification of this supposed transfer. The seriousness of this criticism will be betterSee Anthony Qumton, “Introduction,” in A. Quinton (ed.), Political Philosophy, (Oxford, OxfordUniversity Press, 1967), P. 12. “Extrinsic theories [such as coniractarian accounts] are the politicalcorrelates of teleological accounts of morally right action which define a right action as one from which itis reasonable to expect good consequences.” Albeit, Quinton observes, upon contractarian explanations“the connection between obligation and good consequences is indirect.”61assessed, however, after considering more generally the nature of Hobbes’ s allegedfailure successfully to account for authority in these terms.Hobbes maintained that individuals in the state of nature would realise that theirexercise of the right of nature is responsible for their misery and that they wouldhappily limit their reasons for action if they could be certain that others would dolikewise. To this end, Hobbes says, they transfer that right to a third party; as if eachshould say to all others “I Authorise and give up my Right of Governing my selfe, tothis Man, or to this Assembly of men, on this condition, that thou give up thy Right tohim, and Authorise all his Actions in like manner.”39 The sovereign, who is a thirdparty beneficiary of the agreement, swears away no rights and thus effectively remainsin the state of nature. Of swearing away rights in general, Hobbes says:To lay downe a mans Right to any thing, is to devest himselfe of the Liberty, ofhindering another of the benefit of his own Right to the same. For he thatrenounceth, or passeth away his Right, giveth not to any other man a Right whichhe had not before; Because there is nothing to which every man had not Right byNature: but onely standeth out of his way, that he may enjoy his own originallRight without hindrance from him.Hence, Hobbes believed that in transferring their right of nature individuals do notconfer on the sovereign anything that he did not already have, but merely agree not toLeviathan, p. 227 (italics removed).40 Ibid., p. 191 (italics removed).62resist the exercise of his pre-existing right. But this analysis of the right to rule isinadequate for it fails to reflect the essential novelty of that right.We have seen that the sovereign is instituted in respect of an agreement wherebyindividuals mutually forswear certain reasons for action, which Hobbes conceives ofas a transfer of natural rights. This limiting agreement is maintained through theissuance and enforcement of authoritative directives, or laws, which demarcate thepermissible bounds of action on first order reasons. This system of binding secondorder reasons is of the essence of law and its enforcement constitutes the principleresponsibility of the sovereign.The attempt might be made to account for law purely in terms of first orderdisincentives which serve to ensure compliance with desired norms by determining thebalance of individuals’ first order reasons for action. Such an attempt, however,mistakes the character of law. To conceive of law in these terms is to construe it as acoercion-backed system of advice. Individuals are advised not to undertake certainactions on account of the negative consequences that are to be expected in the casethat they do so. The rightness or wrongness of an action taken with respect to a pieceof advice is contingent on the states of affairs presupposed by that advice actuallycoming to pass. If I ignore the suggestion that I should take a rain jacket with me on63my walk in the park, the fact that it does not rain means that I act rightly. By contrast,the wrong done in breaking the law is categorical; the wrongness of the act does notdepend on an actor’s actually suffering on account of his transgression. In breakingthe law and getting away with it an individual is not merely rejecting a bad piece ofadvice. Were this the case, getting away with breaking the law would be to act rightly.Even in getting away with it, however, an individual who breaks the law acts wrongly.The categorical nature of the wrongness of breaking the law is accounted for in termsof the law-breaker’s having failed to observe relevant second order reasons for action,which is independent from any consequences of that failure. This is not to deny inprinciple that a system of social regulation might operate purely on coercive advice,only that it would be a system of law.4’In areas covered by law, then, individuals must forgo their contrary first order reasonsand accept the relevant authoritative directives as the reason for their action, and anyindividual failing to do so is subject to reprimand at the hands of the sovereign.Hence, the sovereign’s right to rule consists (in large part) in the right to enforce asystem of punishments for ignoring authoritative second order reasons for action.41 Michael Oakeshott addresses this point explicitly in terms of Hobbes’ s theory in his “Introduction toLeviathan,” Rationalism in Politics and Other Essays, (New and Expanded Ed., Indianapolis, LibertyPress, 1991), pp. 184-5. “According to Hobbes, for a man to be ‘obliged’ is for him to be bound, to beconstrained by some external impediment imposed, directly or indirectly, by himself [W]ere a manto be constrained from willing and performing a certain action because he judged its likely consequencesto be damaging to himself, he would suffer no external constraint and therefore could not properly be saidto be ‘obliged’ to refrain from this action [Flear of being thwarted by the power of another man, is..a