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Commonwealth and civility : a study of Thomas Hobbes Stoffell, Brian Frederick 1984

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COMMONWEALTH AND C I V I L I T Y :  A STUDY  OF THOMAS HOBBES by  Brian Frederick S t o f f e l l (Hons), U n i v e r s i t y o f Western A u s t r a l i a  B.A.  A THESIS SUBMITTED I N P A R T I A L F U L F I L L M E N T OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY  in  THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE S T U D I E S (Department o f  Philosophy)  W e ^ a ^ c e p t 1^his t h e s i s a s 'to  th^jrequired  THE U N I V E R S I T Y  OF  standqfltf_  BRrVlsVi  September,  ©  conforming  Brian Frederick  /  COLUMBIA  1984  Stoffell,  1984  In p r e s e n t i n g  t h i s t h e s i s i n p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t of  requirements f o r an advanced degree a t the  the  University  o f B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree t h a t the L i b r a r y s h a l l make it  f r e e l y a v a i l a b l e f o r reference  and  study.  I further  agree t h a t p e r m i s s i o n f o r e x t e n s i v e copying of t h i s t h e s i s f o r s c h o l a r l y purposes may department or by h i s or her  be granted by the head o f representatives.  my  It i s  understood t h a t copying or p u b l i c a t i o n of t h i s t h e s i s f o r f i n a n c i a l gain  s h a l l not be allowed without my  permission.  Department o f The  U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia  1956  Main  Mall  Vancouver, Canada V6T 1Y3  - 6  n/Rn  written  -ii-  ABSTRACT  The p r i n c i p a l claim o f t h i s t h e s i s i s that Hobbes neither argues for,  nor i s committed t o , psychological egoism.  More p o s i t i v e l y , I  construct a reading o f Hobbes which gives a non-egoistic theory o f character the r o l e o f supporting h i s p o l i t i c a l theory. I  present  a Hobbes whose  mechanistic  psychology  In so doing  and account o f  s e l f - p r e s e r v a t i o n are n e u t r a l with respect t o the character in  civil  life.  I deny that there  are any compelling  t r e a t Hobbesian i n d i v i d u a l s as predisposed What I r e f e r to as a "theory  o f men  reasons to  t o some form o f egoism.  o f character"  i s what Hobbes t r e a t s  under the headings o f " d i s p o s i t i o n s " and "manners".  I conclude that  Hobbes has ample room w i t h i n h i s psychology f o r c i v i c v i r t u e s and for  motivations a t odds with psychological egoism. Contrary  to Gauthier,  psychological  egoism  who argues that Hobbes i s committed to  because  of  details  psychology, I contend that the mechanistic is  i n his  basis o f the psychology  what disallows any a s c r i p t i o n o f egoism t o Hobbes.  without  following  either  McNeilly  mechanistic  or Gert:  I do t h i s  the former  o f whom  1  believes that Hobbes materialism i s i r r e l e v a n t t o the remainder o f his  philosophy,  and the l a t t e r o f whom believes that the materialism  i s d e s t r u c t i v e o f any motivational theory a t a l l . all  three,  I argue  Disagreeing  with  f o r a p o s i t i v e and constructive r e l a t i o n s h i p  between Hobbes' materialism  and psychology.  In p a r t i c u l a r I claim  that one aspect o f Hobbes' materialism - the account o f endeavour or conatus  -  constitutes  a  general  theory  o f d i s p o s i t i o n s , one  i m p l i c a t i o n o f which i s that human d i s p o s i t i o n s are not f i x e d i n any  - i i i -  way that would be necessary to create the character o f the e g o i s t . So, f a r from being the reason why Hobbesian i n d i v i d u a l s are e g o i s t s , his  materialism  provides  what  I take  to be the best  reason f o r  t h i n k i n g that they are not. To argue that  Hobbesian i n d i v i d u a l s are not e g o i s t i c , and to  base that claim on features o f h i s materialism i s one t h i n g ; but o f course the reason alluded arcane to say the. l e a s t . support  the same  to - features o f h i s materialism There are other  conclusion,  a c c e s s i b l e than the f i r s t .  and  these  - is  reasons a v a i l a b l e to  reasons  are  f a r more  These reasons derive from d e s c r i p t i o n s  Hobbes gives of the character o f the best kind o f men (those whom I use  the term "magnanimous" to r e f e r t o ) .  I consider  the range o f  character t r a i t s i n question, and conclude that Hobbes was c e r t a i n l y impressed by older c h i v a l r i c and m a r t i a l v i r t u e s , despite being strong proponent of a more c i v i l i a n code o f v i r t u e s .  a  My method f o r  looking i n t o these q u a l i t i e s o f character assumes a p a r t i c u l a r point o f view. The point of view i n question  i s historical:  I consider what  Hobbes says about character i n terms o f the s o c i a l context centring on  the Jacobean  and  Caroline  designed to do two t h i n g s .  aristocracy.  Firstly,  My  strategy  here i s  I wish to support the claim  that Hobbes discusses character t r a i t s f o r which there are no obvious e g o i s t i c i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . And secondly, I wish to shed some l i g h t on why Hobbes was so exercised by the s o c i a l impact of c e r t a i n motives; particularly material  those connected with  I cover  power, honour, and worth.  i s p r e c i s e l y that  which  The  i n t e r e s t e d Macpherson. 1  However, u n l i k e him I do not believe that Hobbes a n a l y s i s o f s o c i a l  -i  v-  i n t e r a c t i o n s was one u n w i t t i n g l y suffused with d e t a i l s taken early  English  capitalism.  Rather,  my  argument  from  i s that Hobbes'  conception o f the p i t f a l l s i n the path o f c i v i l i t y was l a r g e l y based on  h i s understanding  of a r i s t o c r a t i c  character.  Thomas I suggest that Hobbes was a c r i t i c honour  was  the dominant  sympathetic c r i t i c .  concern;  Following Keith  o f the c u l t u r e f o r which  although  i n some  respects a  -V-  CGNTENTS  Acknowledgement References  viii  t o works  by Hobbes  vi i  Abstract  i i  Introduction  1  Chapter  1  HISTORY  AND I N T E R P R E T A T I O N  1.1  Quentin  1.2  The Image o f t h e B e a s t  Chapter  Skinner  The S t a t e  of  2.2  The M a t e r i a l  2.3  Desire  2.4  Conceptions  2.5  Justice  2.6  Conclusion  Nature  Egoism  3.2  Conatus  24  H O B B E S I A N MAN  as Terminal  Basis  38  ,39 48 52  and Passions  as a Virtue  3 CONATUS  3.1  .11  12  2 DAVID GAUTHIER'S  2.1  Chapter  I  and M a t e r i a l i s m I  58 62 75 . 77  78 8  0  -vi-  3.3 Descartes' Optics  92  3.A Conatus I I  97  Chapter 4 CHARACTER AND SELF-PRESERVATION  j g; 0  4.1 From Conatus to Character  109  4.2 Cn Dispositions and Manners  114;  4.3 S e l f - P r e s e r v a t i o n  123  4.4 Self-Maintenance  111  4.5 Natural Necessity and Suicide  131  4.6 The Preservation o f the S e l f  137:  4.7 Preservation and Reason  140  Chapter 5 HISTORY AND INTERPRETATION I I  143  5.1 Introduction  144:  5.2 The Macpherson Thesis  146  5 l 3 Keith Thomas  150  5.4 Human Nature  152  5^5 The State o f Nature  158  5.6 Power, Honour, and Value  176  5.7 The Magnanimous Man  188  Notes  200  Bibliography  209,  -V1T-  REFERENCES TO -WORKS BY -HOBBES  The English Works of Thomas Hobbes of Malmesbury, edited by S i r William Molesworth, London 1839-45.  References t o these volumes  are c i t e d as follows: (E.W.III, 283).  The - -Elements  of  Law,  edited  by  Ferdinand  Tonnies,  second  e d i t i o n , London 1969. Referred to as (E.L., 43).  De Homine, from Thomas Hobbes: Man and C i t i z e n , edited with an introduction  by Bernard Gert, New  York 1972,  C i t a t i o n i s as  follows: (DeH., 34).  Thomas White's De Mundo Examined, t r a n s l a t e d from Hobbes' L a t i n by Harold Whitmore Jones, Bradford UK., 1979.  Cited as (T.W.,  445).  A Dialogue Between a Philosopher and a Student of the Common Laws o f England, edited by Joseph Cropsey, Chicago 1971.  Cited  as (D., 123).  The Autobiography o f Thomas Hobbes, t r a n s l a t e d from the L a t i n by Benjamin Farrington, R a t i o n a l i s t Annual, 1958, pp. 22-31. as (A., 25).  Cited  -vi  i i -  ACKNOWLEDGEMENT  My i n t e r e s t  i n Hobbes stems from contact  developed by discussions  with  with  Bob Ewin, and was  Ed Hundert and Steve  Straker.  My  supervisor Don Brown has been a source o f sound c r i t i c i s m and s o l i d support; I owe him a debt o f gratitude for both. read t h i s t h e s i s i n successive d r a f t s .  Peter Remnant has  Each time he has provided me  with d e t a i l e d and searching c r i t i c i s m s , without which the work could hardly have proceeded. many e r r o r s . for.  Peter's painstaking e f f o r t s have eliminated  Those which remain I alone must take  responsibility  -1-  Introduction  This t h e s i s examines Hobbes' theory of character, exploring i t s relevance  f o r what i s arguably  h i s major concern:  c i v i l i t y w i t h i n the commonwealth. sustained treatment; you  consider  nature. reputation others  This subject has never received a  something which must count as s u r p r i s i n g when  the a t t e n t i o n given  Indeed,  i t would  as a p o l i t i c a l  have  the question o f  taken  be  to what Hobbes says about human plausible  theorist  h i s theory  t o hold  i s largely  of  human  that  derived  nature  to  Hobbes'  from what be.  The  conventional wisdom i s that Hobbes took human nature t o be b a s i c a l l y u n s o c i a l , and used t h i s as a premise t o convince h i s audience o f the need f o r the form of sovereign prerogative he favoured.  Like most  others I believe that what Hobbes says about character i s part o f an argument f o r univocal sovereignty; b e l i e v e that Hobbes  1  however, u n l i k e most I do not  theory o f character can properly be described  as e g o i s t i c or h i s i n d i v i d u a l s properly thought of as unrestrained u t i l i t y maximizers. read  I t i s p e r f e c t l y understandable  i n t h i s way, since the basis o f h i s theory  obscure t o say the l e a s t ,  that Hobbes i s of character i s  and i n the prominent places  where he  u t i l i z e s views about human nature he simply summarizes r e s u l t s . The motivation f o r t h i s study i s twofold. dissatisfaction psychology Gauthier  with  entail  what  prevailing  f o r the nature  F i r s t l y , there i s my  opinions  Hobbes'  o f h i s commonwealth.  makes i t c l e a r that i n h i s view Hobbes i t s premises  about  are  too  1  political  individualistic  David theory  collapses  because  and  egoistic.  Hence i r r e s p e c t i v e o f what Hobbes might have wished, h i s  ,2-  psychology i s d e s t r u c t i v e of h i s aims: i t allows only anarchy does not provide any basis for c i v i l i t y . what Hobbes might have s a i d - and  and  S i m i l a r l y , i r r e s p e c t i v e of  he  s a i d quite a l o t - about  j u s t i c e as a v i r t u e , h i s psychology i s taken to reduce j u s t i c e to a 1  species of prudence or nothing. may  encompass many j u s t acts  w i l l contain no j u s t men. prospect, but i t i s my Minogue, and  Goldsmith  about  grounds, and attack,  the  unobtainable  1  have a l l drawn a t t e n t i o n to the person that magnanimous; yet without such  first.  a  some p l a u s i b l e on  Hobbesian  some attempt to meet the power of  Gauthier's  chivalrous  of  individual  character  remains  as  either  an  i d e a l or a p u z z l i n g attachment to an image of honour  that was fast fading by the seventeenth The  contract) but i t  Hobbes could be committed to t h i s dismal  development  without  Hobbes  (non-violations of  b e l i e f that he i s not. Oakeshott, Strauss,  Hobbes e x t o l s as j u s t and theory  Hobbes version of the commonwealth  second  motivating  factor  century.  is  I f Hobbes did have a theory  closely  connected  with  the  of character r i c h enough to  allow types that are i n c o n s i s t e n t with egoism, then presumably theory had better be consistent with h i s often repeated the  mechanics of  action:  the  vital  and  voluntary  the  account of  motion s t o r y .  Furthermore, i f most people's appreciation of Hobbesian psychology is  based on  t h i s account of v i t a l  and  disagreeing with the common understanding why fits  voluntary  motion, then i n  I am obliged to show both  the v i t a l and voluntary motion story i s non-egoistic and how i t with material on  surprisingly,  from  De  the d i s p o s i t i o n s from De - Homine, and, Corpore.  Since  De  Homine does  more  contain  a  f a i r l y d e t a i l e d d i s c u s s i o n of character t r a i t s , and since Hobbes was  -3-  adamant t h a t t h e s u b j e c t o f t h e book was e t h i c s , i t i s n o t hard t o view  the  book  elaborated  as  i n De  designed  Cive.  to  underpin  But then  the  o f course  political  i f this  theory  support  does  h o l d , t h e g e n e r a l t h e o r y o f d i s p o s i t i o n s d e v e l o p e d i n De Corpore may be t h e bottom rung o f t h e whole a c c o u n t .  I b e l i e v e t h a t what Hobbes  s a y s about v i t a l and v o l u n t a r y motion i s i n t e n d e d of  h i s p h y s i o l o g i c a l psychology,  political is  significance.  h i s theory  formulated a  by him t o be p a r t  and not something  o f moral o r  What i s o f moral and p o l i t i c a l s i g n i f i c a n c e  o f human  character  i n De Homine.  delivered  as  h i s e t h i c s and  The f i x a t i o n on t h e mechanics o f a c t i o n i s  mistake. I  yet  d i d n o t s e t out t o v i n d i c a t e Hobbes' s y s t e m a t i c  once  the connection  between  conatus  (as a  general  pretensions; theory  of  d i s p o s i t i o n s worked o u t a t t h e l e v e l o f o b j e c t s ) and c h a r a c t e r ( t h e politically  relevant  s e t o f human d i s p o s i t i o n s ) i s p o s t u l a t e d ,  we  can see a q u i t e c l e a r r e s p e c t i n which Hobbes has l i n k e d h i s p h y s i c s with h i s p o l i t i c s . citizen  - without  The f o c a l p o i n t o f p o l i t i c s i t being  human  But  i f the  propensity  for c i v i l i t y  o t h e r , and those entities, equal  then  status  motions equitable  o f p h y s i c s , much as t h e concern  d i s p o s i t i o n s more g e n e r a l l y political  in  assessment on  of  i s t h e concern citizens  t h e one hand,  p r o p e n s i t i e s are genuinely what  i s manifestly  (Hobbes' n i n t h the  person.  - the  t r u e t h a t p o l i t i c s i s concerned w i t h mere  o b j e c t s ; that i s the preoccupation with  i s an o b j e c t  particles  turns  on  o r i t s absence  their on t h e  d i s p o s i t i o n s in_ p h y s i c a l  an i n c l i n a t i o n  law) i s e s s e n t i a l l y constituting  of ethics.  certain  t o accord  others  a s e t o f conatus organs  i n the  -4-  Hobbes' psychology has, with  the story he t e l l s  I have suggested, commonly been equated about v i t a l  and voluntary  story i s taken t o portray animal motivation mechanism.  In human beings  this  motion.  as a self-preservatory  mechanism i s conscious  teleology remains the same: preservation.  This  but i t s  As a consequence o f being  more c a r e f u l about what i s contained  w i t h i n the ambit o f "Hobbes'  psychology"  the  I  physiological  was  l e d to  psychology  make  (the v i t a l  following  and voluntary motion  d e s c r i p t i v e psychology (dreams, imagining l o g i c a l postulate and  distinctions: account);  e t c . ) ; human nature  (the four elements o f strength, passion,  i n t e l l i g e n c e ) ; and f i n a l l y  the theory o f character  as a  reason,  i t s e l f (the  account of d i s p o s i t i o n s ) . With these d i s t i n c t i o n s made, i t can be argued that f a r too much weight has been placed animal motion.  In p a r t i c u l a r  i t has been thought to provide  a n a l y s i s o f motivation as i n t r i n s i c a l l y false. human  There i s good reason motivation  i s closely  on the story o f  egoistic.  to believe that connected  with  an  This I argue i s  Hobbes' account of what  he says  about  conceptions  of the good.  I f , as Hobbes s t r e s s e s , humans act i n  order  realize  which  to  that  they  see  as  good,  and i f  s e l f - p r e s e r v a t i o n i s everywhere and always the paramount good, then acts i n defiance o f i t would be impossible. goes.  However, i f s e l f - p r e s e r v a t i o n i s not genuinely  conscious then  So the w e l l known story part o f the  motivational s t r u c t u r e , or a t l e a s t not inexorably so,  i t would  be quite  likely  that  some people  do not accord  preservation such a preeminent place among reasons f o r a c t i o n .  I  b e l i e v e that what Hobbes has to say about preservation as a motive i s to be found as part o f what he c a l l s  "manners", and not at the  -5-  l e v e l o f the p h y s i o l o g i c a l mechanism which makes a c t i o n p o s s i b l e . There  i s ample evidence  i n Hobbes' work to show that he  was  f a m i l i a r with men whose conception o f the good l e d them i n t o courses of action i n i m i c a l to b o d i l y s u r v i v a l .  Duelling i s merely one  of  the courses o f action Hobbes alludes to which allows us to conclude that  for some dishonour  death i t s e l f .  was  considered worse than grave  risk  or  Hobbes mentions others, l i k e being prepared to die i n  an attempt to f o r e s t a l l the capture and execution of one's k i n . I f we  seriously  believe  that  Hobbes  made  self-preservation  an  inexorable motive, then the behaviour of the honour c u l t u r e becomes inexplicable.  This would be a very serious flaw i f we grant that  many  of  members  this  intended audience. was  culture  would  have  been  amongst  Hobbes  1  I t i s o f course possible that Hobbes' i n t e n t i o n  to r i d i c u l e t h i s r i s k taking behaviour by c a l l i n g i t an insane  aberration;  a  plausible  apparently  says  about  view  to  suicide  take in  in the  light  of  dialogue  philosopher and the student of the common law.  what  Hobbes  between  One need only extend  the s u i c i d e point to coyer cases o f serious r i s k , and i t would allowable to conclude that those who non - compos mentis.  the  be  so r i s k e d t h e i r l i v e s must be  Hobbes once s a i d of some of those who had been  l e d to duel t h a t , "having engaged themselves rashly they are forced to the f i e l d with shame & cold hearts & prayers"."'' I take i t that Hobbes i s chiding the rashness of youth, not arguing that i t i s a form of d i s t r a c t i o n .  I t i s a strength of my i n t e r p r e t a t i o n that i t  provides a place for s e l f - p r e s e r v a t i o n without allowing i t to negate a recognizable species of human motivation. The  first  two chapters o f t h i s t h e s i s present two versions o f  what I have l a b e l l e d as the "orthodox" i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f Hobbes on human nature.  The f i r s t  chapter  reviews  some themes that were  recurrent i n seventeenth and eighteenth century r e a c t i o n s t o Hobbes, while the second chapter concentrates on what I take to be the best modern formulation o f the orthodoxy: Leviathan.  The early  David Gauthier's The Logic o f  r e a c t i o n s do not of course  speak as one;  however, there i s arguably a common thread i n what they take Hobbes to  be suggesting about the basic nature o f human beings.  Quentin  Skinner's understanding o f Hobbes i s b u i l t on a c l o s e study o f that author's work i n the context of the work o f h i s contemporaries and contemporary  critics.  I t i s hardly  surprising  then  to  find  Skinner's Hobbes as someone c h a r a c t e r i z e d i n ways that would have been congenial t o Hobbes' seventeenth and eighteenth century English critics. to  However, i t i s i r o n i c a l that despite Skinner's adherence  the orthodox  image o f Hobbes, there  are some clues  d e t a i l e d research i n t o Hobbes' correspondence to doubt that the orthodox view i s c o r r e c t . new d e t a i l s of theory brought  which  provide reason  There are no s t a r t l i n g  to l i g h t ; and indeed i f there were  then no doubt Skinner would have revised h i s p o s i t i o n . is  the  tantalizing  in his  Rather, i t  f a c t that Hobbes was so w e l l received by h i s  Continental c i r c l e - h i s theory o f human nature included - while at the same time being s y s t e m a t i c a l l y studied by them.  Of course there  are q u i t e a few explanations p o s s i b l e f o r t h i s , but one s t r i k e s me as more  interesting  reception  among  Englishmen  like  the  connections  than the  any  other.  circle  around  Namely,  that  Mersenne  Hobbes'  (which  warm  included  Petty) was based on t h e i r deeper understanding o f between  his  psychological  postulates,  their  -7-  theoretical last I  underpinnings,  and  the p o l i t i c a l  theory  The w i l l i n g n e s s of these men to accept  the character o f human beings  that  comes  Hobbes' p o s i t i o n on  could r e s t on t h e i r appreciation of  why he was not vulnerable to the range o f c r i t i c i s m s that h i s views received i n h i s own country. none the worse for t h a t .  This i s obviously a conjecture, yet i s  I t s r e a l i n t e r e s t l i e s i n the fact that i t  can generate a new l i n e o f questioning about Hobbes on human nature, and  more  to the p o i n t ,  elaboration political  leads  us  a  away  line from  of  questioning  the surface  t r a c t s and i n t o the theory  whose  detailed  statements  i n the  of character which, I c l a i m ,  supports them. In  the t h i r d  chapter  I attempt  fundamental p h y s i c a l theory, The o v e r a l l  conclusion  an  i n v e s t i g a t i o n o f Hobbes'  namely that o f conatus or endeavour.  partly  argued  f o r i s as follows:  Hobbes'  a n a l y s i s o f character t r a i t s i s given i n terms o f d i s p o s i t i o n s , and the a n a l y s i s i s offered by him as the psychological data relevant to the  study  fundamental  of p o l i t i c s . physical  I f i t can be  theory  (conatus)  shown  that  provides  a  Hobbes' basis  most  for his  account o f human d i s p o s i t i o n s ( e t h i c s ) , then there might be features of  the  primary  theory  characterizations dispositions).  of  which the  either ethics  allow  or  disallow certain  (the  account  of  human  I argue that there i s reason to view Hobbes' story  about conatus as d e l i m i t i n g what can be s a i d about h i s e t h i c s or theory  of character.  In p a r t i c u l a r , i t i s asserted that there i s  evidence i n Hobbes' primary importantly ethics  as  malleable, egoistic  theory  to suggest that  character i s  and hence that no c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n of h i s  will  be  allowable  i f that c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n  -8-  requires a r i g i d d i s p o s i t i o n a l s t r u c t u r e .  Since the only p l a u s i b l e  view of psychological egoism i s one s t r e s s i n g what human beings are l i k e o f necessity, and since the only p l a u s i b l e sense o f necessity here  i s physical  correctly  thought  of  then  as  Hobbesian  i n d i v i d u a l s cannot egoists  i f their  d i s p o s i t i o n a l nature i s not r i g i d i n the required sense.  The t h i r d  chapter  be  necessity,  psychological  does not e s t a b l i s h a l l o f t h i s ;  i t looks  t o the primary  theory alone. The  task o f connecting  the primary  theory o f d i s p o s i t i o n s with  that part o f Hobbes' psychology I have chosen t o c a l l h i s theory o f character ("character" being my_ term and not h i s ) , i s undertaken i n the fourth chapter. confront  In making t h i s part o f my case I was obliged t o  what many people would see as hard  evidence against my  t h e s i s ; namely what Hobbes has to say about s e l f - p r e s e r v a t i o n . I have  shown  to  my  satisfaction  that  what  he  says  about  s e l f - p r e s e r v a t i o n i s not a part o f h i s theory o f character i n any respect  that  would  support  an e g o i s t i c  premises which assert that men i n c i v i l  reading.  Hobbes employs  i n t e r a c t i o n with  strangers  are almost e x c l u s i v e l y concerned with t h e i r own well-being; he does not  assert  element  that  i n human  self-preservation i s a nature.  Hobbes  often  structurally seems  inevitable  t o be taken  as  a s s e r t i n g the l a t t e r . One o f the strongest reasons for doubting that Hobbes would have constructed a psychology which made s e l f - p r e s e r v a t i o n an i n e v i t a b l e motive i n human a c t i o n was simply that he was constantly confronted with  behaviour  self-destructive:  which duelling.  he  characterized  But more general  as than t h i s  flagrantly specific  -9-  consideration i s the f a c t that Hobbes was c u l t u r e premised on  the  notion  p r i v y to the workings of a  of honour.  Such i n s i d e knowledge  about a r i s t o c r a t i c  i n t e r a c t i o n s would have made Hobbes aware that  many considerations  might take precedence over b o d i l y  and  of course he s a i d so often enough when discussing reactions to  slights. of  So, my response to some of the p h i l o s o p h i c a l constructions  Hobbes  1  psychology  s o c i a l context. in  preservation;  the  explicitly  draws upon what  I know of  Others have a l s o alluded to Hobbes' s o c i a l  construction  of t h e i r readings,  but  his  context  none more dramatically  than Crawford Macpherson.  He argued that Hobbes' p r i n c i p a l device  his  state of nature - was  suffused with s o c i a l d e t a i l derived from  the  proto-capitalist  England  of  Hobbes' time.  However, one  -  can  agree that Hobbes' m i l i e u i s c r u c i a l for the sense that we make of his  theory  without agreeing  e i t h e r that Hobbes was  its  impact (Macpherson's postulate) or that the m i l i e u i n question  was  a possessive  market s o c i e t y .  Hobbes' thought then i t i s , as  I f there  unconscious  i s a social  of  stamp  Thomas noted, an a r i s t o c r a t i c  on one.  And f a r from being an unconscious s c r i b e for i t s features Hobbes was a sharp and d e l i b e r a t e c r i t i c . Thus the critic  fifth  and  final  of the Jacobean and  chapter analyses  Caroline a r i s t o c r a c y .  Hobbes' r o l e as  a  Its intention i s  to follow a l i n e of i n t e r p r e t a t i o n pioneered by Keith Thomas i n h i s study of Hobbes* p o l i t i c a l thought.  I t was  Thomas who  pointed  that the m i l i e u I have characterized as a r i s t o c r a t i c was homogeneous, being example.  My aim  deeply  divided  over  the  nature of  i s to show that Hobbes entered  s i g n i f i c a n c e for the  f a c t i o n s w i t h i n the  out  f a r from  honour  for  a debate which had  Court and  the  opposition  -10-  peers; both o f whom u t i l i z e d  honour as a weapon i n an i d e o l o g i c a l  conflict. The Hobbes who emerges from t h i s study i s c e r t a i n l y one whose political  theory r e s t s f i r m l y on stated psychological assumptions;  but those assumptions a r e , I hope to have shown, neither crudely nor sophisticatedly egoistic.  My argument i s that Hobbes goes i n t o r e a l  psychological  political  character  detail  traits.  of  relevance when  he  discusses  In the past i t has been conventional t o read  egoism i n t o what he says about s e l f - p r e s e r v a t i o n ; f o r some reason ignoring the range o f motivations that are i n d i c a t e d i n the examples he a c t u a l l y chooses.  Furthermore, the concentration on what I have  characterized as Hobbes' p h y s i o l o g i c a l psychology obscures the r o l e of h i s laws o f nature i n the construction of a sketch o f character. If  these laws  people.  find  their  realization  anywhere i t must be w i t h i n  Hobbes argues as i f t h e i r place i n the character of men was  a condition o f the success o f c i v i l i z e d  societies.  I take i t that  people who embody the laws o f nature are f u l l y c i v i l i n the respect that interested Hobbes.  •11-  CHAPTER  HISTORY  I  AND I N T E R P R E T A T I O N  I  I l l Quentin Skinner  Thomas  Hobbes'  embodiment  political  i n Leviathan,  theory,  has held  and  a  in  particular i t s  powerful  fascination for  generations of philosophers and students of p o l i t i c a l theory. have found  the work both  awe i n s p i r i n g  and r e p e l l e n t ; most have  sensed an a i r of a l i e n a t e d majesty about i t . the  defence  sets  the work apart.  Hobbes chided failure vi)  o f sovereign  previous  What tends t o r e p e l i s  prerogative, while methodological  In the E p i s t l e  Many  Dedicatory  w r i t e r s on morals  to adopt an "idoneous p r i n c i p l e  rigor  t o h i s De Cive,  and p o l i t i c s  for their  of tractation".  (E.W.II,  Despite h i s own avowed adoption o f such a p r i n c i p l e there has  been  no  peace  f o r Hobbes  during  the  last  four  centuries.  Disagreement has raged over the substance o f Hobbes' s t a r t i n g point and over the soundness o f h i s subsequent inferences. A considerable r o l e i n the e n t e r p r i s e o f working out j u s t who Hobbes was, and why he wrote when he d i d , has b e e n p l a y e d man: Quentin  Skinner.  In a s e r i e s o f a r t i c l e s spanning  by one  the middle  s i x t i e s to middle-seventies Skinner has restored Hobbes to the two main milieux w i t h i n which he operated.  F i r s t l y , Hobbes was placed  w i t h i n the paper war attendant on the combat of the c i v i l war: what we have come t o know  as the Engagement  controversy.  Secondly,  thanks i n the main to Skinner's research at Chatsworth, we now have a  lively  image o f the t i e s  Continental science.  that  bound  Hobbes  t o the world o f  Cn the Engagement question I s h a l l have l i t t l e  to say, since i t does not bear on my concerns. o f Hobbes' connections  However, the matter  with the c i r c l e of s c i e n t i s t s around Marin  -13-  Mersenne i s important.  Without wishing to suggest f o r a moment that  Skinner misleads us about Hobbes and t h i s group, i t i s arguable that another look at Hobbes  1  c o n t r i b u t i o n s to t h e i r debates w i l l allow us  to see a neglected aspect o f h i s thought.  His connections with the  French - p r i n c i p a l l y unearthed by Skinner - show that we may have t o reconsider the estimation made by Skinner o f Hobbes  1  place among the  t h e o r i s t s whom Skinner r e f e r s to as taking a de facto l i n e i n the C i v i l War debate. it  In p a r t i c u l a r , t h i s estimation i s dubious because  depends f o r i t s p l a u s i b i l i t y on a view about Hobbes' conception  of human nature. Skinner holds the orthodox view that Hobbes' o r i g i n a l i t y as a p o l i t i c a l philosopher r e s t s on the way i n which he made deductions from  premises  anti-social:  which Hobbes'  epistemological political  level,  beliefs,  characterized  human  contribution  i s to  i n the reasons  rather  than  beings  as  be  sought  he gave  i n the b e l i e f s  essentially "at the  f o r holding h i s 1  themselves."" "  The  reasons i n question are taken to a r i s e from Hobbes' psychology, or at l e a s t that aspect o f i t dealing with the d i v i s i v e nature o f human inclinations.  Skinner does not simply report that Hobbes gained a  c e r t a i n notoriety because o f h i s views.  Were that the case he might  wish to go on t o say that despite the reputation Hobbes acquired, he in  fact d i d not hold the views he was commonly thought t o . He i s  q u i t e c l e a r l y prepared t o assert that Hobbes was notorious because he  was taken  to have  argued  that  human nature  a n t i - s o c i a l , and furthermore that t h i s  was  essentially  t h e s i s accurately  captured  Hobbes' view. Following  Skinner, l e t us r e f e r  to the orthodox  view  about  -14-  Hobbes'  basic  hypothesis.  psychological  From h i s f i r s t  The Divine  Politics  premise  as  the • innate  piece on Hobbes, the review o f Hood's  o f Thomas Hobbes, Skinner  has argued d i r e c t l y  for the t r u t h o f the innate wickedness hypothesis. Skinner's  wickedness  The reason f o r  adherence to t h i s view i s i n part an e x c e l l e n t one, namely  that Hobbes never t i r e d o f pointing out that h i s conclusions  about  the r i g h t s of the sovereign and the duties o f the c i t i z e n were based upon the known  inclinations  of mankind.  i n other  words  Skinner  i s strongly r e s i s t i n g any attempt, i n the present instance that o f Hood, to detach Hobbes' theory of o b l i g a t i o n from h i s psychological postulates. Skinner's  However,  there  i s no  inconsistency  in  applauding  stance while at the same time r e j e c t i n g h i s p o s i t i o n on  the wickedness hypothesis.  In order to do t h i s i t w i l l be necessary  to show that there are psychological premises stated by Hobbes that are both powerful enough to ground the wanted p o l i t i c a l  conclusions,  yet too weak to be properly equated with the wickedness The p o s i t i o n argued f o r i n t h i s  hypothesis.  t h e s i s i s that such premises are  presented by Hobbes i n De Homine, backed by the more "general of  d i s p o s i t i o n s i n De- - Corpore.  The argument f o r t h i s  theory  comes i n  Chapters 3 and 4; f o r the moment I s h a l l turn to some l o o s e r , more impressionistic rather  easy  reasons acceptance  for feeling of  the  dissatisfied  orthodox  with  position  Skinner's on  Hobbes"  psychology.  (a)  Hobbes' wish f o r an uncontentious s t a r t i n g point.  In a l l three o f the p o l i t i c a l works Hobbes makes the claim that  the premises with which he begins would be endorsed by a l l who them due consideration.  gave  In De Cive he says that:  In the f i r s t place I set down for a p r i n c i p l e , by experience known to a l l men, and denied by none, to wit. that the d i s p o s i t i o n s of men are n a t u r a l l y such, that except they be r e s t r a i n e d through fear of some coercive power, every man w i l l d i s t r u s t and dread each other. (E.W.II, xiv-xv)  As noted above, there i s a s i m i l a r claim made i n both and  in  The- Elements  of - Law.  3  I f Hobbes'  rejected out of hand, then Leviathan the entrance.  initial  premises  are  stands as a tomb - sealed  His fear that the book might be I l l , 357)  commonwealth of P l a t o " (E.W.  Leviathan  "as useless, as  i s w e l l known, and  at the  i t is  reasonable to believe that Hobbes would take every a v a i l a b l e step to ensure that the groundwork was  acceptable.  However, i r r e s p e c t i v e of  what Hobbes' i n t e n t i o n s were, and i r r e s p e c t i v e of how he  himself  took  possibility  that  have believed  his  premises  they were contentious  that  s e l f - e v i d e n t , and  initial  the  psychological  to  be,  uncontentious  there  nonetheless.  is  every  Hobbes might  content o f h i s premises  was  he might w e l l have been alone i n b e l i e v i n g t h i s .  It has been suggested to me  that what Hobbes asserts i n the above  quote  that  is_ contentious,  Hobbes  held  ludicrous universal  to  that  and  independently  men  were  a l l egoists  believe  that  one  assent,  for the  could  "principle  at carry  by  of  whether or  heart,  i t would  assent,  experience  not  let  be  alone  known to a l l  A men".  Since  principle  as  there  i s no doubt at a l l that Hobbes thought of h i s  uncontentious  we  need  to  be  convinced  that  he  was  j u s t i f i e d i n so t h i n k i n g . To  begin  with,  Hobbes  alluded  to  the  politically  relevant  -16-  emotions or i n c l i n a t i o n s "accommodate  ourselves,  under two heads: those which lead us to and  to leave others as  f a r as we can  behind", and those "by which we s t r i v e mutually to accommodate other". (E. !_., 85)  I f a l l men were bent on attending to the needs  of others before t h e i r Equally,  own, there would be an orgy of a l t r u i s m .  i f a l l were e n t i r e l y  lacking  any  egoistic  form  chaos.  kindness,  of s o c i a l  self-accommodating coordination,  Whereas gratitude  caution  and anxiety  then  in a  be  reponse to  are more c h a r a c t e r i s t i c  "known to a l l men",  situation  there would  i s the appropriate  people facing c l e a r and evident danger. his principle  each  traits  of  ..'V hold that i n a s s e r t i n g  Hobbes i _  stating  the obvious,  because i f we assume that the De Cive passage r e f e r s to the whole class  of human d i s p o s i t i o n s ,  charity  and  kindness  -  then the p r i n c i p l e would imply that  along with  occasion fear i n a l l men.  the d i v i s i v e  That i s absurd.  Hobbes i s read as taking a more narrow that  i s , as  distinguishing  other-accommodating,  then  we  Hobbes would hardly claim  the  inclinations  Cn the other hand, i f  view o f the i n c l i n a t i o n s ,  self-accommodating  are faced  that c h a r i t y  -  with  an  from  obvious  the  truth.  occasions fear, but i t i s  eminently p l a u s i b l e that unrestrained s e l f - i n t e r e s t might count f o r him as the t r i g g e r for fear. The summarized  construction as follows:  suggested  f o r Hobbes  human d i s p o s i t i o n s  1  principle  might  be  (passions) are such a  mixed bag, that unless we can i n t e r a c t through the mediation o f some s o c i a l constraining device the tone o f our i n t e r a c t i o n s w i l l be one of fear and dread. then that does.  I f anything has a chance o f being uncontentious  (b)  Disavowal o f the wickedness hypothesis.  The f i r s t e d i t i o n o f De Cive appeared i n Paris during 1642, but as many have noted, t h i s e d i t i o n was produced i n such small numbers that i t s impact was confined to those immediately connected with the Mersenne c i r c l e .  There i s no exaggeration i n claiming that De Cive  was to the French c i r c l e what The Elements of Law had been t o the men  at  Welbeck  Falkland. edition  5  around  However,  Newcastle,  and  i n 1646 Samuel  at  Great  Sorbiere p i l o t e d  Tew  around  a  second  through the E l z e v i r press i n Amsterdam; the f i r s t o f three  which were to come out by the end o f 1647.^ A comparison o f the f i r s t with subsequent Hobbes  prepared  edition.  a  long  Preface  editions  to the Reader  shows that  f o r the second  He also wrote some notes on matters queried by those who  read the f i r s t e d i t i o n :  " I have therefore i n some places added some  annotations, whereby I presume I might t h e i r d i f f e r i n g thoughts".  give some s a t i s f a c t i o n to  (E.W.II, x x i i i ) Hobbes says that some o f  those o r i g i n a l readers were "staggered at the p r i n c i p l e s  themselves"  ( I b i d ) , and among the p r i n c i p l e s i n question i s that concerning "the nature o f men" ( I b i d ) . here. and first  There are a t l e a s t  two things referred to  The f i r s t i s the nature o f men i n so f a r as they are s o c i a l ,  the second  i s the matter o f t h e i r  putative wickedness!  The  i s treated by Hobbes i n an annotation to the f i r s t chapter,  whereas the second - the one I am now d i r e c t l y concerned with - i s answered i n the Preface i t s e l f . Hobbes' d i r e c t response to the r e j e c t i o n of the p r i n c i p l e , "by experience known t o a l l men and denied by none, t o w i t , that the  -18-  dispositions restrained  o f men through  are n a t u r a l l y  fear  such,  o f some coercive  that  except  they  power, every  man  be will  d i s t r u s t and dread each other;" ( i b i d . , xiv-xv) gives one the uneasy sensation of worlds i n c o l l i s i o n , for what i s supposed to be "denied by  none", i s immediately  a bone o f contention.  denies that h i s p r i n c i p l e i s genuinely  denied:  However, Hobbes  those who refuse t o  accept the t r u t h o f t h i s p r i n c i p l e do not c o n s t i t u t e r e a l opposition because they f a l l i n t o a species of c o n t r a d i c t i o n i n u t t e r i n g t h e i r objection: You w i l l object perhaps, that there are some who deny this. Truly so i t happens, that very many do deny it. But s h a l l I therefore seem t o f i g h t against myself, because I a f f i r m that the same men confess and deny the same thing? ( i b i d . , xv)  What i s Hobbes' evidence f o r t h i s ? The  first  t h i n g to note i s that Hobbes' p r i n c i p l e i s r e a l l y  designed t o capture an a t t i t u d e .  