reason for acting or refraining from a particular action, not an external constraint upon conduct.”64Clearly, however, no such right can exist in the state of nature where no authoritativereasons are known. Hobbes acknowledges as much where he observes that “in thecondition of Nature, where every man is Judge, there is no place for Accusation.”42Where there is no place for accusation, of course, there can be no right to accuse; yetthis right is central to the operation of the punitive system that the exercise of rulepresupposes. The existence of the institution of law therefore creates a new kind ofright, that of doing justice on those who violate the terms of the limiting agreement,and it is explaining the creation of this new right rather than the transfer or alienationof pre-existing rights that must be the central task of an account of politicalauthority.43Any adequate justification of the right to rule will be based on the same considerationswhich underlie Hobbes’ s theory, which is to say, the interests and needs of individuals.It was not in seeking to justify political authority in these terms that Hobbes wasmistaken, but in conceiving of their relation to authority as mediated by a transfer ofnatural rights. The two-tier justification scheme consequent on Hobbes’ s conception,wherein a transfer of natural rights is first justified in terms of its good consequencesand then the right to rule is justified in terms of that transfer of rights, has the effect of42 Ibid., p. 199.Compare G. E. M. Anscome, “On the Source of the Authority of the State,” Joseph Raz (ed.),Authority, (Oxford: Basil Blackwell Ltd. 1990), p. 165: “The institution [of law] creates the character ofan act as one of doing justice. . . .“ See also Plamenatz, op cit. pp. 138-148, for a discussion of Hobbes’suse of natural right.65insulating the issue of the legitimacy of an exercise of rule from the empiricalcharacteristics of that exercise of rule itself. Hobbes took this bifurcation to beessential to the achievement and maintenance of social peace and stability; for whereindividuals might question their obligation in light of the sovereign’s particularactions, Hobbes assumed that no social order could survive. We will presently see,however, that the separation of questions of legitimacy from the actions of politicalauthorities is counterintuitive even on many of Hobbes’ s own assumptions, and a casewill be made that as a general proposition this conclusion appeared theoretically viableto Hobbes only because of his mistaking the character of the right to rule.Since, in Hobbes’ s mind, the state of nature has such tremendous negative utility, thethreshold for individuals’ transfer of natural rights was set very low. Given thebleakness of alternatives, Hobbes assumed that his consequentialist case for thistransfer of rights would hold good whenever it was in an individual’s interest to obeyrather than resist a superior force. Once made, such a transfer would bind individualsto obedience independently of the particular actions of that authority.44 In terms ofHobbes’s justificatory scheme it follows that there is no such thing as de factoauthority, for any power capable of dominating individuals automatically receives the“This is not to say that Hobbes saw individuals’ obligation to their political superiors as absolute,however, for he insists that the transfer of any natural right must be voluntary, and “of the voluntary actsof every man, the object is some Good to Himselfe” (Leviathan, p. 192). Given Hobbes’s understanding ofgood (in terms of vital motion) it is for him a logical impossibility that individuals could voluntarilytransfer their right of self defence. Hence, no subject can be obligated by right not to defend him orherself from attack, even in case the attacker is the sovereign itself.66transfer of their natural rights which in turn grounds that government’s right to rule.Being based on a transfer of rights, in Hobbes mind, obligation to any and allgovernments is normatively equivalent. From the standpoint of Hobbes’ s theory, thefact that one government is in the hands of an exploitative band of robbers bent onmilking the population to the limit (a prospect Hobbes viewed as unlikely) whileanother runs as an Athenian-style democracy has no bearing on the character of thesubjects’ obligation to obey the law. All are equally bound, according to Hobbes, bythe moral reality of the transfer of their natural rights.A further consequence of Hobbes’ s viewing the basis of obligation as consisting in atransfer of natural rights concerns his concept of “authorisation.”45 We consideredabove Hobbes’ s characterisation of the transfer of rights in which he imaginesindividuals coming together and mutually declaring: “I Authorise and give up myRight of Governing my selfe, to this Man. . . . etc.” This description makes clear thetwo-fold character of Hobbes’ s conception of authority relations; for whereas it is thegiving up of rights that is responsible for the subjects’ obligation, it is the concomitantauthorisation which engenders the sovereigns’ authority.See David Gauthier, chap. 1V “Theory of Authorization,” The Logic ofLeviathan: The Moral andPolitical Theory of Thomas Hobbes, (Oxford: Clarendon Press 1969), pp. 120-77.67Hobbes conceived of the authority of the sovereign on the model of a consignment.46In his mind, everything that the sovereign does in the capacity of ruler is ultimately“owned” by the subjects: “So that by Authority, is always understood a Right of doingany act: and done by Authority, done by