Thus h i s claim i s that a l l who are  not at verbal loggerheads with t h e i r own p r a c t i c e w i l l admit that a tone o f anxiety pervades c e r t a i n human i n t e r a c t i o n s .  The evidence  then comes forward: countries maintain forces along t h e i r borders t o keep watch on t h e i r  neighbours, i n d i v i d u a l s t r a v e l l i n g  abroad go  armed to defend against v i l l a i n s and members o f the one household take precautions t o ensure t h e i r treasure i s safe from the t h i e v i n g hands  of t h e i r  servants.  Anthony  Quinton,  i n h i s remarks  Clarendon's c r i t i q u e o f Hobbes, commented t h a t , doors  on  "when we lock our  on leaving home i t i s to keep out c r i m i n a l s ; we are not  defending presumably  ourselves Quinton  from  mankind  t o o , holds  that  at  large".  Hobbes  7  Clarendon,  i s claiming  and  that  a  -19-  precautionary  a t t i t u d e i s appropriate i n our dealing with mankind at  large. They are quite wrong about t h i s , and t o understand why we need only turn t o what Hobbes has t o say about the innate wickedness o f men. To  back  up the claim  that  precautions  and heedfulness are  j u s t i f i e d Hobbes employs a much weaker premise than that a l l men are wicked, namely the claim that: For though the wicked were fewer than the righteous, yet because we cannot d i s t i n g u i s h them, there i s a necessity o f suspecting...ever i n c i d e n t to the most honest and f a i r e s t conditioned, ( i b i d . , x v i )  Hobbes rejoinder to Clarendon and Quinton i s simply that we lock our doors because we know that some among our country-men are rogues, and  because there  i s no litmus paper t e s t to separate the rogues  from the honest men; not because we suspect that a l l are e v i l . As a f i n a l counter against those who accused him o f portraying human nature as innnately  wicked,  Hobbes admits  that  there are  wicked men and then goes on t o add that i t does not follow from t h i s admission that, "those who are wicked, are so by nature". The argument to support t h i s claim i s i l l u m i n a t i n g . since  To begin with,  human nature i s made up o f reason, passion,  experience,  and since  (Ibid)  strength, and  the human condition i s a precarious  one i n  part because o f the e f f e c t s o f passions, our desires are a necessary condition  of wickedness, but they  themselves. fall  are not s u f f i c i e n t  i n and o f  Passions are blameless, and thus not wicked, u n t i l they  f o u l o f precepts which only a p o l i t i c a l education  Since man does not receive t h i s education  can provide.  from the b o u n t i f u l hand o f  -20-  nature (one reason why man i s not a p o l i t i c a l animal), i t follows that no man can be wicked or malicious by nature.  Here, as i n other  places, Hobbes s t i c k s f i r m l y t o the view that there i s nothing wrong with man qua m a t e r i a l ; that i s , as e i t h e r d e f i c i e n t or flawed, but rather i t i s man as maker or a r t i f i c e r who i s at f a u l t . How does a l l t h i s bear on Skinner? Hobbes studies Skinner remained held  the innate wickedness  8  R e c a l l that through h i s  aligned with the view that Hobbes  thesis.  Our suggestions t o date are  intended to throw some doubt on the t r u t h o f Skinner's assumption. A further reason f o r f e e l i n g uneasy about the orthodox  assumption  comes d i r e c t l y out o f Skinner's work on Hobbes' French d i s c i p l e s . The aim o f Skinner's, "Thomas Hobbes and h i s D i s c i p l e s i n France and England" i s to explore "the s i g n i f i c a n c e o f Hobbes' l i n k s with  the more sympathetic i n t e l l e c t u a l  society  which he found i n  9  P a r i s during h i s e x i l e . "  This aim i s accomplished by s c r u t i n y o f  the correspondence which passed from the Continent t o Hobbes a f t e r h i s return to England  i n 1651.  Quite apart from the s u r p r i s e o f  l e a r n i n g j u s t how many t o p i c s Hobbes was taken t o be an authority on: p o l i t i c a l  philosophy, metaphysics, o p t i c s and mathematics, one  i s struck by the tone o f these l e t t e r s , material Hobbes arrayed widely  with which are m i l d , points  unlike most o f the English  we are so f a m i l i a r , measured, and often  straight  the French reactions to laudatory.  t o Skinner's conclusion  that  The  evidence  "Hobbes was 0  denounced i n England, but was widely accepted abroad.""'"  Allowing for both too ready praise and some unthinking r e j e c t i o n , i t is  o f singular  Mersenne's c i r c l e .  interest  that  Hobbes  was  so w e l l  accepted by  -21-  There  is a  acceptance.  real  Skinner  question  of  this  would seem to be committed to the view  that  those who accepted Hobbes  1  about  theory  what  to  o f human nature  make  f o r the r i g h t  reason d i d so because they accepted what he had to say about the innate wickedness o f human nature.  Hence the French acceptance o f  Hobbes, i f an educated one, would e n t a i l that the French agreed with Hobbes' innate wickedness t h e s i s . be,  why was the English  But i f that i s so, as i t might  r e a c t i o n so u t t e r l y  different?  Why was  Hobbes roundly r e j e c t e d on t h i s point i n h i s homeland?''""'" Skinner a c t u a l l y provides what might be a clue i n the s o l u t i o n of  this  puzzle,  but one  that  he  himself  never  exploits.  In  discussing Hobbes' Continental reception Skinner notes that "some o f his  followers  recognized  and sympathized with  h i s most ambitious  hopes f o r a Science o f P o l i t i c s . . . s u g g e s t i n g ] that h i s l i n k s popular  attempts  to construct  mechanistic  explanations  with  f o r every  type o f phenomenon may w e l l have extended further than h i s obvious 12 preoccupation  with  Matter  and Motion."  The clue  i s that when  Hobbes came t o the notice o f the Mersenne c i r c l e he was flushed with j u s t such a v i s i o n o f u n i f i e d science, but that unlike most of them Hobbes was equipped with a view about the nature o f human  passions  which he believed stood as a basis for a science o f p o l i t i c s . The reasons  f o r b e l i e v i n g that  Hobbes was understood  t o be  o f f e r i n g a psychological basis f o r p o l i t i c s , and one that meshed i n neatly follows. Hobbes motion;  with  wider  Firstly, claimed  pretensions  t o a science  on the t h i r d  Continental  t o have been obsessed  but p a r a l l e l  with  this  with  preoccupation  o f motion,  are as  t r i p o f 1634 t o 1636 the omnipresence o f he must have been  -22-  forging views on human passions  because i n a l e t t e r  t o Newcastle  dated August 25th 1635 he intimates c l e a r l y that he hopes t o be the f i r s t person to "give good reasons for the facultyes and passions of the  soule,  such  conjecture and  as may  be expressed  5  My  s e c t i o n on "Men as persons n a t u r a l " , i s  Hobbes' completed work on the s o u l .  him  English.""'"-  i s that the manuscript version o f The Elements o f Law,  e s p e c i a l l y the f i r s t  trip  i n plain  Secondly, since i t was on t h i s  abroad that Hobbes "got to know Mersenne...and communicated to my meditations  on the motion o f t h i n g s " , " ^ i t seems  reasonable  to believe that Hobbes' reception was connected with the nature of his  endeavours, and perhaps i n p a r t i c u l a r with h i s views on how t o  begin  political  philosophy.  His boast o f De Cive being  the f i r s t  genuine work of C i v i l Philosophy i s germane here. (E.W.I, i x ) If Paris  t h i s conjecture i s sound,  about the nature  i t might  serve  as a  o f Hobbes' reception i n springboard  f o r another  proposal; namely that since Mersenne's c i r c l e was aware o f Hobbes' systematic  endeavours  they  may have been able  to appreciate the  wider context o f Hobbes' t h i n k i n g on the question o f human nature. Their  knowledge,  political  and the ignorance  t e x t s , might  explain  of those  the divergence  who  saw only the  i n reception.  To  properly support t h i s contention we w i l l need t o consider i n d e t a i l the  course  that  Hobbes'  enterprise  took  i n the 1630's.  p a r t i c u l a r we need to look a t the s i g n i f i c a n c e o f the general of d i s p o s i t i o n s he formed during that period. respect  i n which the s c i e n t i f i c  circle  In  theory  However, there i s one  i n P a r i s and Hobbes' work  with them c o n s t i t u t e s only a part o f the t o t a l context that needs to be explored.  The Engagement controversy  i s o f course another.  But  -23-  a further aspect, and one that Skinner does not t r e a t , i s the nature of  the a r i s t o c r a t i c  concerns  immediate s o c i a l environment.  that Chapter  affected  those  i n Hobbes'  f i v e w i l l address t h i s t h i r d  aspect, but f o r the moment i t should be s t r e s s e d that more than t h e o r e t i c a l matters  conditioned the way i n which Hobbes  presented  h i s views about human nature. So, my conjecture i s that Hobbes' warm reception i n France d i d go hand i n hand with the acceptance and  o f h i s view about human nature  the r o l e i t should play i n p o l i t i c a l  however,  I do not b e l i e v e that  wickedness  hypothesis.  What  theory.  the French they  showed  Unlike Skinner  accepted  the innate  sympathy  f o r was  importantly d i f f e r e n t , and why they accepted i t has a l o t t o do with t h e i r p r i v i l e g e d p o s i t i o n with respect to the f u l l sweep o f Hobbes' thought. To date I have claimed the following: (i)  that Skinner agrees with what I have c a l l e d the orthodox view on Hobbes' psychological premises; ( i i ) that the orthodox view enshrines the - innate wickedness hypothesis; ( i i i ) that there are some reasons to b e l i e v e that Hobbes d i d not accept t h i s c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n o f himself; ( i v ) that Hobbes' warm reception among the French might - given t h e i r knowledge o f h i s systematic pretensions - argue against the a t t r i b u t i o n o f the orthodox p o s i t i o n to him. In the following s e c t i o n an attempt orthodox  understanding  i s made t o explain what the  o f Hobbes involved.  This i s done by taking  an h i s t o r i c a l view o f i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s o f Hobbes' psychology.  -24-  1.2  The Image o f the Beast  Despite the fact that Hobbes had two versions of h i s p o l i t i c a l theory i n c i r c u l a t i o n by 1649, i t was not u n t i l 1650 and 1651 that he was to have an impact i n England.  Versions of a l l three o f  Hobbes' p o l i t i c a l works: De Corpore P o l i t i c o (part 2 o f The Elements of- Law), De Cive i n an English Leviathan, which was f i r s t Latin,  brought  a  translation  i n English  critical  reaction  made by Hobbes, and  and l a t e r that  translated  into  immediate  and  was  unparalleled. One of the e a r l i e s t attacks was Alexander Ross' Leviathan Drawn Out With a Hook. but  only  two  anthropomorphism,  Ross accused Hobbes o f every conceivable heresy, are of  interest  to  and c h a r a c t e r i z i n g  my  case:  what  he  human nature as e v i l .  calls Since  one of the s t r i k i n g things about Hobbes' theology i s h i s r e f u s a l t o apply human a t t r i b u t e s t o God i t seems p l a i n that Ross' charge o f anthropomorphism  must point elsewhere.  When discussing Ross, John  Bowie says that behind the heat and vehemence o f h i s reaction to Hobbes l a y the b e l i e f that the l a t t e r was a l i v i n g embodiment "of the  pagan  arrogance  attempt which  to  be  self-sufficient,  can end only  the  i n catastrophe."^  anthropomorphic 5  This comment  chimes i n p e r f e c t l y with Skinner's b e l i e f that Hobbes eschewed a l l providentialist  assumptions.Ross'  accusation  i s thus that i n  Hobbes we witness impious anthropocentrism, and w i t h i n h i s framework o f assumptions Ross was r i g h t .  What many might f i n d both l i b e r a t i n g  and e x h i l a r a t i n g Ross found t e r r i f y i n g . On the question o f why Hobbes maligns human nature, i t might be  -25-  worth noting that Ross was  already i n p r i n t as a defender of George  Hakewill, whose An Apology for the Power and intended was  as  in a  was  a r e b u t t a l of Godfrey Goodman's a s s e r t i o n that nature  downward s p i r a l  of  corruption  with Ross' preoccupations Hobbes may arguing  Providence of God  for  a  psychological  7  and  decay.''"  For  a  man  w e l l have appeared as someone  variant  of  the  Goodman t h e s i s .  For  reasons that are not altogether c l e a r Ross took i t that Hobbes saying man  something i n f i n i t e l y worse than the conventional  was  fallen.  irredeemably nature".  Presumably  evil;  what  he  Hobbes  saw  Hobbesian  would  have  claim that as  called  utterly,  "wicked  by  The problem with t h i s l i n e o f i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of Ross' view  i s that when h i s book f i r s t appeared i n 1653 De Cive was was  man  was  a v a i l a b l e , and indeed had  been for some two  mentioned i n the previous s e c t i o n the new  carefully nature.  wrought Hobbes  passage  claimed  profound than that men and that only some men  on  that  the he  the English version of  putative was  years.  As  Preface incorporates a wickedness  committed  to  of  human  nothing  more  were a c c i d e n t a l l y wicked i f wicked at a l l , were a c t u a l l y so.  Moreover, he thought that  i t would be impious to claim that men  were e s s e n t i a l l y e v i l , or e v i l  by  way  nature.  We  have no  evidence one  or the other, but  either  Ross had not read the passage i n question or i f he had he took i t as insincere. William Lucy provides common  to  Confutations attack  on  Leviathan.  Hobbes'  early  of Notorious five  out  of  an e x c e l l e n t example of a tone that  was  opponents.  and  Errors i n Mr the  Observations,  Censures  Hobbs His Leviathan  forty-seven  chapters  that  was  an  compose  Lucy makes copious mention of the Hobbesian treatment of  -26-  human n a t u r e , "villainous  the  gist  aspersions  o f which seems t o on  human n a t u r e " ,  be  that  Hobbes had  portraying  man  as  made  nothing  18 more than to  the  "an  heart  incarnate of things:  devil." he  Two  believes  of  that  Lucy's charges Hobbes has  been  i m p i o u s i n g i v i n g law a n o n - p r o v i d e n t i a l i s t b a s i s , and that  Hobbesian  fellows.  The  Lucy got  so  men  derive  first little  f a l s e but s t i l l  their  pleasure  from  about Hobbes r i g h t ,  a quite p l a u s i b l e reading  more  wickedly  he a l s o h o l d s  destroying  i s i n t e r e s t i n g because i t i s t r u e else  go  and  whereas the  their because  second i s  o f what Hobbes had  to  say,  not i n L e v i a t h a n , but i n t h o s e a c i d soaked e a r l y pages o f De C i v e : I hope no body w i l l doubt, but t h a t men would much more g r e e d i l y be c a r r i e d by n a t u r e , i f a l l f e a r were removed, t o o b t a i n dominion, than t o g a i n s o c i e t y . (E.W.II, 5) Even t h i s passage does not a  moment's r e f l e c t i o n  good w i l l of  the  question  of  inflicting  claiming,  conventional to  As  Glaucon  reformulates  justice i s a strategy  inflict  s u f f e r i n g , but  the  opted f o r by have an  and  s u f f e r i n g as  remind us t h a t Lucy i s r e a l l y r e c a s t i n g Hobbes i n the  Thrasymachus.  happy  on  c a p t u r e q u i t e what Lucy was  latter's t h o s e who  overriding  a  form  argument are  desire  quite not  to  19  s u f f e r themselves. At  the  deepest l e v e l  both Ross and  Lucy s h a r e the b e l i e f  that  Hobbes' views are a moral o u t r a g e ; they are p r o f o u n d l y  disturbed  what  by  they  understand  his  doctrine  to  be,  but  equally  the  by  fact  t h a t he p h i l o s o p h i z e d about s o c i a l l i f e i n such b o l d l y s e c u l a r terms. There arguing evidence with  a  an  is  absolutely  utterly  for t h i s simple  no  general  doubt thesis  i s provided  counter-instance:  by  the the  that about  Lucy  took  human  to  wickedness.  f a c t t h a t he unblemished  Hobbes  attacked  character  be The  Hobbes of  his  -27-  patron "  William Seymour.  Hobbes' general  thesis  Once  satisfied  that  he  Lucy sets about f l o a t i n g  has  one  deflated  of h i s  own.  on  "Humanity i s w r i t i n every heart" that a l l men  he claimed; by which he meant  were n a t u r a l l y cooperative s o c i a l creatures.  This i s  simply Lucy's rendering of A r i s t o t l e ' s claim that man i s a p o l i t i c a l animal whose unfolding nature leads to the r e a l i z a t i o n of wellbeing w i t h i n the p o l i s . he  i s no  In so f a r as Lucy's response i s the standard one,  doubt t y p i c a l  Equally, h i s response  of  a whole c l a s s  of  Hobbes  i s symptomatic of an i n a b i l i t y  1  opponents.  to grasp  the  novelty of what Hobbes was urging against the c l a s s i c a l t r a d i t i o n i n p o l i t i c a l philosophy.  Lucy's e r r o r i s roughly t h i s : from the t r u t h  that Hobbes does not endorse the A r i s t o t e l i a n t h e s i s that man  is a  p o l i t i c a l animal i t i s mistakenly concluded that he asserts that a l l men  are beasts incapable of s o c i a l l i f e .  This comes over  clearly  enough from the a s s i m i l a t i o n of Hobbes and Thrasymachus/Glaucon: men look  upon  on  another  as  impression seems warranted; "man  to  man  i s an  prey.  To  a  certain  a f t e r a l l i t was  arrant wolf". (E.W.II,ii)  extent  Hobbes who The  such  an  s a i d that  nature  of  the  misimpression becomes obvious however when that l i n e i s replaced i n context: [B]oth sayings are very true: that man to man i s a kind of God; and that man to man i s an arrant wolf. The f i r s t i s t r u e , i f we compare c i t i z e n s amongst themselves; and the second, i f we compare c i t i e s , (ibid) I f there i s anything wrong with t h i s admission i t i s that Hobbes has been too o p t i m i s t i c about the i n t e r a c t i o n s among c i t i z e n s ; on matter of i n t e r n a t i o n a l r e l a t i o n s who could p o s s i b l y gainsay him?  the  -28-  John  Bramhall was among the group  o f R o y a l i s t s who  Marston Moor and England i n July o f 1644.  escaped  I t was as a member of  Newcastle's household i n P a r i s that Bramhall f i r s t met Hobbes i n the l a t t e r part o f 1645. about the freedom his  At t h e i r host's request the two men argued  of the w i l l ,  argument to p r i n t .  and l a t e r Hobbes committed some o f  When the exchange broke o f f i n 1646 Hobbes  gave h i s notes to John Davy f o r the purpose o f producing a French t r a n s l a t i o n f o r another o f Hobbes' f r i e n d s . Davy must have kept a copy because i n 1654 he published Hobbes' manuscript under the t i t l e Of Liberty and Necessity. edition  had Hobbes  1  Bramhall f a l s e l y assumed that t h i s p i r a t e  approval, and concluded  non-publication had been v i o l a t e d . of  the transactions  Leviathan.  that  their  pact o f  Bramhall brought out h i s version  i n 1655 and added some prefacing  remarks on  Then i n 1658 Bramhall made h i s concluding c o n t r i b u t i o n ,  incorporating  a  long  appendix  entitled  The  Catching- o f • The  Leviathan, or the Great Whale. Bramhall was c e r t a i n l y very astute, and rather a l o t o f what he urges against Hobbes i s worthy o f a t t e n t i o n . special  concerns  I shall  question o f Hobbesian advanced  However, f o r my rather  focus only on what he argues  man.  Firstly,  on the  Bramhall claimed that Hobbes  the view that the "nature o f man i s worse than the nature 21  of  bears or wolves, or the most savage w i l d beasts."  This i s an  echo o f the homo homini lupus p o i n t , but i t i s something well.  Bramhall i s invoking  hierarchy angels  -  i n t o which and with  the b e l i e f  man f i t s which  that  else as  there i s a n a t u r a l  - above the beasts and below the  Hobbes  has meddled.  Clarendon  also  understood Hobbes t o be making t h i s point, as can be gathered from  -29-  h i s comment on Leviathan that "God beasts."  did not make man  lower than the  22  Another of Bramhall's  objections to Hobbes has a s i m i l a r cast  to the claim that Hobbesian man the t h i r d part of Leviathan  i s sub-bestial.  