Commission, or Licence from him whoseright it is.”47 As a correlate of this view Hobbes concluded that the sovereign cancommit no wrong against the subjects. Thus, “because every Subject is by thisInstitution Author of all the Actions, and Judgements of the Soveraigne Instituted; itfollowes, that whatsoever he doth, it can be no injury to any of his Subjects. . . For hethat doth any thing by authority from another, doth therein no injury to him by whoseauthority he acteth. . . because to do injury to one selfe, is impossible.”48By the time we arrive at Hobbes’s political conclusions, the concern for the interestsand needs of individuals which lent urgency to the pre-civil predicament of these latterand made their exit from that condition seem a normatively pressing matter is seriouslyobscured. Individuals, we are told, are morally bound to obey whomever can arrangethings such that they have more to lose through disobedience than obedience, and theycannot complain for any treatment that they receive at the hands of such a ruler.R. S. Peters, in his essay “Authority,” in Quinton (ed), Political Philosophy, p. 85, has criticisedHobbes’s treatment of the concept of authority in general as analogous to the particular case whereauthority is granted by means of permitting another to make use of something over which one has a rightto dispose. Such a case is indeed an authorised act, Peters observes, “but there is a more general meaningof ‘authorize’ which is to set up or acknowledge as authoritative; to give legal force or formal aproval to..‘Authorization’ is better understood in terms of the general concept of ‘authority’ rather than viceversa. Hobbes pictured ‘authority’ in terms of ‘authorization’ which is one of its derivatives.”Leviathan, p. 218.48 Ibid.,p.232.68Hobbes assures his readers that this state of affairs is superior in terms of the quality ofindividuals’ lives than (what he takes to be) the only alternative.49 But even if it is truethat any government is better than no government, it does not follow (even upon theassumptions in terms of which that evaluation is made) that all governments areequally worthy of their subjects’ obedience.Hobbes was prevented from theoretically distinguishing between better and worsegovernments on account of his viewing the right to rule in terms of a transfer of naturalrights; for (as we have seen) the upshot of the subjects’ transfer was merely theunencumbering of the sovereign’s pre-existing natural right to all things. The positiveaspects of the right to rule therefore, in Hobbes’ s mind, are morally justified in termsof the natural right of the sovereign. This natural right, of course, Hobbes from theoutset regards as legitimate, and he sees no special need for justification when it ceasesto meet resistance on the part of others. In focusing his theoretical energies on theneed for the transfer itself, Hobbes took for granted the moral character of the(supposed) right to rule which resulted from that transfer. Upon Hobbes’s view, thecorrelative duties of the subjects were in no way contingent upon the manner in whichthe sovereign exercised what was in fact his primordial right of nature.49Hobbes observes in this connexion: “that the estate of Man can never be without some incommodity orother; and that the greatest, that in any forme of Government can possibly happen to the people ingenerall, is scarce sensible, in respect of the miseries, and horrible calamities, that accompany a CivilWane” (Leviathan, p. 238); and elsewhere: “though of so unlimited a Power, men may fancy many evilconsequences, yet the consequences of the want of it, which is perpetuall warre of every man against hisneighbour, are much worse” (ibid., p. 260)69Viewing the right to rule not (in the way of Hobbes) as an atavistic natural right, butrather as a creation “ex nihilio” allows one more clearly to see that the existence of thatright requires some special justification. As was previously claimed, such justificationmust appeal to the same kind of considerations to which Hobbes appealed in justifyingindividuals’ transfer of natural rights; that is, it must be justified in terms of benefitsconferred on the individuals subject to that right.50 Thus, the strength of a claim toenforce a system of law is to be determined in light of the benefits that the enforcementof that system provides, and not in light of some independently subsisting entitlementto do as one wishes with the people in question. The justification of authority in termsof benefits accruing to those over whom it is exercised leads to the concept ofresponsible government.Responsible government is premised on the idea of a reciprocal moral relationwhereby obligation is owed to authority in respect of advantages duly provided. Thisview of authority has been given theoretical expression by Joseph Raz in terms of whathe calls the “service conception” of government.5’The idea here is that the primaryfunction (and justifIcatory premise) of authority is to serve the governed. Raz° The present criticism of Hobbes’ s theory is essentially that which Hume made of contract theories ingeneral (in the words of Quinton, op cit., p. 12): “that the good ends for which the promise was made aresufficient to justify obedience to the state by themselves and without the intermediary of a highlyspeculative act of moral commitment.” For Hume’ s criticism of contractarianism see “Of the SocialContract,” Hume’s Ethical Writings, (New York: Collier-Macmillan, 1965).51 Joseph Raz, The Morality ofFreedom, (Oxford: Clarendon Press 1986), p. 