Bramhall  was  A f t e r considering  moved to exclaim that  t h i s doctrine he maketh not only the angels, but God nothing."  (E.W.IV,348)  "by  himself to be  That however i s but h a l f of the dreadful  story: I f perchance T.H. hath given h i s d i s c i p l e s any discontent i n h i s doctrine of heaven and the holy angels, and t h e - g l o r i f i e d souls of the- s a i n t s , he w i l l make them amends i n h i s doctrine of h e l l , and the d e v i l s , and the damned s p i r i t s . F i r s t of the d e v i l s ; he fancieth that a l l those d e v i l s which our Saviour d i d cast out, were phrenzies; and a l l demoniacs, or persons possessed, no other than madmen: So T.H. hath k i l l e d the great i n f e r n a l D e v i l , and a l l h i s black angels, and l e f t no d e v i l s to be feared, but d e v i l s incarnate, that i s , wicked men. ( i b i d . , 356) Bramhall's account of Hobbes' demonology i s p e r f e c t l y accurate; what i s debatable i s the claim that i n denying any source of supernatural evil  Hobbes was  Hobbesian man  concomitantly  demonizing men.  i s something l i k e  this:  Bramhall's  image of  a malicious creature whose  r a t i o n a l i t y sets him apart from the sometimes savage but u l t i m a t e l y innocent beasts.  This viciousness i s now  enthroned at the centre of  an empty universe since Hobbes has extinguished both the rosy glow o f h e l l and the c l e a r l i g h t of heaven.  Bramhall has grasped Hobbes'  i n t e n t i o n to r i d the universe of a l l but human and  perhaps d i v i n e  i n t e l l i g e n c e , but i t s t i l l remains for us to get an accurate p i c t u r e of the place Hobbes provided f o r man among the other animals. Perhaps the best strategy for understanding the place of man  Hobbes' p o s i t i o n on  among h i s f e l l o w animals i s to see i t set against  -30-  that work of A r i s t o t l e ' s Historia  which Hobbes so much admired.  In the  Animalium A r i s t o t l e makes the f o l l o w i n g s e t o f connected  claims: Some animals are gregarious, some are solitary...some partake o f both characters...of the gregarious, some are disposed to combine for s o c i a l purposes, others t o l i v e each f o r i t s own self...Man, by the way, presents a mixture o f the two characters, the gregarious and the s o l i t a r y . . . S o c i a l creatures are such as have some one common object i n view; and t h i s property i s not common to a l l creatures that are gregarious. Such s o c i a l creatures are man, the bee, the wasp, the ant, and the crane. (488al-l0)  In h i s P o l i t i c s A r i s t o t l e asserted that "man i s more o f a p o l i t i c a l animal  than bees or any other  gregarious  animals"  (1253a8), h i s  reason being that man i s capable o f speech and thus able t o order "the expedient  and the inexpedient, and therefore l i k e w i s e the j u s t  and the unjust." (1253al4f)  Hobbes never t i r e d o f pointing out that  A r i s t o t l e counted the bees among the p o l i t i c a l animals; and d i d so without  ever h i n t i n g that A r i s t o t l e himself had made c e r t a i n c l e a r  qualifications to this claim.  The reason why he does not i s perhaps  because he wants as a target the unequivocal bees are p o l i t i c a l animals men and bees. to  as a pure function o f t h e i r natures as  Such a bald claim i n v i t e s the r e j o i n d e r Hobbes wishes  make: men u n l i k e bees cannot a t t a i n  function those  a s s e r t i o n that men and  of their  natures,  social  "natural concord,  harmony as a pure such as i s amongst  creatures, i s the work o f God by the way of nature; but  concord amongst men i s a r t i f i c i a l , 102-3)  and by way o f covenant."  (E.L.,  P u t t i n g Hobbes' point i n Daniel Dennett's terms, bees are  hard-wired  24 for good s o c i a l order but men are not.  Both Hobbes and A r i s t o t l e b e l i e v e that r a t i o n a l i t y  sets  man  -31-  apart from the other animals, but so f a r as Hobbes can see t h i s i s no occasion for s e l f - c o n g r a t u l a t i o n : Man e x c e l l e t h beasts only i n the making of r u l e s to himself, that i s to say, i n remembering, and i n reasoning a r i g h t upon that which he remembereth. They which do so, deserve an honour above brute beasts. But they which mistaking the use of words, deceive themselves and others, introducing e r r o r , and seducing men from the t r u t h , are so much l e s s to be honoured than brute beasts, as e r r o r i s more v i l e than ignorance. (E.W.v, 186)  The  use  of reasoning  give man easily  i n the ordering of our  l i v e s genuinely does  an elevated s t a t i o n , but the ordering i n question i s not attained  for a  reason  that  involves yet  another  feature  Hobbes notes to be p e c u l i a r l y human, boundless a p p e t i t e : Man surpasseth i n r a p a c i t y and c r u e l t y the wolves, bears, and snakes that are not rapacious unless hungry, and not c r u e l unless provoked, whereas man i s famished even by future hunger. (DeH., 40)  It  follows  from  this  passage  and  judgement of human c a p a c i t i e s animal ones - w i l l we  cope  with  the  as  previous  distinct  one,  from  that  purely  any  shared  i n part be a judgement about the extent to which  problems  that  are  specific  to  our  species;  management of our d e s i r i n g natures being f i r s t i n importance  the  among  them. If  mankind  does  stand  alone,  bereft  of  either  angelic  or  demonic company, then perhaps the f i r s t and most obvious observation to  make  together. about  from  the  Hobbesian  From Bramhall's  whether  or  not  point  of  view  i s that we  are  here  p o s i t i o n the most important question i s  Hobbesian  resembling an interdependent b a s i s .  men  can  interact  on  He says o f Hobbes t h a t :  anything  -32-  He hath devised us a trim commonwealth, which i s founded neither upon r e l i g i o n towards God, nor j u s t i c e toward men; but merely upon s e l f - i n t e r e s t , and s e l f - p r e s e r v a t i o n . (E.W.IV,286)  This i s a shrewd observation, yet i t begs an important question. I t remains  to be  self-preservation especially  that  seen  i f Hobbes'  as  motives  which  Bramhall  reliance exclude  on  self-interest  other  and  considerations,  captures i n the phrase,  "justice  toward men". Despite  the fact  that  Bramhall's  critical  acumen  was not  matched by e i t h e r Lucy or Ross, a l l three shared a tone o f moral outrage that was quite untinged by any trace o f humour.  Not so John  Eachard's w i t t y and i r r e v e r e n t Mr Hobb's State o f Nature Considered (1672).  While the tone o f Eachard's book i s l i g h t - h e a r t e d , there i s  no reason to assume that he was anything but serious about r e f u t i n g Hobbes.  A l l parodies r i d i c u l e , but not a l l are u t t e r  travesties^  The stated aim o f the book i s t o demonstrate that "human nature (or reason) i s not so very v i l e and r a s k a l l y , as he (Hobbes) writes h i s 25 own to be". As a dialogue between the young Eachard (Timothy) and the w i l y old Hobbes (Philautus) the book opens with the l a t t e r g i v i n g what he takes t o be a f a i r presentation o f the Hobbesian case: Men n a t u r a l l y are a l l ravenous and c u r i s h , o f a very s n a r l i n g and b i t i n g nature; t o be short, they are i n themselves mere Wolves, Tygers, and Centaurs...every man i s s t i l l t o t h i s very day a f r a i d of every man; and...this i s a n a t u r a l t a i n t and i n f e c t i o n that runs through the whole human blood: and i s so deeply seated t h e r e i n , that i t w i l l never be u t t e r l y washed out t i l l Doomsday.26  Philautus puts the Hobbesian p o s i t i o n forward as an e x p l i c i t piece  -33-  of  s e l f - a n a l y s i s , and  psychological  thus  detail  lays  that  i t open  to  introspection  u n i v e r s a l i z e d as human nature since i t may,  easy  rebuttal:  the  cannot  be  reveals  as i n Philautus's case,  be w i l d l y i d i o s y n c r a t i c . Eachard  creates  Philautus  from  fear,  loathing  and  rank  nastiness i n roughly equal portions - i n one respect t h i s c a r i c a t u r e i s the state of nature and  Eachard has struck on a c r u c i a l vein i n  Hobbes.  In a p e r f e c t l y c l e a r sense the s t a t e of nature, although a  war  a l l against  of  conflict break  of  out  arms, but at  intentions Philautus  a l l , i s not  any  being we  are  rather  moment. fully  necessarily  a time during  Hobbes often  declared.  presented  with  b r i d l e d only by the fear of harm.  will  state  of  actual  which c o n f l i c t  states  Thus  the  a  via  this the  might  i n terms character  to contest  and  of of  damage,  Missing from Eachard's study, but  present i n Hobbes, i s the b e l i e f that we can come to know which of our passions are d i v i s i v e , and l e a r n how  to be c i v i l by c o n t r o l l i n g  those of our passions which we would loathe to f i n d ourselves  the  27 objects of. I f the reactions considered between 1650  and  1679,  to date are t y p i c a l of the  then there  that Hobbes' death i n the  period  i s c e r t a i n l y no reason to think  l a t t e r year did anything  to m o l l i f y the  attack. In  the  Preface  he  wrote  for  Benjamin  Whichcote's  Selected  Sermons (1698) Shaftesbury commented c o l d l y that Hobbes "has very l i t t l e service i n the moral world. philosophy  may  be obliged to him,  great share i n the o b l i g a t i o n .  And however other parts of  ethicks w i l l  He has,  done  appear to have  no  indeed with great z e a l and  -34-  l e a r n i n g , been opposed by a l l the eminent and worthy divines o f the 98  Church  o f England."  The  claim  about  "great  learning"  is a  c o n t r o v e r t i b l e one, but that Hobbes was opposed with "great z e a l " i s i n c o n t r o v e r t i b l e , and t e s t i f i e d  t o i n the pages o f the Journal o f  the Commons for 1666. I t i s noted there that some among the house worthy d i v i n e s as i t turns out - urged that Hobbes and h i s f r i e n d Thomas White be burned as h e r e t i c s .  Cooler heads p r e v a i l e d , but not  before Hobbes had destroyed a portion of h i s work at Hardwick. Cudworth, Clarke, Shaftesbury composed something of a united against  i t s Hobbesian  perhaps  the most  and Hutcheson are taken t o have front i n defence of human  detractors.  obsessed  by  Of these  Hobbes,  a  four  point  nature  Cudworth John  was  Passmore  emphasizes: Hobbes i s never f o r long out o f Cudworth's mind, but among the multitude o f references t o that a t h e i s t i c p o l i t i c i a n (never mentioned by name - l i k e the d e v i l ) not one i s unreservedly f a v o u r a b l e . 29  Certainly  The True I n t e l l e c t u a l System - of the Universe  references However  to Hobbes;  Chapter  politics",  5  has  i n the main as  slights  i t s object  of which Cudworth claims that  i s f u l l of  t o h i s materialism.  " atheistic  e t h i c s and  "the foundation  i s first  l a i d i n the v i l l a i n i z i n g o f human nature; as t h a t , which has not so much as any the l e a s t seeds e i t h e r o f p o l i t i c a l n e s s or ethicalness at a l l i n i t . . . n o t h i n g o f p u b l i c and common concern, but a l l p r i v a t e and  selfish."  3 0  Twenty years a f t e r these remarks were w r i t t e n Shaftesbury to claim i n h i s Inquiry Concerning V i r t u e or Merit that: According to a known way o f reasoning on s e l f - i n t e r e s t , that which i s o f a s o c i a l kind i n us should o f r i g h t be abolished. Thus kindness o f every  was  -35-  s o r t , indulgence, tenderness, compassion, and, i n short, a l l n a t u r a l a f f e c t i o n , should i n d u s t r i o u s l y be suppressed...nothing remaining i n us which was contrary to a d i r e c t s e l f - e n d ; nothing which might stand i n o p p o s i t i o n to a steady and d e l i b e r a t e pursuit of the most narrowly confined s e l f - i n t e r e s t . 3 1 This i s the f i r s t example I have encountered e t h i c a l egoism to Hobbes. if  of the a s c r i p t i o n  of  Shaftesbury quite sensibly assumes that  Hobbes i s recommending egoism as i n some sense  r i g h t , then  he  must believe that we can stray i n t o concern f o r others - hence the need to check confuse  tenderness, kindness and  compassion.  What tends to  matters somewhat i s Shaftesbury's i n c l i n a t i o n  to say that  Hobbes has denied the very p o s s i b i l i t y of s o c i a l sentiment.  Echoes  of t h i s confusion reverberate s t i l l . Modern treatments o f Hobbes are usually dated from George Croom Robertson's  1880  Encyclopaedia  Britannica  entry on  Hobbes.  This  a r t i c l e was followed by h i s monograph Hobbes that appeared s i x years later.  In reviewing t h i s monograph for Philosophische Monatshefte  i n 1887 Ferdinand Tonnies had hinted that h i s own book on Hobbes was soon to appear. Tonnies  was  Hobbes: Leben und Lehre was published i n 1896,  merely  the most prominent  German scholars working  on  Hobbes and  among a s i z e a b l e publishing  and  group of  i n the main i n  Archiv fur Geschichte der P h i l o s o p h l e . Robertson  and  Tonnies knew more about Hobbes' corpus than any  previous c r i t i c s , and both came to the t r a d i t i o n a l conclusion about Hobbes on human nature.  With s p e c i f i c reference to The Elements of  Law Robertson was to say that Hobbes' "conception of man as moved by purely s e l f i s h impulses i s most d i s t i n c t l y marked; and there i s to be  sought  the true source of h i s theory of c i v i l  government  as  -.36-  necessary  for the preservation of men  anti-social  disposition."  from the consequences of t h e i r  Tonnies'  conclusion  is  comparable,  although a r r i v e d at a f t e r a rather d i f f e r e n t study of the nature Hobbesian  man.  difference  Obsessed  between  (gemeinschaft), understood  what  society  he  characterized  (gesellschaft)  and  a  precursor  aggressive,  to  modern  acquisitive,  and  as  the  community  Tonnies came to think that Hobbesian man  as  competitive,  with  of  was  best  gesellschaft  beings:  "enemies  nature,  by  33 mutually e x c l u s i v e and negating each other." The and  themes of s e l f i s h n e s s , s e l f - l o v e , narrow self-centredness,  a n t i - s o c i a l n e s s a l l appear i n L e s l i e Stephen's Hobbes  Despite the unmistakable with what he  takes  (1904).  impression that Stephen i s out of sympathy  Hobbes to be advancing he makes a commendable  e f f o r t to disentangle the h i s t o r i c a l Hobbes from the objectionable theory.  Nonetheless Hobbes i s s a i d to be "the most thoroughgoing of  e g o i s t s " , and one bold enough to speak "as though t h i s were one  of  3  the obvious truths which require no proof or explanation."" ^ One of Stephen's most provocative claims i s to the e f f e c t that Hobbes' "uncompromising egoism i s an i n e v i t a b l e consequence of h i s 35 position",  where  "his  position"  refers  to  materialism.  This  claim gets l i t t l e support i n the book, but what Stephen argues i s as follows: F i n a l l y , h i s thoroughgoing materialism seems to make the assumption o f s e l f i s h n e s s i n e v i t a b l e . I f , indeed, i t be possible to regard man as mere mechanism, worked by the laws of motion, and yet to regard him as a s e l f - c o n s c i o u s , reasoning, and a remembering animal, i t may be p o s s i b l e to regard him as sympathetic and unselfish. S t i l l i t i s d i f f i c u l t to see how the actions of a mere automaton a f f e c t e d only by the pressure of bodies i n contact with him, can be r e a l l y determined by the conditions of other automata.36  -'37-  Th i s the  argument i s a broken reed, since the p o s s i b i l i t y first  conclusion  outlined i n  long c o n d i t i o n a l i s never argued against, and thus the stated  plausible.  i n the f i r s t  Hobbes  clearly  sentence  does  view  i s no  human  way  beings  made as  more  complex  p h y s i c a l e n t i t i e s , but t h i s i s inconclusive one way or the other f o r Stephen's  cause,  since  obviously  a causal  i n any case  r o l e played  of aiding  by perception  another  there i s  o f the other  as i n  need, which i s i n part t o be understood as a process occurring i n the  perceiver.  I n c i d e n t a l l y , Hobbes' d i s t i n c t i o n  between n a t u r a l  and a r t i f i c i a l bodies e n t a i l s that automata are a r t i f i c i a l  animals,  but not that men are mechanical animals or n a t u r a l automata. In the years since the appearance o f Stephen's book there have been a number o f d i f f e r e n t i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s o f Hobbes o f f e r e d . the  main however, and despite  v a r i a t i o n s over other  In  p o i n t s , most  have been prepared to endorse the orthodox b e l i e f that Hobbes held a version  o f the wickedness  contributions  would  chosen t o concentrate most  thesis.  be impossible  Since within  t o review present  a l l o f the  bounds, I have  a t t e n t i o n on the one modern work which seems  f o r t h r i g h t and c l e a r i n presenting  Gauthier's The Logic o f Leviathan.  an orthodox l i n e :  David  -38-  CHAPTER I I  DAVID GAUTHIER'S HOBBESIAN MAN  -392.1  The State o f Nature as Terminal  The-Logic  of Leviathan i s the centre-piece o f David  work on Hobbes. and for  Gauthier's  One o f the book's stated aims i s to demonstrate how  why Hobbes' theory o f human nature i s the e x p l i c i t groundwork both  the moral  and p o l i t i c a l  theory  which  follows.  This  contention i s of course not a novel one, but i n Gauthier's hands i t receives a q u i t e new t w i s t :  he argues that the Hobbesian s t r u c t u r e  r e s t s on a p h y s i o l o g i c a l theory which gives Hobbes' psychology i t s real  shape, and guarantees  s p r i n g from i t .  that no genuinely  moral  theory  could  The s t r a i n o f what Gauthier sees as prudentialism  i s too pure t o allow anything other than a system o f "common, or universal,  prudence."'''  To make  h i s case,  Gauthier  presents  a n a l y s i s o f Hobbes' p h y s i o l o g i c a l p o s t u l a t e s ; p r i n c i p a l l y v i t a l and voluntary motion.  i s constructed  m e c h a n i s t i c a l l y , and that  enters a t the beginning o f the s t o r y . evidence  does  nonetheless  not support  those on  This strategy has the great v i r t u e o f  taking Hobbes' materialism s e r i o u s l y , because i t accepts psychology  an  materialism  I s h a l l argue that Gauthier's  the i n t e r p r e t a t i o n  that he has i n d i c a t e d  that h i s  the l i n e s  he gives along  us, but  which  future  studies of Hobbes' psychology must run. Quite r e c e n t l y , indeed some time a f t e r this  chapter  was  "Thomas Hobbes: article  is  settled,  Gauthier  Moral T h e o r i s t " .  that  Hobbes'  "true  the main s t r u c t u r e o f  published  The c e n t r a l moral  a  piece  entitled  t h e s i s i n t h i s new  theory  is  a  dual  conventionalism, i n which a conventional reason, superseding n a t u r a l reason,  justifies  a  conventional  morality, constraining natural  -40-  behaviour.  And  contribution  this  dual  to moral  conventionalism  theory."  i s Hobbes'  In contrast  with  enduring  his earlier  p o s i t i o n on the r e l a t i o n s h i p between Hobbes' psychology  and e t h i c s ,  a p o s i t i o n which I s h a l l examine s h o r t l y , Gauthier now b e l i e v e s that Hobbes  successfully  rationality  with  manages  "the r e c o n c i l i a t i o n  constraining m o r a l i t y . "  Gauthier accounts  Hobbes as having  2 3  of  In t h i s  maximizing  new  position  a genuine moral theory rather  than merely propounding a system o f "common, or u n i v e r s a l prudence". I agree with Gauthier's new p o s i t i o n on Hobbes' moral theory, and  I give my own v e r s i o n o f what Hobbes has to say about r i g h t  reason  i n the guise o f the law - an i n s t i t u t e d  procedure  standing above i n d i v i d u a l s  - i n s e c t i o n 2.5 below.  s o c i a l decision  as embodiments of r i g h t reason  However, when I f i r s t confronted Gauthier's  work on Hobbes I set myself the task of showing that i t s flaw l a y i n a t t r i b u t i n g to Hobbes a p h y s i o l o g i c a l psychology which would make a genuine moral theory impossible.  And while I was both pleased and  i n t e r e s t e d to see that Gauthier had changed h i s mind on t h i s matter, I was somewhat s u r p r i s e d to read t h a t , " I s h a l l then s t r i k e out i n a new d i r e c t i o n , by-passing  my former  Hobbes'  h i s psychology...". '  moral  theory  comments on the subversion o f 2  by  3  My  s u r p r i s e was  based on the fact that i n The Logic o f Leviathan Gauthier gives what must  be  the most  believing  that  psychology.  elegant  Hobbes'  In the new  and moral  piece  sustained theory  case was  no d e t a i l s  own  attempts  a n a l y s i s o f the e a r l i e r to give  some d e t a i l e d  position reasons  offered for  undermined  whatever  i n d i c a t e what was amiss i n t h i s o r i g i n a l case. my  ever  by  his  are given to  Thus I b e l i e v e that  i s warranted, as to why  a  since i t bypass i s  -41-  imperative.  David Gauthier  may  not  be  at a l l convinced that  his  former p o s i t i o n should be bypassed for the reasons that I give, but that remains to be seen. My all  strategy  entails utilizing  Gauthier's  book on  Hobbes,  and  of the e a r l i e r a r t i c l e s , to reconstruct h i s model of Hobbesian  man  as  an  unrestrained  utility  maximizer.  developed I turn to the treatment of v i t a l The- Logic of Leviathan; level  Once  that  model i s  and voluntary motion i n  reason being that i t i s at t h i s most basic  of Hobbes" psychology that  Gauthier  f i n d s the roots of  prudentialism which i s thought to subvert the moral theory.  the  I shall  argue that t h i s aspect of Hobbes" psychology i s morally n e u t r a l , and that Gauthier's  model of Hobbesian psychology i s i n c o n s i s t e n t with  much that Hobbes says, e s p e c i a l l y what he says about j u s t i c e as  a  virtue. In  P r a c t i c a l -Reasoning  (1963)  Gauthier  outlines  a  possible  p o s i t i o n on reasons for a c t i o n which i s a c t u a l l y h i s f i r s t sketch Hobbesian  of  man: I t i s , no doubt, possible to conceive an agent who could t r e a t h i s own wants, present and future, as reasons for a c t i n g , but who could not t r e a t other considerations as reasons. Such an agent would (and could) concern himself only with those wants of others which he wanted to f u l f i l (or to f r u s t r a t e ) . But there i s no reason to assume that our capacity for r a t i o n a l a c t i o n i s , or need be, l i m i t e d i n t h i s way. And i n the absence of such a reason, we may properly consider at face value those quite ordinary p r a c t i c a l arguments which r e s t on what i s d e s i r a b l e to persons other than the agent. 5  Notice  that Gauthier  says " i n the absence of such a reason", that  i s , i n the absence of a reason for b e l i e v i n g that "our capacity for r a t i o n a l action i s , or need be, l i m i t e d i n t h i s way."  As  will  be  -42-  demonstrated s h o r t l y , i n The  Logic of Leviathan Gauthier believes  that such a reason can be discovered i n Hobbes' account of v i t a l and voluntary motion. Hobbesian  man  That the above c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n i s t a i l o r e d for  i s put  beyond  doubt  Within a discussion o f o b l i g a t i o n  later  i n P r a c t i c a l - Reasoning.  i t i s claimed that  for Hobbes,  "since one i s moved to act only by one's i n t e r e s t s , i t follows that one cannot consider that the making o f a covenant provides a reason sufficient in  terms  4  for keeping i t . " o f one's  To act i n one's i n t e r e s t s i s to act  personal well-being  and  satisfaction;  to act  s o l e l y on that basis i s of course to be an extreme form of egoist. Such  agents  are,  on  Gauthier's account,  f o r e s i g h t and " f a r sighted s e l f i s h n e s s " the  -  capable  rationally  because  advantage  As he w i l l argue i n "Morality and Advantage",  prudent  man  at the very l e a s t  trustworthy.  of  - but unable to adhere to  p r i n c i p l e s o f an agreement when the tug o f immediate  p u l l s them elsewhere. "the  5  prudent  i s incapable o f  moral  behaviour",  such behaviour requires that a man  be  To be worthy o f t r u s t i s to have that capacity "which  enables  i t s possessor to adhere, and  adhere,  to  a  commitment  which  considerations of advantage."  6  he  to judge that  has  he ought  to  made, without regard to  To be both prudent and worthy of  t r u s t i s not on Gauthier's grounds s u f f i c i e n t to be a f u l l y  moral  man, but i t i s intermediate between the merely prudent man of Hobbes and the genuinely moral man.  Hobbesian man  i s thus twice removed  from moral s t a t u s . The most v i v i d statement of the impasse facing Hobbesian man i s found i n "Reason and Maximization". Put i n terms o f independent and interdependent  a c t i o n , where the former i s action chosen by  each  -43person  for  himself  agreement of  and  the  a l l parties,  "interdependent  action  a c t i o n , then, may  is  latter  action  Gauthier begins action  in  arrived  at  through  with the remark  civil  that,  society...independent  be termed a c t i o n i n the s t a t e of n a t u r e . "  7  This  d i s t i n c t i o n i s put to work i n the claim that: Hobbesian man i s unable to i n t e r n a l i z e the s o c i a l requirement that he subordinate h i s d i r e c t pursuit of s u r v i v a l and well-being to the agreed pursuit of optimal outcomes which best ensure the s u r v i v a l and well-being of each person. Thus i n our terms Hobbesian man a c t u a l l y remains i n the s t a t e of nature; the c i v i l power, the Sovereign, can e f f e c t only the appearance Of civil society, of interdependent action. The r e a l d i f f e r e n c e between the state of nature and c i v i l s o c i e t y must be a d i f f e r e n c e i n man, and not merely i n the external r e l a t i o n s of men.8  Hobbesian  man  is  a  victim  of  his  species  of  rationality:  c o n s t i t u t i o n a l l y unable to enjoy the b e n e f i t s of c i v i l l i f e because forever  doomed to s t r a t e g i e s  Gauthier has  put  h i s finger  based  on  unrestrained maximization.  on a c r u c i a l  i s s u e ; namely, i n what  respects are human d i s p o s i t i o n s relevant to the c i v i l what i s the content of c i v i l i t y ? Gauthier has  an  Logic  of  "Reason  of any  exercise i n  behaviour.  However, i n answering as he does,  ascribed to Hobbes a conception of r a t i o n a l i t y  denudes c i v i l i t y best  p r o j e c t , or  Prior  to  Leviathan as and  content and  the  renders  imposition of  investigating support  Maximization",  the  for the  l e t us  the c i v i l  that  p r o j e c t at  e x t e r n a l constraints  on  reasons  proffered i n  The  severe  doctrine found  in  first  preview  some  of  the  consequences attendant upon accepting t h i s view of Hobbes. Hobbesian men the b e n e f i t s to be society.  Nor  are prudent and thus have no problem recognizing gained  through  are they b l i n d  interdependent  action  in  civil  to the fact that agreements are the  -44-  required means to obtaining these b e n e f i t s .  Hence mutual l i m i t a t i o n  of the r i g h t to a l l i s a r a t i o n a l necessity and known to be such. Knowledge of the r a t i o n a l e for covenants i s not s u f f i c i e n t i n the face of temptation  however, and  thus Hobbesian men  are unable to  abide by the covenants they see every reason for making. there  i s nothing  subsequently, greater  about  any  a  covenant  particular  concludes  counter-balance  the  such  agreement  benefit than cost w i l l  prudent man  as  be.  that  which  Fully  grounds a c t i o n ;  can  be  of  advantage.  broken  aware of a l l t h i s  that a coercive power must be pull  For them  Much  at the  introduced  to  Odysseus  in  like  response to the advice of C i r c e , Hobbesian men must equip themselves against the i n e v i t a b l e force of t h e i r own the sovereign i s introduced.  desires.  At t h i s juncture  The sovereign's r o l e i s not to  stifle  d e s i r e - that on Hobbesian grounds would be to k i l l the patient as an expedient against disease - but rather to provide a framework of sanctions adequate to the task of r e s t r a i n i n g the w i l l .  The  first  point to be made i s that i f we follow Gauthier's c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n of both  Hobbesian man  and  the  Hobbesian sovereign,  e f f e c t a simple model of explosive energy and objection  to  considerable  this  model  is  amount of what we  r e l a t i o n s h i p to law.  that  it  fails  then we  have i n  i t s containment. to  An  accommodate  know about Hobbesian man  and  a his  What I have i n mind can be stated as f o l l o w s .  In the f i r s t instance notice what Hobbes says i n h i s exchange with Bramhall: It i s the law from whence proceeds the d i f f e r e n c e between the moral and the n a t u r a l goodness: so that i t i s w e l l enough s a i d by him, that "moral goodness i s the conformity of a c t i o n with r i g h t reason"; and better s a i d than meant; for t h i s r i g h t reason, which i s the law, i s no otherwise c e r t a i n l y r i g h t than by  -45-  our making i t so by our approbation voluntary subjection to i t . (E.W.V, 193) This  1  p o s i t i o n of Hobbes , along  of  it  and  with h i s summation i n the words,  "the law i s a l l the r i g h t reason we have" ( I b i d . , 194), requires an a n a l y s i s that threatens  Gauthier's  simple  model of c o n s t r a i n t ,  if  law i s the embodiment of r i g h t reason, then one's a t t i t u d e toward i t need  not  be  aversive  individual's desires.  even  when 1  dictates  go  against  an  wish to have h i s p o l i t i c a l  doctrine  taught at large i s w e l l known, and equally evident i n the  question  "why and  may  not men  Hobbes  its  be taught t h e i r duty, that i s , the science of j u s t  unjust...?"  (E.W.VI, 212)  the science of j u s t i c e was  Now,  nothing  one  above and  promulgation and enforcement of law. thus be schooling them i n what was proscribed  on  the  other.  To  could  p l a u s i b l y hold  that  beyond the e f f e c t i v e  Teaching men  t h e i r duty would  permissible on the one hand and  carry  out  this  project  one  need  presuppose nothing more than a populace whose actions were governed in  part  problem  by once  fear. we  This  tidy  appreciate  i n t e r p r e t a t i o n runs that  Hobbes  i n t o an  envisaged  two  acute  distinct  a t t i t u d e s to the law, only one of which was fear based: For seeing the w i l l s of most men are governed only by fear, and where there i s no power of coercion, there i s no fear; the w i l l s of most men w i l l follow t h e i r passions of covetousness, l u s t , anger, and the l i k e . (E.L., 111)  The nature of the second a t t i t u d e to the law i s c l o s e l y a l l i e d with the v i r t u e of j u s t i c e , whereas the adherence to law through fear of attendant  punishments requires no such connection.  point further we s h a l l need to rehearse  To develop t h i s  Hobbes' d i s t i n c t i o n between  the j u s t i c e of an act and the j u s t i c e of a  man.  -46Consider  the passage  from The  Elements of Law  i n which  this  d i s t i n c t i o n i s broached: For j u s t i c e and i n j u s t i c e , when they are a t t r i b u t e d to a c t i o n s , s i g n i f y the same thing with no i n j u r y , and i n j u r y ; and denominate the action j u s t , or unjust, but not the man so;...But when j u s t i c e and i n j u s t i c e are attributed to men, they signify proneness and a f f e c t i o n , and i n c l i n a t i o n of nature, that i s t o say, passions of the mind apt to produce j u s t and unjust a c t i o n s , ( i b i d . , 83)  C i t i z e n s who act j u s t l y , who  abstain from doing i n j u r y f o r fear of  the l e g a l sanctions, are i n a deep sense unjust, for "to be unjust is  to neglect  righteous  measured not according (E.W.II, 33). the  d e a l i n g , or to think  to my  that  i t i s to be  contract, but some present  benefit"  Once t h i s d i s t i n c t i o n between the j u s t i c e of acts and  j u s t i c e of men  i s grasped, and  once i t i s granted  that  the  majority of c i t i z e n s lack w i l l s that q u a l i f y as j u s t - the constant endeavour to l i v e r i g h t e o u s l y - we are i n a p o s i t i o n to d i s t i n g u i s h two forms i n which Hobbes saw j u s t i c e as a v i r t u e .  The f i r s t , as he  makes p l a i n i n De Homine, i s akin to the q u a l i t y o f t r a c t a b i l i t y i n citizens,  " [ f ] o r , whatsoever the laws are, not to v i o l a t e them i s  always and everywhere held to be a v i r t u e i n c i t i z e n s . " As  a way  thereby  of p a r t i t i o n i n g  of  the  "Which d i s p o s i t i o n ( s ) w i l l  land?"  function of fear, we fear  the c l a s s of law abiding c i t i z e n s ,  reaching our second form o f j u s t i c e as a v i r t u e , we  ask the question, laws  (DeH., 69)  Setting  aside  those  lead men whose  (inducement  toward a desired o b j e c t ) .  Since  might  to obey the  obedience  are l e f t with those whose motivation  (propulsion away from unwanted consequences)  and  is a i s not  but rather  love  i t i s the case that  Hobbes allows but two modes o f motivation, love and f e a r , and since  -47-  he d i s t i n g u i s h e s the t r u l y j u s t man as one not moved t o j u s t acts through fear of punishments, then we are forced t o conclude t h a t , at its  core,  the v i r t u e  of justice  desired end i n j u s t a c t s . being  concerned  directive  to  with  men  i s a disposition  t o seek  some  Consistent with the t h i r d law o f nature  standing  involves  to covenants  embracing  the  made, virtue  i t s primary of  justice.  Furthermore, since the laws o f nature i n toto are r a t i o n a l precepts, it  might  be appropriate  to seek  the d e t a i l s  embedded i n the t h i r d law i n the realm o f reason. indeed  o f the d i r e c t i v e That i s , i f i t i s  r a t i o n a l to adhere to covenants, f o r some reason other than  to avoid the penalty f o r reneging, then perhaps the reason r e l a t e s to the r a t i o n a l i t y of the procedure by which l e g a l d i r e c t i v e s are arrived  a t . In s h o r t , the v i r t u e o f j u s t i c e may be based i n a  p a r t i c u l a r a t t i t u d e to the law: as the most r a t i o n a l c r e a t i o n of men with c i v i l a s p i r a t i o n s . sovereign  I f so, then the r o l e o f the Hobbesian  i n providing the framework o f coercion i s a precondition  for the science o f j u s t i c e and does not i n any sense exhaust i t . This i s so because teaching men t h e i r duties i s equivalent to g i v i n g a j u s t i f i c a t i o n f o r adherence to covenants, and t h i s i n t u r n , as we have seen, i s not simply to oblige through force. What then i s the s i g n i f i c a n c e o f t h i s r e j e c t i o n o f Gauthier's p o s i t i o n on Hobbes' sovereign? raised  suggest  necessary  that  Gauthier's  Considerations o f the kind j u s t now model  o f the sovereign  as the  curb on rampant egoism does considerable violence to the  subtlety and elegance o f Hobbes' account o f v i r t u e , a part o f which I have j u s t  now elaborated.  So, i f t h i s consequence o f Gauthier's  p o s i t i o n i s as d i s f i g u r i n g as i t appears, then perhaps the finger o f  -48-  doubt  should  candidate  point  back  for f a l s i t y  of Hobbesian man,  to  his  initial  premises.  The  obvious  i s h i s premise about the e g o i s t i c psychology  and  i t i s to t h i s  premise that  I now  address  myself.  2.2  The M a t e r i a l - Basis  In h i s Preface to The  Logic of Leviathan Gauthier provides  the  f o l l o w i n g thumbnail sketch of h i s argument: Hobbes constructs a p o l i t i c a l theory which bases unlimited political authority on unlimited individualism. The conclusion requires the premiss; anything l e s s than unlimited i n d i v i d u a l i s m would j u s t i f y only l i m i t e d p o l i t i c a l a u t h o r i t y . But the premiss i s too strong f o r the conclusions; as I attempt to show, from unlimited i n d i v i d u a l i s m only anarchy f o l l o w s . The theory i s a failure...He r e l i e s neither on the goodwill of men - t h e i r w i l l i n g n e s s to consider each other's i n t e r e s t s for t h e i r own sake, and not as a means to s e l f - s a t i s f a c t i o n , nor on the efficacy of institutions, as a means of both concentrating and limiting political power...His r e f u s a l to r e l y on e i t h e r of these explains the f a i l u r e of h i s t h e o r y . 9  I r r e s p e c t i v e of i t s u l t i m a t e c o l l a p s e , Gauthier thinks that Hobbes' theory  i s a worthy object o f study because, " i f we  argument as a l i m i t i n g  case,  an attempt to construct a  order on the l e a s t favourable assumptions, we value."''' has  one  0  What are  the  look upon t h i s  "least  favourable  political  s h a l l appreciate i t s  assumptions"?  Gauthier  c e n t r a l assumption i n mind; namely that of e s s e n t i a l and  unrelenting  egoism.  There  i s no  reason  to  think  that  Gauthier  e n t e r t a i n s anything more than t h i s . However, i t i s arguable that Gauthier's assumption, rather than any  Hobbes makes, turns out to be too strong.  Hobbes c l e a r l y did  -49refuse to theorize i n the c l a s s i c a l s t y l e : homo n a t u r a l i t e r est animal s o c i a l e .  he eschews the view that  Equally, while accepting  that  men were capable o f f e e l i n g sympathy and love f o r c e r t a i n s p e c i f i e d others, he d i d not b e l i e v e that a u n i v e r s a l form o f e i t h e r emotion guided human a f f a i r s . evident  among c i t i z e n s ,  believes  them incapable  Gauthier's say  Hobbes has given  no i n d i c a t i o n that he  o f i t ; something that i s pretty close t o  understanding o f what he d i d .  that Hobbes theorized on a minimalist  cautious The  L a s t l y , while denying that goodwill was much  about what "the l e a s t favourable  substance o f Gauthier's  So, while i t i s true to b a s i s , one needs to be assumptions" amount t o .  views about Hobbesian man are found i n  chapter one of The - Logic o f Leviathan; t h e r e a f t e r the materials are put t o work.  I turn now to that chapter, "The Nature of Man"."'"'''  I s a i d above that Gauthier, has  gone  to the d e t a i l  u n l i k e most o f h i s predecessors,  of Hobbesian  psychology  i n order  substantiate a t h e s i s about the nature o f Hobbesian man. doubt a r e s u l t of the f a c t that Gauthier pretensions  seriously.  to  This i s no  t r e a t s Hobbes' systematic  As a reader o f the V i t a Carmina Expressa  would have noted, Hobbes took motion to be our key to the inner r e a l i t y o f things. the  e s s e n t i a l basis  Gauthier  So i n demonstrating why Hobbes saw psychology as f o r a science  n a t u r a l l y , and r i g h t l y ,  t r e a t i n g morals and p o l i t i c s ,  goes d i r e c t l y  t o the species o f  motion employed by Hobbes for the a n a l y s i s o f human a c t i o n . Reporting the d i s c u s s i o n o f Leviathan Chapter 6, Gauthier the  two  voluntary.  forms  of motion  common  to a l l animals:  lists  vital  and  The former i s "maintained i n a l l l i v i n g beings without 12  interruption,  from  their  generation  to t h e i r  death."  Of the  -50latter  we  passion  are t o l d  i s the  that  "human a c t i o n i s voluntary motion; human  beginning  5  of voluntary  motion.""'"'  However, since  passion i s i t s e l f but a l i n k i n a longer chain, Gauthier goes on to discuss sensation and imagination. Firstly,  although we are t o l d that passion i s the beginning  voluntary  motion,  perception  - itself,  story  the  i s relatively  origin  must  of course,  be  a type  uncontentious:  traced  to  "sense  of m o t i o n . T h e  causal  the  back  motions  that  are  sense  reception are relayed to the brain (creating a counter-pressure is  sensation) before being continued  what Hobbes c a l l s  "imagination".  vital  either  motion,  is  helped  to the heart  The or  i n the  heart, being hindered  "the  heart's  first reactive  reactions,  and  passions, passion.  