56.70construes the service conception in terms of two theses which, he says, togetheraccount for the nature and role of legitimate authority. The first of these, “thedependence thesis,” maintains that “all authoritative directives should be based onreasons which already independently apply to the subjects of the directives and arerelevant to their action in the circumstances covered by the directive.”52 And thesecond, “the normal justification thesis,” claims that “the normal way to establish thata person has authority over another person involves showing that the alleged subject islikely better to comply with reasons which apply to him (other than the allegedauthoritative directives) if he accepts the directives of the alleged authority asauthoritatively binding and tries to follow them, rather than by trying to follow thereasons which apply to him directly.”53Raz’ s two theses give increased precision to the concept of benefit as it relates to thejustification of authority. According to Raz, what makes authority legitimate is itsallowing individuals more surely to act on reasons that apply to them. Thus the rulesof grammar might be said to represent legitimate authority because they facilitatecommunication, which any social being has reason to do.54 Of course, politicalreasons will generally be much more controversial than those which pertain tolanguage; however this does not mean that no such reasons can be found.52 Ibid., p. 47.Ibid., p. 53.See Peter Winch, “Authority” in Anthony Quinton (ed.), Political Philosophy, p. 100, for a discussionof the relation of authority to rule-governed practices like langauge.71The most obvious way that political authority enables individuals better to act onreasons that apply to them is by helping to solve co-ordination problems. Theenforcement of traffic regulations provides a ready example of how authority canfunction in this way; for everyone has reason to wish to avoid the confusion that wouldresult in the absence of such regulations. In addition, the state might play symbolicroles which enable individuals better to act on self-regarding reasons. Admittedly,here the concept becomes more nebulous and definite examples are harder to find, butit is arguable that in positively fostering a general sense of security and belongingamong its citizens the state helps to establish or maintain the preconditions formeaningful action. If this is the case, then the symbolic gestures of the state also willbe expressions of legitimate authority.At any rate, the service conception of government provides us with the theoretical toolwe need to distinguish normatively between governments on the basis of theirempirical characteristics. Obligation to government begins and ends with de jureauthority, which is to say authority expressed in directives based on reasons whichindependently apply to the individuals against whom those directives are enforced.Directives based on reasons other than these are the mark of de facto authority and donot morally bind those against whom they are enforced (whatever prudential reasonsthese latter might have for observing them). Needless to say, the service conception of72government does not follow Hobbes in denying that the sovereign power can in anyway injure the subjects. Upon the service view, injury is done whenever individualsare forced to act on reasons which do not apply to them. Indeed, the normative thesisof that view may be summed up simply in the notion that individuals cannotlegitimately be required to do themselves such injury.No doubt, Hobbes came as close as was possible in his day to providing a justificationof authority based on the benefits conferred by government on the lives of those whoare subject to it. However, by interposing a transfer of rights between theseconsiderations and the consequent right to rule Hobbes was lead to mistake thecharacter of that right in two important ways. First, he failed to recognise that the rightto rule, which (we have seen) presumes the right to enforce penalties for failure toobserve authoritative second order reasons, is essentially a new right and not thevestigial natural right of the sovereign. And second, in virtue of this oversight Hobbesfailed to realise the manner in which right to rule is self-limiting. In fact it is limitedby the very considerations in terms of which he sought to justify the transfer of naturalrights: the interests and needs of individuals. On account of his mistaking thecharacter of the right to rule, Hobbes arrived political conclusions which arepotentially at odds with the basic moral intuitions which underlie his theory. Thesuggestion has here been made that the service conception of government is truer toHobbes foundational concerns than is his own right-based theory. It was, however, for73later thinkers in less unstable times more fully to develop the service conception ofgovernment which is inchoate in Hobbes.74ConclusionIn the preceding pages we have reviewed the concept of authority and developed aparticular conception of that notion which centres on Joseph Raz’ s distinction betweenfirst and second order reasons. Enlisting this conception in an examination ofHobbes’ s justification of authority has revealed an anomaly in that theory with respectto the right to rule. This right is the essential normative component of authority and iswhat distinguishes it from force on the one side and advice on the other. Given thecentrality of the right to rule to the concept of authority (and hence to politicalphilosophy itself) any inconsistency in that regard is bound