beginnings  of  by  the  endeavours since  i t follows  these that  account:  then,  two  either  reactions  a l l voluntary  Such i s Gauthier's  There are  are  motion.""'" appetitive  are  or  of of  Gauthier  Since  individuated  action  form of  inflow  5  voluntary  that  the centre  imagination and responds with an endeavour characterized by as  of  the  aversive as  i s derived  our from  case.  beginnings  for voluntary motion i n t h i s  one i n the o r i g i n a l event that c o n s t i t u t e s sensation, and  another i n the heart based endeavour which i s the beginning of our response to sensory imput.  One could argue that sensation ought not  to be considered as the beginning of voluntary motion, since a claim to  that  status  i s more e a s i l y  made for endeavour  -  everywhere a species of motion o r i g i n a t i n g our a c t i o n s . i s important the  simple  not to be too r i g i d  always  However, i t  about the t a l k of beginnings,  reason that when Hobbes t e l l s  h i s own  and  story about  for how  -51-  actions are generated,  he s t r e s s e s something quite d i f f e r e n t to the  sensory or heart based motions considered thus f a r . Hobbes voluntary  claims  that,  motions,  "because going,  depend  always  upon  speaking, a  and the l i k e  precedent  thought  of  whither, which way, and what; i t i s evident, that the imagination i s the 39)  first  i n t e r n a l beginning  Imagination s t a r t s l i f e as an event i n the b r a i n , and although  Hobbes  considers  distinct  that  i t t r a v e l s to the heart,  from, and p r i o r t o , whatever i s i n i t i a t e d  Imagination and  of a l l voluntary motion." (E.W. I l l ,  i s the f i r s t  " i n t e r n a l " beginning  i s thus presumably contrasted  with  i n the heart.  o f voluntary motion,  the " e x t e r n a l " objects of  sense whose impact decays to imagination. described  i t i s clearly  However, as the case i s  by Hobbes - i n terms o f thoughts about the objects o f  sense - i t would seem  reasonable  to assign s i g n i f i c a n t c o g n i t i v e  content t o that which o r i g i n a t e s a c t i o n w i t h i n us. And granted that t h i s move i s reasonable, one should be more i n c l i n e d to consider the nature o f the thoughts which i n i t i a t e a c t i o n , and l e s s i n c l i n e d to see  action  heart-based  as merely endeavours.  a  product  o f the patently  non-cognitive  However, more o f t h i s i n s e c t i o n 2 . A.  On the basis o f what we have o u t l i n e d thus f a r , Gauthier  feels  confident enough to draw the f o l l o w i n g rather s t a r t l i n g conclusion: From t h i s account o f v i t a l and voluntary motion, i t follows that each man seeks, and seeks only, to preserve and to strengthen himself. A concern f o r continued well-being i s both the necessary and the s u f f i c i e n t ground of human a c t i o n . Hence man i s n e c e s s a r i l y selfish.-*-^  Gauthier's  conclusion - that Hobbesian man i s "necessarily s e l f i s h "  - i s a v a l i d inference from the premises he provides:  men seek only  -52-  to preserve component Taken  and strengthen o f concern  together,  anything  themselves; no a c t i o n occurs  f o r the agent's  and construed  he takes  well-being  as saying  that  to be i n c o n s i s t e n t with  without  motivating i t .  no man  ever  But the v a l i d i t y  o f the inference i s not the only relevant consideration. premises an accurate account o f what Hobbes r e a l l y holds? not been  convince me that supporting  enough  they  argument  are.  from  does  h i s preservation and  well-being, these two premises amount t o egoism.  certainly  a  Gauthier  The most l i k e l y  place  Are the There has  thus  f a r to  to look f o r  argument would be i n what Gauthier understands Hobbes t o  have s a i d about the nature o f d e s i r e .  2.3  Desire  If,  "a concern f o r continued  well-being i s both the necessary  and  the s u f f i c i e n t ground o f human a c t i o n " , then there could never  be.  an action which was d i r e c t e d to an end that was conceived to be  ultimately  i n conflict  clearly,  respects  well-being  with  i n which  continued actions  well-being. which  There a r e ,  ultimately  subserve  can be i n c l u s i v e o f the i n t e r e s t s o f others.  Not a l l  concerns with the agents' p r i v a t e well-being need issue i n narrowly privatized  actions,  understood  contends only  personal  well-being).  not even that  Gauthier  within  egoism  (which  as commonly  the agent's basic concerns are f o r i s quite  clear  that  Hobbes has  narrowed the scope o f well-being down to personal well-being, and he expresses t h i s by saying that f o r Hobbesian agents actions w i l l be "necessarily s e l f i s h " .  However, without  some f u r t h e r discussion of  -53-  what he means by " s e l f i s h " I cannot see how we might s p e c i f y j u s t how narrow the ambit o f a c t i o n i s meant to be. evidence  that  Gauthier  selfishness thesis?  utilizes  to  establish  What then i s the this  necessary  To begin with there i s what Hobbes says about  desire. All  passions were designated as species of e i t h e r appetite or  aversion. its  Since a l l appetites and aversions depend on the heart i n  role  as the main-spring  for a c t i o n , there i s a c l e a r enough  sense i n which passions are a product o f the autonomic system which maintains  life  understood  i n the organism.  Subsequently,  as extensions o f v i t a l motion:  actions are best  the system's method o f  a l t e r i n g the outside world as a means to r e a l i z i n g i n t e r n a l states of i t s e l f .  Actions o r i g i n a t e i n passion, but passions o r i g i n a t e i n  the system's fundamental preservatory mechanism. fundamental that i t cannot be analysed although  f u r t h e r ; i t has no aims,  i t seems true to say that i t s functioning exemplifies the  system's aim to cohere as a going concern. aim.  V i t a l motion i s so  Passion subserves  this  Gauthier, holding to t h i s p l a u s i b l e and i n t e r e s t i n g view about  what connects v i t a l and voluntary motion, t h i n k s that a l l Hobbesian d e s i r e s are more or l e s s conscious, surface analogs f o r the workings of the deeper (heart-centred) system. This i n t e r p r e t a t i o n has the v i r t u e o f being c l e a r , but i s i t true?  Adopting  which openly  i t e n t a i l s that we r e j e c t as motivations  anything  and consciously m i l i t a t e s against e i t h e r preservation  or p r i v a t e well-being.  Hence we would i n agreeing with Gauthier, be  accepting that Hobbes could never allow the sane abandonment o f l i f e either  in  order  to  avoid  future  suffering  (granting  that  -54preservation  i s primary)  or  to  save  the  life  of  another.  Furthermore, i f a l l a c t i o n exemplifies a concern with our p r i v a t e well-being then actions which promote the well-being o f others can only be doing so as a means to the agent's personal ends.  In 4.5  the issue o f s u i c i d e i s considered i n some d e t a i l , but my conclusion i s that Hobbes d i d not r u l e out the sane abandonment o f l i f e . did  he deny that men might refuse  c e r t a i n means t o preservation  which they deemed to be d i s g r a c e f u l or contemptible. discussed  i n chapter  motivation  entails  5.  Thus whatever  This matter i s  the Hobbesian account of  i t i s not one that gives ultimate p r i o r i t y to  preservation, nor t o motivations self-regarding  Nor  virtues.  The  that  ignore  the exercise o f non  r e l a t i o n s h i p between  v i r t u e s and  conceptions o f the s e l f i s another matter; but c e r t a i n l y one that i s not c l a r i f i e d by using egoism and a l t r u i s m as polar conceptual t o o l s in  the a n a l y s i s .  In the present  instance the best strategy i s to  explore what i t i s that Hobbes a c t u a l l y says about why men desire p a r t i c u l a r things. Hobbes gives a c l e a r answer t o t h i s question i n one of h i s many comments on Thomas White's manuscript: FToperly, "good" and "bad" are applied t o objects, [not to persons]; f o r something that pleases or d e l i g h t s a person or i s yearned f o r by him i s s a i d t o be "good" f o r him. On the other hand, something unpleasant i s e v i l ; and we c a l l " b e a u t i f u l " that which contains the "signs" o f good, and "shameful" that which lacks them. "Good", therefore, and " e v i l " are applied r e l a t i v e l y and ad personam. (T.W., 378)  Hobbes has not s a i d that men only yearn f o r or desire that which they take  to be i n t h e i r  selfish  t h e i r s e l f i s h longer term goals.  interests,  or that which meets  What he does say i s that we c a l l  -55-  "good for him" that which someone yearns for or d e s i r e s . further advanced with for.  the  question  characterize  sought a f t e r as "a goal, or self-bene f i t " , on  the  conception  of  the  t h i n k i n g involved  as  being  that  ( i b i d . , 400)  actor  ( i b i d . ) ) when discussing objects of d e s i r e , and the  no  of what i t i s that i s yearned  Undoubtedly, Hobbes does often  concentrate  We are  about the  (his  which  is  and he does "mind-picture"  he does t a l k about  good or  i l l that  will  r e s u l t from the postulated a c t i o n ; but these imply nothing more than that we see b e n e f i t i n the r e a l i z a t i o n of our goals  (whatever they  are). Granting  that a l l d e s i r i n g i s a sign of enhanced v i t a l motion,  what reason do we have f o r going f u r t h e r , with Gauthier, i n claiming that only a s p e c i f i c range of things can be desired; namely those things which we b e l i e v e conduce to s e l f i s h well-being?  We  need to  be moved to t h i s conclusion, because thus far we have only  followed  Hobbes i n objects  agreeing  let's  say)  that  some conceptions  elicit  enhanced v i t a l  conceptions involve an can  be  made of the  'end'  'self  view, because i t i s simply  (of  the  qualities  motion, and  connected with  that  of  those  self-benefit.  Nothing  i n s e l f - b e n e f i t to advance an  egoistic  equivalent  to "desirable to oneself"  as  Hobbes uses i t , and that leaves the question of what i s desired wide open. The question of utmost importance i s thus, "Is there any s i n g l e linkage  between conceptions  enhanced v i t a l motion?"  of  Gauthier  what we  conceive  of  as  good  and  says that there i s , i n as much as  a l l conceptions of what i s good reduce to conceptions of what i s for the  agent's good, and  a l l such goods serve to give v i t a l  motion  -56increased enhancement or as l i t t l e diminution as p o s s i b l e .  There i s  then j u s t one story about why we want whatever i t i s that we do want:  i t s attainment i s envisaged as d e s i r a b l e , and t o a degree  even the contemplated attainment o f i t occasions d e l i g h t . To insofar  the extent  that a l l d e s i r e i s enhanced v i t a l  as the conceptions  involved  motion, and  are o f what we take to have  advantageous features, there is_ a s i n g l e l i n k between conceptions o f the good and enhanced v i t a l motion; but the linkage turns out t o be a  logical  accepting vital  one. that  We have not advanced one step " a l l objects  o f desire  motion", and indeed we w i l l  stronger  claim  that  " a l l objects  incorporates  to our v i t a l the idea  not u n t i l  they w i l l  motion".  that nothing  are objects  which enhance  we accept  This  turn  the much  latter  out t o be, an view  I take i t  would be desirable d i d i t not  subserve the ultimate cause o f enhancing one's v i t a l former however merely s t a t e s  egoism by  o f desire are sought because we  experience them as, and hope that enhancement  toward  a truism  within  motion.  Hobbes'  The  mechanistic  psychology.  We are r e a l l y  no c l o s e r to knowing why one man gains  satisfaction  from what he seeks; a l l we know i s that h i s seeking i t  i s equivalent to h i s enjoyment o f heightened v i t a l motion. I f there i s no smooth passage t o an e g o i s t i c p o s i t i o n , or a t l e a s t none to be found on the surface  o f what Hobbes says about  d e s i r i n g at the p h y s i o l o g i c a l l e v e l , then there i s a rather serious consequence Leviathan.  f o r Gauthier's  analysis  of "good"  i n The Logic o f  What he claims i s as follows:  I s h a l l say t h a t , f o r Hobbes, the formal meaning of 'good' i s conveyed by the equivalence: 'this i s good' = 'this i s an object o f d e s i r e ' . The material meaning of 'good' i s conveyed by the equivalence: 'this i s  -571  good M = motion'.I  'this  i s an  object  enhancing  vital  7  The  reason  utility  given  f o r drawing t h i s d i s t i n c t i o n  i n illuminating  the r e a l  psychology and h i s e t h i c s . formal  counterparts,  Hobbes  theorized.  connections  between  Hobbes'  The material d e f i n i t i o n s , and not t h e i r  are claimed  1 8  i s s a i d to be i t s  Since  t o be the a c t u a l basis on which  Gauthier  believes  that  he  has  s a t i s f a c t o r i l y demonstrated that the material l e v e l i s the l e v e l o f Hobbes' p h y s i o l o g i c a l account of human a c t i o n , and since he assumes further  that he has adequately  egoism, he f e e l s confident bring  a  hitherto  level  underwrites  i n the b e l i e f that h i s d i s t i n c t i o n  missing  However, we are s t i l l  shown why that  clarity  to investigations  will  o f Hobbes.  without a s o l i d reason f o r moving away from  the view that i n the m a t e r i a l d e f i n i t i o n o f good ( i n terms o f an object enhancing v i t a l motion) we have an i n s i g h t i n t o Hobbes but no h i n t o f "necessary s e l f i s h n e s s " . The r e l a t i o n s h i p between conceptions and passion i s the subject matter  o f the f o l l o w i n g  considering a complexity about d e s i r e .  section,  happy  The complexity  t o think  be  worthwhile  that has been l a r g e l y ignored i n the debate i n question i s one that surrounds the  Hobbesian notion of a conception. been  but i t might  of  a  Going along with Gauthier,  conception  or  idea  prefiguration  o f what  some event  might  consequences,  assuming  that  are wanted,  they  a l l desire  bring  desirable,  and because  i s enhanced  conception  i s experienced as d e s i r a b l e too.  as  I have  a  mental  i n train.  These  appear  t o us as  vital  motion the  However, there  i s an  equally c l e a r respect i n which d e s i r i n g , or t r y i n g to get, i s to be  -58-  i d e n t i f i e d with the heart's  endeavour motion, no  the i n t e n t i o n a l object of the b e l i e f . i s at l e a s t the beginning the  conception  that,  doubt aroused  Looked at i n t h i s way,  from a subsequent appetite.  "whatsoever i s the  temptation  considerations  object  of any  i s to see  the  appetite  of goodness are  Hobbes says of course  man's appetite  to  meet our  as  i n play.  since u n t i l there i s some conception failing  there  of a view that could help us to hold apart  that i s i t which he for h i s part c a l l e t h good"; (E.W. the  by  needs say)  there  and  before  any  That must be  can  be  desire,  I l l , 41)  flourishing  of properties  or  a mistake,  (as meeting or  no  appetite.  phenomenon of coming to have more appetites as a r e s u l t of  The  greater  experience i s of course relevant as w e l l , as Hobbes noticed. (DeH., 46-7)  Presumably then the point i s about the use of the word "good"  being  supervenient on  a p p e t i t e , since then i t simply  expresses  appetite which i n i t s turn i s supervenient upon some conception  an or  other.  2;4  Conceptions and  In the  Passion  previous  Hobbes' a n a l y s i s of  section  some attempt was  "good" rested  of  conceptions as i t does on the r o l e of the appetite o]$ aversion  to  that  there  i s nothing  commits him to egoism. that  rise.  i n what he  an  that  understanding  which some conceptions give  as much on  made to show  Furthermore, i t was says  about  Thus those l i k e Gauthier  Hobbes i s committed to  egoism are  suggested  conceptions who  are  almost c e r t a i n l y  which  confident ignoring  what he says about the nature of thoughts or conceptions i n  favour  -59-  of concentrating on the passions cause a c t i o n .  In t h i s  that a r i s e around the heart and  s e c t i o n I wish  t o take  my case one step  further by showing that there i s some evidence i n Hobbes t o suggest that  when he discusses  complex human actions he gives a c e n t r a l  causal r o l e t o conceptions that  i t would  or thoughts;  be q u i t e misleading  and does so i n such a way  t o t r e a t h i s account  o f the  passions as simply a s t o r y about the non-cognitive behaviour  o f the  heart. Hobbes' most parts:  of human nature  i s i n t o two  be two s o r t s ,  no  With  to the l a t t e r he says t h a t , " [ o ] f the powers o f the mind  motive." (E.L., 2) is  division  the powers o f the body and the powers o f the mind.  respect there  general  c o g n i t i v e or imaginative  or conceptive; and  While Hobbes t a l k s about c o g n i t i v e powers there  doubt that he sees c o g n i t i o n as i n one respect a passive  power i n men, since representations are impressed on us by objects capable o f impact on our sense organs: For the understanding o f what I mean by the power c o g n i t i v e , we must remember and acknowledge that there be i n our minds c o n t i n u a l l y c e r t a i n images or conceptions o f the things without us....This imagery and representations o f the q u a l i t i e s o f things without us i s that we c a l l our c o g n i t i o n , imagination, ideas, n o t i c e , conception, or knowledge o f them, ( i b i d . )  But  allowing  impressions, cognitive capacity  f o r the fact  that  we  are r e c i p i e n t s o f  sense  what Hobbes says i n t h i s passage i n d i c a t e s that the  power i n question to s i z e  things  up  encompasses what we might ("notice"  perhaps comes c l o s e s t to what I mean).  call  our *  i s the term o f h i s which What we notice w i l l , i n the  c e n t r a l cases Hobbes i s concerned about, be s i g n i f i c a n t because of "the signs o f goodness" or the "signs o f e v i l "  ( i b i d . , 29) which we  -60a t t r i b u t e to the object on qualities. to men  who  things'  the basis of our  i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of i t s  I t i s a standard Hobbesian doctrine that how  things look  have an e x i s t i n g set of a t t i t u d e s w i l l depend on how  putative properties  human i n t e r e s t s .  are  caught i n the  Thus "good" and  light  the  projected  by  " e v i l " are more expressive of the  user's i n t e r e s t s than of the q u a l i t i e s of that to which they r e f e r . Turning  to the motive power of the  mind, i t i s defined  as,  "that by which the mind giveth animal motion to that body wherein i t e x i s t e t h ; the acts hereof are our a f f e c t i o n s and 28)  These  "acts" of  the  mind which are  passions",  examples of  (ibid.,  i t s motive  power, are contrasted with the motive power of the body, the whereof  exhibit  the  strength  ( i b i d . , 27)  So, conceptions  are  r e a l l y , but  "nothing  by  which  (to use  other  the  bodies  are  acts  moved,  portmanteau term),  which  motion i n some i n t e r n a l substance of  the  head", ( i b i d . , 28) are c a u s a l l y l i n k e d to passions, which i n t h e i r turn are heart-based motions which Hobbes t r e a t s as consequences of the "motive power of the mind". succeeded i n a r t i c u l a t i n g  I would submit that what Hobbes has  i s the d i s t i n c t i o n between the c o g n i t i v e  and  purely p h y s i c a l aspects  And  that he  of what we  l i n k s the mind and  does gives me  some confidence  h i s l i n e of argument i f we  r e f e r to as  the  emotions.  