to be significant. Inconcluding, then, let us give some further consideration to the theoretical implicationsof Hobbes’ s view of the right to rule.The upshot of Hobbes’ s basing the right to rule on individuals’ transfer of naturalrights is to limit the range of politically relevant reasons individuals independentlyhave for acting solely to bodily survival. Bodily survival is of course a very importantreason that individuals have for acting, and it is not surprising that in the midst of acivil war it would seem like the only politically relevant reason that there could be.Consequently, Hobbes arrived at a political conclusion which formalised thiscondition. In Hobbes view, anything necessary for individuals’ reasons of bodilysurvival is politically justified and no reason other than bodily survival has any political75significance at all. Subsequent history has shown, however, that the politicalsignificance of reasons is a function of their context. The range of politically relevantreasons fluctuates over time. Nor can it be assumed that reasons of bodily survivalalways politically trump other reasons which apply to individuals; a state whichprohibits the climbing of dangerous peaks, for example, is not politically superior toone that does not merely on that basis. Individuals have interests based on autonomywhich, no less than their bodily interests, may provide legitimate reasons for politicalaction. As a general rule, however, these autonomy-based reasons can only subsistagainst background conditions in which individuals’ bodily interests are (for the mostpart) secure.At the time in which Hobbes wrote bodily interests in England were extremelyinsecure; thus the granting of political significance to reasons other than bodilysurvival was a theoretical luxury which Hobbes could not afford. Even on the serviceconception of government, in such circumstances bodily interests would provide theonly reasons relevant to political action. In seeking to make obligation manifestlyunconditional, however, Hobbes based the right to rule on a transfer of natural rights.This theoretical move at once precluded the possibility of normative progress in civilrelations and involved Hobbes in the theoretical inconsistency which has beenobserved. Whether Hobbes was aware of these theoretical drawbacks and attempted76to buy certainty of obligation at that price is unclear; but to one in Hobbes’s positionthat might well have seemed like a deal worth making.77BIBLIOGRAPHYAnscombe, G. E. M. “On the Source of the Authority of the State,” in J. Raz (ed.)Authority. Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1990.Gauthier, David P. The Logic of Leviathan: The Moral and Political Philosophy ofThomas Hobbes. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1969.Green, Leslie. The Authority of the State. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1988.Grotius, Hugo. The Law ofWar and Peace. Trans. F. W. Kelsey, New York: BobbsMerrill, 1925.Hart, H. L. A. Essays on Bentham: Studies in Jurisprudence and Political Theory.Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1982.. The Concept of Law. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1961.Hobbes, Thomas. Behemoth: The History of the Causes of the Civil Wars of England.(ed.) William Molesworth, New York: Burt Franklin.. The Elements of Law. (ed.) Ferdinand Toennies, 2nd edn., London: M. M.Goldsmith, 1969.. Leviathan. (ed.) C. B. Macpherson, Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 1985.Keohane, RobertO. After Hegemony. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1984.Macpherson, C. B. “Introduction,” to T. Hobbes, Leviathan. (ed.) C. B. Macpherson,Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 1985.Oakeshott, Michael. “Introduction to Leviathan,” in Rationalism in Politics and OtherEssays. (New and Expanded Edn.) Indianapolis: Liberty Press, 1991.Peters, R. S. “Authority,” in A. Quinton (ed.) Political Philosophy. Oxford: OxfordUniversity Press, 1967.Plamenatz, John. Man and Society. vol. 1, London: Longmans 1963.Pollock, Frederick. “The History of the Law of Nature.” Essays in the Law. London:Macmillan, 1922.78Popper, Karl. The Open Society and Its Enemies. Princeton: Princeton UniversityPress, 1950.Quinton, Anthony. “Introduction,” in A. Quinton (ed.), Political Philosophy. Oxford:Oxford University Press, 1967.Raz, Joseph. “Authority and Justification,” in J. Raz (ed.) Authority. Oxford: BasilBlackwell, 1990.. The Morality of Freedom. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1986.. Practical Reasons and Norms. London: Hutchinson & Co. 1975.Schneewind, J. B. “The Divine Corporation and the History of Ethics,” in R. Rorty eta. (eds.) Philosophy in History: Essays on the Historioaphy of Philosophy.Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1984.Schochet, Gordon. Patriarchalism in Political Thought. Oxford, Basil Blackwell,1975.Simmons, A. John. Moral Principles and Political Obligations. Princeton: PrincetonUniversity Press, 1979Tuck, Richard. Hobbes. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989.Warrender, Howard. The Political Philosophy of Hobbes: His Theory of Obligation.Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1957.Weber, Max. The Theory of Social and Economic Organization. (revised edn)London: William Hodge and Company Limited, 1947.Winch, Peter. “Authority,” in A. Quinton, Political Philosophy. Oxford: OxfordUniversity Press, 1967.Wolff, Robert Paul. In Defense of Anarchy. New York: Harper and Row, 1970.79

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