the a f f e c t i o n s i n the way  i n suggesting  that we  do not  simply ignore the nature of  that  he  follow  conceptions  and turn to the p h y s i o l o g i c a l story when t r e a t i n g h i s account of the passions. I f , as Hobbes claims, actions  follow  our  wills",  "our  wills  (ibid.,  follow our 63)  and  opinions, as  i f the  question are, as he says, about the " b e n e f i t s " and  opinions  our in  "harms" possibly  -61-  attendant  on c e r t a i n  courses o f a c t i o n ,  (ibid.)  the  interesting  question at the centre o f an i n v e s t i g a t i o n i n t o motivation i s one about what p a r t i c u l a r men take t o be b e n e f i c i a l on the one hand and harmful on the other.  Conceptions play the executive r o l e i n so f a r  as they motivate the heart, and u n t i l we have some decent account o f what a person b e l i e v e s to be b e n e f i c i a l and harmful we are merely l e f t with the n e u t r a l g e n e r a l i z a t i o n that men are moved to action by t h e i r conceptions o f what i s b e n e f i c i a l and harmful.  In one place  Hobbes a c t u a l l y suggests that passions c o n s i s t i n "the pleasure men have, or displeasure from the signs o f honour or dishonour done unto them", ( i b i d . , 36)  Now, while t h i s i s not a very p l a u s i b l e view o f  what causes a l l passions - and indeed i t i s hard to understand anyone except could  a man  come out with  differentiates  thoroughly  steeped  i t - i t certainly  i n aristocratic  practices  s t a t e s baldly  that what  the passions i s the agent's  conception o f what i s  being accorded or denied him i n the way of honour. namely that the passions are t o be distinguished thoughts that i n i t i a t e them, s t r i k e s me as c o r r e c t . emotions  are c o n s t i t u t e d  by  thoughts  how  This p o s i t i o n , i n terms o f the In saying that  (jealousy i s j u s t  jealous  thoughts) one would not be g i v i n g a modern version o f what Hobbes b e l i e v e d , since patently he saw passions as endeavour motions around the heart, and thus would not agree alone.  that emotions were  thoughts  However, while he gives a r o l e to the motions around the  heart, my  claim i s simply that he does not ignore the place o f  conceptions i n the process.  A l l too often readers o f Hobbes f a i l to  n o t i c e that he t r e a t s conceptions as executive.  -62-  2;5  J u s t i c e as a V i r t u e  In  s e c t i o n 2.1 an argument was sketched to throw some doubt on  the t r u t h o f Gauthier's i n i t i a l This  argument sketch  premise about Hobbesian  had the form of a r e d u c t i o : i f Gauthier's  t h e s i s about Hobbesian man and h i s c i v i l are  psychology.  soon l e d to an unacceptable  sovereign i s adopted, we  consequence:  that law i s but a  framework o f coercion and the sovereign simply an enforcer. conclusion c e r t a i n l y indeed  renders  some  This  d i s t o r t s what Hobbes says about the law, and of  i t unintelligible.  The  problem  with  Gauthier's p o s i t i o n becomes acutely obvious when we t u r n , as we now s h a l l , t o h i s version o f what Hobbes has t o say about j u s t i c e as a virtue.  Gauthier i s committed to the view that Hobbes can not have  both h i s theory o f j u s t i c e as a v i r t u e and h i s psychology. working  However,  on the assumption that he i s not i n c o n s i s t e n t i n holding  both together, I took  Gauthier's conclusion as an i n d i c a t i o n that  something had gone wrong i n h i s a n a l y s i s . reading o f Hobbes' psychology  The f a u l t y aspect was h i s  and an a l t e r n a t i v e was put forward.  However, we are now l e f t with only a t h i n theory o f what Hobbes took j u s t i c e i n character t o be.  In p a r t i c u l a r , I have s a i d nothing to  the question of how t h i s v i r t u e connects with the executive r o l e o f conceptions i n motivation, the subject o f my l a s t s e c t i o n . As a beginning i t i s i n s t r u c t i v e to review Gauthier's of  the d i f f e r e n c e between  just  acts  and j u s t  men.  treatment  The  formal  rendering of "X i s a j u s t a c t " i s "X does not i n v o l v e the breaking of covenant." disposed  Accordingly, "A i s a j u s t man" i s given as "A i s  to perform  acts  which  do not involve the breaking o f  -63- 19  covenant." The material versions introduce d e t a i l s derived from Gauthier's analysis o f Hobbesian psychology: "X i s a j u s t a c t " becomes "X does not involve the breaking of a covenant undertaken i n accordance with the second law o f nature." directs  men  The second law o f nature  to l i m i t t h e i r l i b e r t y as a means to maximizing t h e i r  prospects o f preservation; subsequently j u s t acts are those which do not  violate  adherence  to  agreed  points  of  limitation.  Since  covenants mark such points o f l i m i t a t i o n , the j u s t act i s that which does  not  involve  any  breaking of  covenant.  m a t e r i a l equivalence f o r "A i s a j u s t man",  Gauthier gives  no  but presumably i t would  be, "A i s disposed to perform acts which do not involve breaking a covenant  undertaken  in  accordance  with  the  second  law  of  20 nature."  This equivalence does manage to capture the negative  character of j u s t i c e which Hobbes favours: an  i n c l i n a t i o n or proneness  violations  of covenant  (and  the v i r t u e of j u s t i c e i s  not to perform those acts which thus  unjust),  and  whatever  are  " i s not  unjust, i s j u s t . " (E.W.III, 131) The formal mode i s d e l i b e r a t e l y designed to keep the d e t a i l s o f the j u s t man's d i s p o s i t i o n as an open question. in  t h i s respect that  formal  counterparts.  question  is  psychology. as  the  best  closed  So, i t i s p r e c i s e l y  the material equivalences d i f f e r from t h e i r In  material  under  equivalences the  Gauthier's  reading  motivational of  Hobbesian  In general o f course the laws o f nature are j u s t i f i e d available  interdependent strategy  for preservation.  Consequently the second and t h i r d laws are s p e c i f i c d i r e c t i v e s  to  t h i s end; which argues that since the t h i r d law i s the "fountain and original  of  JUSTICE",  (ibid.,  130)  then  the  disposition  which  -6.4-  renders one  capable  of adherence to the covenant enjoined by  the  second law w i l l , for that reason, be r a t i o n a l l y j u s t i f i e d . As an example o f someone who  has the d i s p o s i t i o n i n question  consider a somewhat u n l i k e l y candidate - Hobbes' Foole, or at l e a s t a reformed serves  version of him.  h i s advantage  i s not  v i o l a t i o n s of covenant may r a t i o n a l to be j u s t .  The  Foole contends  against reason;  that whatever best adding  that,  often be advantageous i t i s not  Many hold that Hobbes  1  since always  purely p r u d e n t i a l form  of response to the Foole i s feeble to say the l e a s t ; i t s g i s t being simply that no man  can reasonably expect to preserve himself with a  strategy dependent f o r i t s success on the mistakes of others,  who  "forbear him only out of ignorance of what i s good f o r themselves." (ibid.,  134)  Whether or not  this  i s a weak response  i s not  my  concern at the moment, although i t should be pointed out immediately that  Hobbes'  parameters Foole  set by by  i s of  individual  reply  course  to  within  the  the l a t t e r ' s conception of r a t i o n a l i t y .  The  the  maximization  the  Foole  is  embodiment of - which  deliberately  that form  typifies  of  reasoning  -  the s t a t e of nature, so  even i f Hobbes does have other arguments to o f f e r which might impugn the Foole"s form of reasoning, there i s s t i l l and  first  persuade  the  Foole  in  his  own  every reason to t r y  terms.  Demonstrating  i n t e r n a l inconsistency i n the views of one's opponent i s not a bad f i r s t move, e s p e c i a l l y i f there i s some reason to b e l i e v e that he will  not be amenable to anything other than purely s e l f - i n t e r e s t e d  reasons for a c t i o n .  I t would seem to be a wasted exercise to beat  the Foole over the head with a conception of r a t i o n a l i t y a l i e n to his  advantage model.  -65In any  case, for the sake of argument l e t us assume that  Foole - being  the archetypal  the  purely prudential agent - accepts the  Hobbesian p o s i t i o n because i t i s couched i n terms of h i s s e l f i s h or private  well-being.  anything  The  Foole,  realizing  that  he  does not  have  akin to Gyges' r i n g , i s persuaded that there i s a road to  preservation  less  fraught  f o l l o w i n g to date.  with  danger  However, there  than  the  i s clearly  one  he  has  been  more to being  just  than knowing what j u s t i c e r e q u i r e s , so the Foole must enter i n t o a process of habituation which w i l l a l i g n h i s appetites with and the remaining laws of nature.  This process he seeks, because i t  i s a means to what he desires most - h i s conservation. habituation  to the  laws of nature w i l l  f u l l y virtuous man,  and hence a j u s t man;  is  now  capable  accidentally How of  just  as  mean that the  Foole i s a  u n l i k e h i s former s e l f he  distinct  from  doing  what  is  j u s t but e s s e n t i a l l y advantageous.  Gauthier's  intimations  about what a  There i s an obvious way  consistent  Hobbes' cannot  being  Successful  close does t h i s scenario come to being a v a l i d elaboration  would be? be  of  justice  with  definition define  Gauthier's of  justice  as  supposes that acts are  the  just  Hobbesian  man  i n which the Foole's story cannot  ground  injustice  truly  rules.  in  Leviathan,  keeping  j u s t , unless  Gauthier,  of  insists  covenants.  following that For  they involve the  "we  Hobbes  breaking  of  21 covenants, as h i s account makes c l e a r . "  He  i s right  of course,  because the Hobbesian d e f i n i t i o n of i n j u s t i c e as "no other than the not - performance of covenant" (E.W. way  of  saying  covenant.  In  that saying  justice that  is  I l l , 131) none  "whatsoever  other  i s not than  i s not  an  equivalent  performance  unjust,  is  of  just",  T  66-  Hobbes has i n d i c a t e d a wider c l a s s o f actions as j u s t than merely those which are required to keep covenants.  With respect  to acts  everything that Gauthier says i s both accurate and elegantly s t a t e d ; the problem a r i s e s i n moving from acts to d i s p o s i t i o n s . Although i t i s correct to say that f o r Hobbes a l l acts which are not unjust are thereby j u s t , i t i s f a l s e to add that a l l d i s p o s i t i o n s which are not i n i q u i t o u s are thereby justice  with  covenant.  the  just.  blanket  Hobbes seldom equates the v i r t u e o f motivation  to  do  other  than  Instead, he connects the v i r t u e quite d i r e c t l y  break to the  keeping o f covenants: Justice therefore, that i s to say, keeping o f covenant, i s a r u l e o f reason, by which we are forbidden to do any thing d e s t r u c t i v e to our l i f e ; and consequently a law o f nature, ( i b i d . , 134)  One obvious reason  f o r doing  this  i s that he must keep d i s t i n c t  those whose fear o f punishment i n c l i n e s them to obedience, and those whose mode of l i f e argues that they "taketh a l l the care [they] can, that  [ t h e i r ] actions may be a l l j u s t . "  individual,  but not the former,  (ibid.,  has a w i l l  135) that  This  latter  i s framed by  j u s t i c e ; by which Hobbes means something other than a w i l l framed by the system of punishments that await transgressions. The reformed Foole, i n order to q u a l i f y as j u s t , must therefore be  moved  by  punishments.  considerations My  suggestion  other was  than  that  those  i n being  connected convinced  with  by the  Hobbesian argument he became newly aware o f the r o l e o f the laws o f nature as means to h i s preservation.  Their exercise was sought as a  means, the best means, to h i s o v e r a l l well-being.  In so f a r as h i s  progress i s no longer a s e r i e s o f advantage c a l c u l a t i o n s , but rather  -67-  conformity  t o the framework inherent  i n Hobbes' laws o f nature, he  seems to f i t the character of the j u s t man. were  c o n s t i t u t i o n a l l y unable  to curb  Of course, i f the Foole  h i s desire  f o r present  advantage, then he would not be capable o f the changes that take place  i n my example.  The transformation  envisaged was one which  took an i n d i v i d u a l out o f the state o f nature - conceived o f as unrestrained maximization - and i n t o a c i v i l s t a t e .  The change was  a profound one w i t h i n an i n d i v i d u a l ; but such a change was p r e c i s e l y the one ruled out as impossible  f o r Hobbesian man:  he must remain  i n the state o f nature because he cannot move out o f the independent 22 mode o f a c t i o n .  On Gauthier's  a n a l y s i s one cannot elaborate  i s a j u s t man" i n the way suggested.  "A  What i s l e f t ?  In l i g h t of the f a c t that Hobbes understands being j u s t as, "to be delighted i n j u s t d e a l i n g , t o study how to do righteousness, or to endeavour i n a l l things to do that which i s j u s t ; and t o be unjust i s t o neglect righteous d e a l i n g , or to think i t i s t o be measured not according (E.W. I I , 33) i t would  t o my contract, but some present b e n e f i t " , be f o o l i s h  to search  j u s t i c e i n the avoidance o f punishments. for  f o r the v i r t u e o f  I t i s c l e a r l y an appetite  j u s t acts which c h a r a c t e r i z e s the j u s t man, and not an aversion  to the penalties attendant on i n j u s t i c e : [F]or the unjust man who abstaineth from i n j u r i e s f o r fear o f punishment, declareth p l a i n l y that the j u s t i c e of h i s actions dependeth upon c i v i l c o n s t i t u t i o n , from whence punishments proceed; which would otherwise i n the estate o f nature be unjust, according to the fountain from whence they s p r i n g . (E.L., 83)  Since I can see no way i n which Gauthier can provide any d i s p o s i t i o n to j u s t i c e other  than f e a r , and since that i s f l a t l y rejected by  -68Hobbes as i n d i c a t i v e that Gauthier  o f an i n i q u i t o u s  mind, i t must be concluded  i s without an account of Hobbes  1  j u s t man.  Of course  t h i s might not come as any kind o f shock to him; i t i s open to him to argue  that  this  i s the reason behind h i s f a i l u r e to o f f e r  material d e f i n i t i o n o f "A i s a j u s t man". is  a  Perhaps he thinks that i t  more candid to say that since there are no j u s t - men  i n Hobbes,  there w i l l be a Hobbesian commonwealth o f which i t w i l l be true to say that i t contains j u s t acts without j u s t In opposition to h i s f r i e n d "those who  men.  Thomas White, Hobbes argued  that  do t h e i r utmost to perform what the laws demand" (T.W.,  475) are both passionate  i n t h e i r appetite f o r j u s t i c e , and good.  White seems to have held that such men must be e v i l ; or at l e a s t so Hobbes i n t e r p r e t s him.  Hobbes goes on to say that:  On the contrary, the good are to be d i s t i n g u i s h e d from the bad not by the vehemence but by the objects of t h e i r passions. Hence an e v i l man i s one who s t r i v e s towards unlawful t h i n g s , and a good man he who s t r i v e s for things only i f they are l a w f u l , whether he do so vehemently or not. ( i b i d . )  Since 'evil' good  Hobbes has  already  asserted  are applied r e l a t i v e l y and men  who  that,  "'Good', therefore,  ad- personam", ( i b i d . ,  are s t r i v i n g vehemently  for lawful  judged from the point o f view of the s t a t e .  378)  ends are  and the being  In t h i s case the person  involved i s a person only i n the sense of a l e g a l person: an e n t i t y with s p e c i f i a b l e citizens  are  interests.  properties  i n t e r e s t s of the s t a t e . n a t u r a l men  Furthermore, the excellences which  relate  them  favourably  found i n to  the  Consequently, j u s t i c e i s not a property of  although perhaps honesty and charitableness might  This i s Hobbes' o f f i c i a l view, but not h i s only view. (E.W.  be.  I I , 267,  -69-  E.W.  I l l , 28-9,  DeH.,  69-70)  In scattered places Hobbes seems to  argue that the v i r t u e of j u s t i c e might have a s u b r o s a the s t a t e of nature.  This view i s p l a i n l y evident  from The - Elements of - Law  existence i n  i n the passage  quoted above where i t i s asserted that a  desire to i n j u r e others curbed by threats of punishment, would, i n the estate of nature, q u a l i f y someone as unjust. two  There seem to be  contexts i n which the propensity to harm others and  countermanding i t received Hobbes' a t t e n t i o n : of  the  r e l a t i o n s h i p between  something  one i s h i s discussion  d i v i n e , n a t u r a l , and  civil  law;  the  other i s connected with h i s a n a l y s i s of the saying i n t e r arma s i l e n t leges, and more generally with the i n foro interno existence of the laws of nature.  What a r i s e s i n these two contexts may  be one  and  the same idea discussed i n f i r s t a general, and then a s p e c i f i c form. In the discussion of the r e l a t i o n s h i p between f a i t h and j u s t i c e on  the one  hand and  s a l v a t i o n on  the other, Hobbes says that " I  require j u s t i c e a l s o , or that obedience which i s due to the laws of God;  that i s to say, a w i l l to l i v e r i g h t e o u s l y . " (E.W.  I I , 306n)  The i n t e r e s t i n g thing about t h i s point i s that the v i r t u e of j u s t i c e is  explained  solely  i n terms of the  laws of nature.  Supporting  evidence could be derived from the claim that c i v i l law incorporates n a t u r a l law, thereby i n h e r i t i n g the a t t i t u d e due to i t s predecessor. (DeH., 69-70)  under  one  interpretation justice  would  reside i n  one's a t t i t u d e to the laws of God, and i n the f i n a l a n a l y s i s r e l a t e back to one's a t t i t u d e to the lawgiver himself. puts  a l l of  above.  the  emphasis  on  "obedience"  in  This i s not the p o s i t i o n Hobbes adopts.  b e l i e f that God  This i n t e r p r e t a t i o n the  quoted  passage  Despite h i s stated  i s the lawgiver, with respect to the above passage  -70-  Hobbes puts a l l of the emphasis on  "a w i l l  to l i v e r i g h t e o u s l y " .  The Hobbesian God admits the good to paradise because they are good, and the obedient only i n so f a r as they have f a i t h . upon men  as candidates  When God  looks  f o r s a l v a t i o n - so Hobbes says - h i s r e a l  i n t e r e s t i s i n t h e i r possession of the v i r t u e of j u s t i c e , "meaning still  by j u s t i c e , not absence of g u i l t , but the good i n t e n t i o n s of  the mind, which i s c a l l e d righteousness by God, that taketh the w i l l for  the deed." (E.L., 156-7)  or aversion, immediately thereof",  (E.W.  Since the w i l l i s "the l a s t a p p e t i t e ,  adhering to the a c t i o n , or to the  I l l , 48)  the most searching  omission  a n a l y s i s made of  the  character of a man i s one c a r r i e d out i n terms of the q u a l i t y of h i s desires and because we  aversions.  are t o l d only that a basal sense of j u s t i c e i s to  found i n the nature told  This account i s general, or rather formal,  anything  of human appetites and  about the objects of  those  aversions; we  appetites or  For t h i s we must look to our second context:  are  be not  aversions.  laws of nature i n the  estate of nature. In  the  war  of  a l l against  a l l the  laws of nature  have  an  existence w i t h i n agents, o r , more a c c u r a t e l y , they take the form of a "readiness of mind". (E.W.II, 46) nature  i n the state of nature  exercise  of  "the  internal  Someone adhering to the laws of  does so,  court", or  (ibid)  Breach of the laws of nature  consist  e i t h e r i n neglect  Hobbes says, "the  court  of  through  the  conscience",  i n the s t a t e of nature  will  or, more s e r i o u s l y , i n contempt.  So,  given that i n the s t a t e of nature  each person has  prerogative  on  questions of t h e i r preservation, to neither neglect nor contemn the laws of nature w i l l e n t a i l preserving oneself i n ways that involve  neither f l a g r a n t nor unwitting v i o l a t i o n s . a  violation  proscribed? facto  in  conditions  The  Hobbesian answer i s that although  v i c i o u s , any  difficult  to  correspond  is  the  obedience" (E.W.  strictly  speaking,  laws  vicious. of  I l l , 253)  nature  "dispose  men  to  whereas the corresponding  which  peace  and  v i c e s are a l l  problems inherent  bellum- omnium - contra - omnes, there  is  more  character  human i n t e r a c t i o n s . However, i n the circumstances of  act  no act i s ipso  Q u a l i t i e s of  examples of d i s p o s i t i o n s which aggravate the  metaphor  no  d i s p o s i t i o n which makes peace among men  obtain  to  where,  But what i s to count as  t y p i f i e d by will  be  l i t t l e room for the exercise of the cooperative v i r t u e s .  in the  precious There w i l l  however, and t h i s i s a point of note, be no reason for the exercise of v i c e s , since to the degree that viciousness becomes the tone of i n t e r a c t i o n , to that extent the s t a t e of nature condition.  i s made a terminal  I f the vices r e i g n i n the s t a t e of nature then peace i s  unprocurable;  but  equally,  operate without  rendering  what course  we  do  take?  since  the  those who  cooperative  v i r t u e s cannot  exercise them prey to  Being virtuous i n the  state of  others, nature  involves a p r i n c i p l e d avoidance of c r u e l t y and i s a v a i l a b l e even i n situations  where k i l l i n g  example of the man the  most  basic  employment  of  who  form what  and  rapine  are  ways  of  life.  Hobbes'  exercises the r e q u i s i t e r e s t r a i n t and hence of  the  Kenneth  virtue Minogue  of  justice,  has  is  referred  his to  first as  23 "paragon"  ; those generous natures so r a r e l y found:  And because fear can hardly be made manifest, but by some action dishonourable, that bewrayeth the conscience of one's own weakness; a l l men i n whom the passion of courage or magnanimity have been predominant, have abstained from c r u e l t y . . . . I n one  a  -7.2-  word, therefore, the only honour; (E.L., 101) In Leviathan for  law o f actions  i n war i s  of course t h i s i s the man who "scorns to be beholden  the contentment o f h i s l i f e ,  to fraud, or breach o f promise.  This j u s t i c e of the manners, i s that which i s meant, where j u s t i c e i s c a l l e d a v i r t u e ; and i n j u s t i c e a v i c e . " (E.W. I l l , 136) There  are c o n f l i c t i n g  chivalrous character Leo Strauss  views  about the s i g n i f i c a n c e o f t h i s  f o r Hobbes* account o f j u s t i c e  argued that  since  the j u s t i c e  as a v i r t u e .  of the chivalrous  man  depends on h i s "proud s e l f - r e l i a n c e "  , and since Hobbes' deepest  intention  "not p r i d e ,  was t o contain  such  men,  and s t i l l  less  obedience, but fear o f v i o l e n t death, i s according t o him the o r i g i n of the j u s t i n t e n t i o n . " individual into  i s an obstacle  i t requires  Minogue's  From Strauss' point o f view the chivalrous  view  to c i v i l  some breaking o f what  he  life,  and one whose induction  o f the w i l l  calls  Hobbes'  by threats "paragon"  o f death. i s clearly  d i f f e r e n t , and i t d i f f e r s e s s e n t i a l l y i n the s t r e s s he puts on the motivation  o f the i n d i v i d u a l i n question.  best man i n Hobbes  i s one whose w i l l  coercive s t a t e apparatus. the  three motivations  i s not determined by the  Indeed Minogue may w e l l hold that none o f  that  Strauss  mentions: p r i d e , obedience, or  fear, i s much i n evidence i n the paragon. be made o f the claim that there Minogue  never  alternative  spent  nonetheless.  Minogue claims that the  much  P e r f e c t l y good sense can  i s another a l t e r n a t i v e ; one which  time  in  elaborating,  but  another  What he does say i s contained  i n the  following: The Sovereign i s , i n t h i s r a t i o n a l system, a f i g u r e performing the same function as a Platonic  -73-  philosopher-king: he supplies what i s defective i n t h e • r a t i o n a l i t y of ordinary men.  I f , rather than t h i n k i n g of the sovereign as a s i n g l e person or as a body of people, we law,  instead see  i t as the  person;  then Hobbes' remarks about r i g h t reason i n h i s exchange with  John Bramhall  take  on  a new  significance.  You  will  recall  Hobbes s a i d , " t h i s r i g h t reason, which i s the law, i s no c e r t a i n l y r i g h t than by  otherwise  our making i t so by our approbation  and voluntary subjection to i t . "  (E.W.V., 193)  that  of i t  His point seems to  be that i n the law we have an a r t i f a c t which embodies reason. artifactual clash, Civil  reason a r b i t r a t e s between i n d i v i d u a l s whose i n t e r e s t s  rather  than between appetites  within a single  l i f e requires the c r e a t i o n of an  what was  a  reason.  This  natural  Recognizing  capacity  in  that  law  the  which, i n i n d i v i d u a l s , was  the  artificial  estate  i s an  of  individual.  equivalent  nature:  artificial  for  natural  form of  that  the guiding thread to t h e i r preservation,  one i s prompted to i n f e r that l e g a l d i r e c t i v e s are to c i v i l man what i n d i v i d u a l reason was  to h i s p r e - c i v i l s e l f .  I f the primary r o l e of  reason i s conservation, then the l e g a l form of reason w i l l play the same r o l e for s o c i a l , as d i s t i n c t from n a t u r a l men.  However, even  i f such a chain of recognitions i s p o s s i b l e , there i s no  compelling  reason for b e l i e v i n g that the r a t i o n a l d i r e c t i o n of behaviour by artificial  reason  could  ever  simply  takes i t that c e r t a i n of our passions to the nature, both of man, their reason,  e f f e c t s cannot or  a  constant  be  replace  punishment.  an  Hobbes  "are i n f i r m i t i e s , so annexed  and a l l other l i v i n g creatures, as that hindered,  severity i n  but  by  punishing  extraordinary them."  use  of  (E.W. I l l ,  -74-  284-5). the  My suggestion i s that an a t t i t u d e to the law grounded on  r e c o g n i t i o n that  i t i s the  social  embodiment of  reason,  is  p r e c i s e l y what Hobbes would consider to be an "extraordinary use of reason",  and  Consequently a motivation  to j u s t i c e  quite  distinct  from one based on f e a r . Cn t h i s reading there i s no s p e c i a l d i f f i c u l t y i n understanding the d i s p o s i t i o n of the j u s t man: there i s best reason moral paragon.  to do.  he simply does what he believes  This man  This i s , one  i s , i f any  man  must admit, a severely  account of the v i r t u e of j u s t i c e .  i s , Hobbes' rationalistic  Neither the chivalrous i n d i v i d u a l  mentioned i n Leviathan and elsewhere, nor the obedient c i t i z e n of De Homine share h i s a t t i t u d e . since  it  is  really  That fact poses no problem for Hobbes,  only  presupposes, not j u s t i c e . require j u s t men  tractability  Nonetheless,  in  citizens  that  he  even though Hobbes does not  for the success of h i s argument, i t i s a mistake to  think that he cannot embrace them w i t h i n h i s psychological theory. That he d i d not put greater emphasis on them may  i n part be due  h i s c o n v i c t i o n that honour, and not knowledge, was factor  i n the  rejected honour  character  honour as and  justice.  of  his  aristocratic  a virtue  the  later  self-esteem  solid  audience.  Hobbes was  foundations  for  also  he  rejecting  Yet with h i s a l l u s i o n s to the c h i v a l r i c v i r t u e s of  the  Hobbes seems to be paying homage to those  of character which act as a brake on  barbarism  so  evident  i n the wasting  g a r r i s o n s , and  t h i s l i n e Hobbes was  the  When  of  qualities  surrendered  determining  virtue  g a l l a n t , courageous man,  as  the  to  the  the descent  of e s t a t e s , the  "smoking" of v i l l a g e s .  into  massacre of In taking  of course not endorsing c h i v a l r y as such,  but  -75-  at  best  the  code which  arose  after  the  early  feudal period i n  Western Europe, that i s , a f t e r the chaos occasioned by petty l o r d s whose  attempts  occupied their  at  fortifications  with quarrels and  enemies,  to  triumph  It  is  "enable  massacres,  these  men,  constantly  to protect themselves  over  their  equals,  precisely  over  such  to  from  oppress  their  26 inferiors."  men  as  these  that  Leviathan was designed to r u l e , and against whom Hobbes' thoroughly c i v i l i a n theory of j u s t i c e i s d i r e c t e d . 2.6  Conclusion  David Gauthier's a n a l y s i s of Hobbesian to  a  number of c r i t i c i s m s ,  undermine  what  development of While  fully  I  take  the  to  the be  orthodox  intention the  most  man  has been subjected  of which powerful  understanding  of  agreeing that Hobbes' account  has  been  to  and  systematic  Hobbes'  psychology.  of v i t a l  and voluntary  motion i s the deepest l e v e l of h i s psychology I deny that i t commits him to egoism. interpretation  The of  plausibility Hobbes  on  of Gauthier's case hinges on h i s  desire,  and  I  have  attempted  to  construct a more c o g n i t i v i s t version of Hobbes' theory of desire to show  that conceptions  of  the  good  resembling an e g o i s t i c b a s i s . shortcoming  inherent  in  utilizes  to  a  denial  Gauthier's  of  not  limited  to  anything  The most s i g n i f i c a n t example of the  treatment of j u s t i c e i n Hobbes. tantamount  are  the  analysis  derives  from  his  I have argued that what he says i s motivational basis  that  when making out a case for j u s t i c e as a v i r t u e .  Hobbes  More w i l l  be s a i d i n 5.7 about the character of the j u s t man, but what we must  -76turn to now psychology;  i s an i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of the m a t e r i a l i s t basis of Hobbes one  which,  while  learning  much  from  the  spirit  Gauthier's i n v e s t i g a t i o n , i s very d i f f e r e n t i n i t s f i n d i n g s .  1  of  -77-  CHAPTER I I I  CONATUS  -783.1 Egoism and Materialism  In 1966 F.S. McNeilly  drew a t t e n t i o n to what he c a l l e d , "an  outbreak o f agreement reaching epidemic proportions". he  said,  ..ere by and l a r g e convinced  "egoistic  psychology".  1  McNeilly  Philosophers,  that Hobbes constructed an  was  correct,  and he was  also  c o r r e c t i n saying that Bernard Gert had come out i n opposition to the main stream p o s i t i o n .  In some respects McNeilly's paper i s a  c r i t i c i s m o f Gert, yet despite t h e i r d i f f e r e n c e s both argue, a l b e i t  f o r very  d i f f e r e n t reasons, that Hobbes  philosophers 1  materialism  plays no constructive r o l e i n h i s account o f human nature. Gert's  p o s i t i o n i s somewhat extreme.  He proposes that  Hobbes treated human a c t i o n a t the p h y s i c a l l e v e l  - i n terms o f  v i t a l and voluntary motions - and since the impressions pleasure these  since  of pain and  i n an agent are epiphenomenal "appearances" generated by  p h y s i c a l events,  motives.  Motives  Hobbes can have no theory  must  entail  thoughts,  and since  entailing  psychological  egoism i s a theory about motives f o r a c t i o n , Hobbes' d e n i a l o f the efficacy  of  thoughts  prohibits  espousing  psychological  materialism  simply  him  egoism.  from  On  being  Gert's  considered reading  d i s a l l o w s the kind o f explanations  as  Hobbes'  (intentional  ones) that are e s s e n t i a l for discussing motivational t h e o r i e s . McNeilly on the other hand, r i g h t l y r e j e c t i n g Gert's p o s i t i o n on  thought  broadest reasons  and motives  conclusion: that  I shall  i n Hobbes, nonetheless  agrees  Hobbes i s not a psychological not go i n t o McNeilly  mistake t o expect t o f i n d consistency  with h i s  egoist.  thinks that  For  i t is a  over the breadth o f Hobbes'  -79-  work.  Thus he  i s dubious about f i n d i n g any  simple  thesis -  psychological egoism - c o n s i s t e n t l y stated throughout Hobbes  1  like work.  But on the question of the r e l a t i o n s h i p between the materialism the  psychology  McNeilly  does think that one  and  p l a i n t r u t h emerges.  The materialism i s i n no way e s s e n t i a l f o r the psychology: I t i s impossible to exaggerate the unimportance of mechanistic materialism i n Hobbes' philosophy: i t i s the reddest of a l l the herrings that Hobbesian fisherman have caught i n t h e i r nets. For the postulated b o d i l y motion has no r e a l part to play i n the d e f i n i t i o n or use of "endeavour". Nothing i n the a n a l y s i s of the passions and nothing i n the p o l i t i c a l arguments which f o l l o w , depends on the assumption that endeavour i s an i n t e r n a l b o d i l y motion.3  McNeilly's conclusion i s that Hobbes' materialism does not  put  the  stamp of egoism on h i s psychology because i t does not put any stamp at  a l l on  i t ; Hobbes' materialism  i s utterly  i r r e l e v a n t to  his  psychology. The  argument of  response  to  this  McNeilly,  chapter  thanks  can  largely  very to  w e l l be the  position.  I s h a l l argue that Hobbes' materialism  notion  conatus or  of  endeavour, and  that  stated as  clarity  of  or  rectilinear  elliptical ones on  the  motions other.  on  the  one  his  i s based on  the  Hobbes makes strenuous  e f f o r t s to e x p l i c a t e t h i s notion i n terms of motions of two circular  a  hand, and  types:  tiny  more  Furthermore, t h i s account of  the  endeavour motions i s advanced by Hobbes as h i s explanation not j u s t of  tendencies  beings as w e l l . the  purely  subject  of  i n inanimate objects, but  of d i s p o s i t i o n s i n human  However, t h i s chapter takes us only to the end  p h y s i c a l s t o r y ; i t s psychological continuation Chapter 4.  But  i n response to McNeilly's 1  is  of the  position I  should say that not only i s Hobbes materialism the d e l i b e r a t e basis  -80of h i s psychology, but i t s nature i s such that the psychology have  a  particular  cast.  My  claim  a f f e c t s h i s psychology i n such a way psychological  egoists,  although  i s that  Hobbes' materialism  that Hobbesian  there i s no  will  men  cannot  impediment  be  to  their  the  Latin  being s e l f i s h , or nasty, or self-absorbed.  3;2  Conatus I  "Endeavour" conatus. the  i s the  term  Hobbes  chose  to  render  The concept makes i t s formal appearance  i n h i s system i n  t h i r d part of De-Corpore, where i t i s explained as: [M]otion made i n l e s s space and time than can be given; that i s , l e s s than can be determined or assigned by e x p o s i t i o n or number; thaF i s , motion made" through the length o f a point; and i n an instant or point o f T i m e . (E.W.I, 206)  Hobbes i s c l e a r l y s t r e s s i n g that there i s a c t u a l movement and some short but s p e c i f i c determined the  duration i n v o l v e d ,  or assigned by  same work  not by us.  "less  than can  exposition or number", ( i b i d )  Hobbes r e f e r s  "unspeakably l i t t l e "  although  to motions  and  magnitudes  be  Later i n that  are  ( i b i d , 445) yet nonetheless measurable, even i f  This note o f i n s i s t e n c e on the r e a l i t y o f t i n y measures  i s s i g n i f i c a n t , since i n an e a r l i e r phase of h i s thought Hobbes had followed  Aristotle  i n h i s use  o f the notion of an  instant.  In  a d d i t i o n , Hobbes was g r e a t l y i n awe of the power of microscopes, and waxed rather l y r i c a l  on the very minute  entities  which, although  hidden from our unaided gaze, were i n fact the s t r u c t u r a l of macroscopic e n t i t i e s ,  elements  (ibid)  The a n a l y s i s of endeavour  given i n De Corpore i s nested i n with  others for the c l o s e l y r e l a t e d concepts of pressure, force, impetus, r e s i s t a n c e , and p u l s i o n .  A l l of these topics  follow i n t r a i n  as  part of the discussion o f causation which began i n Chapter 9, and continued  through  Chapter  10.  In  fact  the  completion  of  the  discussion does not come u n t i l the end o f Chapter 22 where, as I shall  note, the account of habit i s given i n terms of  "iterated  endeavours" ( i b i d . , 349), thus harking back to an e a r l i e r section of the  book.  Why  Hobbes broke  the sequence  apart i n t h i s  way  is  unclear. De  Corpore d i d not appear  until  1655;  hence there i s every  reason to d i s t i n g u i s h the formal place o f endeavour  within Hobbes  1  system - as a part of the f i r s t philosophy - from the s t i r r i n g s of the  idea i n h i s thought.  significant  part  We know f o r instance that conatus plays a  i n Hobbes  1  critique  of Thomas White's De• Mundo.  This L a t i n manuscript dates from 1642-3, and would seem to represent Hobbes' reimmersion i n metaphysics a f t e r h i s work on De Cive.  There  i s also a modicum o f evidence to suggest that sketches o f what were to become chapters of De Corpore existed i n the l a t e 1630's.  6  In any case, our f i r s t i n t r o d u c t i o n to the idea i s through The Elements - o f Law, The  first  a work that Hobbes had completed by May of 1640.  thirteen  chapters o f  psychology  manuscript cover  cognitive  physiological).  in  and  pirate  edition  titled  Human Nature, a p e r f e c t l y apt d e s c r i p t i o n of the contents.  these chapters which  and  topics  morals  of  (both  this  appeared  i n 1649-50  The was  The work was advertised as part two o f Hobbes' system, and continued to  fill  that  gap  until  De -Homine appeared  i n 1658.  Strictly  speaking, The Elements o f Law i s Hobbes' c i v i l philosophy, of which  ^82he says that i t " i s again commonly divided i n t o two parts, whereof one,  which  t r e a t s of men's d i s p o s i t i o n s and manners, i s c a l l e d  e t h i c s ; and the other, which takes cognizance of t h e i r c i v i l d u t i e s , is  called politics,  held that i n order commonwealth,  or simply c i v i l philosophy."  (E.W.I,11)  Hobbes  t o gain any "knowledge o f the properties o f a  i t i s necessary  first  to know  a f f e c t i o n s , and manners o f men", ( i b i d )  the d i s p o s i t i o n s ,  Thus i t i s as part of a  p o l i t i c a l l y relevant psychology - one coextensive with e t h i c s - that Hobbes introduces endeavour. In sections 3 and 4 o f the previous chapter a sketch was given of the elements Hobbes included i n h i s a n a l y s i s o f human a c t i o n ; so those d e t a i l s w i l l not be repeated  here.  However, what needs some  further a m p l i f i c a t i o n i s the r o l e o f the b r a i n and heart as centres of  reaction.  Hobbes  believes  that  both  o f these  organs  c h a r a c t e r i s t i c modes o f response to incoming sensation, its  raw form at the b r a i n , or as imagination  either i n  flowing to the heart.  In both cases response takes the form o f a counter-pressure: by the brain t h i s gives us the impression sensation,  and by the h e a r t ,  appetite or aversion.  gives,  How the heart  we can gather  themselves a species word "endeavour".  exerted  o f an external source f o r  us the f e e l i n g  of either  i s prompted to increased or  decreased motion by the i n f l o w o f imagination From what  have  the "beginnings  we are never  o f animal  o f motion, namely that species  told!  motion" are named by the  But that seems unhelpful i n the extreme.  To get  a better l i g h t on the o r i g i n a t i o n o f a c t i o n as a species o f motion we need to take a remark out o f Hobbes' account o f animal motion i n his De Corpore.  There he says o f the heart that:  -83-  Seeing, therefore , there i s i n the whole organ, by reason of i t s own i n t e r n a l natural motion, some resistance or r e a c t i o n against the motion which i s propagated from the object to the innermost part o f the organ. (E.W.I, 391)  Presumably, motions  given that  natural  endeavours  i t i s an organ, the brain  too w i l l  have  t o i t . Now, the heart i s not always producing  where endeavours  are understood t o be the minute  first  beginnings o f motion, but nonetheless i t i s so c o n s t i t u t e d  ("by  reason o f i t s own i n t e r n a l n a t u r a l motion") that given the inflow o f imagination i t w i l l into action.  catalogue  intentional  these f l e d g l i n g  motions which ramify  However, i n the case o f the brain the story w i l l be  more complicated. same  initiate  Hobbes assumes that  of emotions.  We  a l l human beings have the  are individuated  objects on which the emotions focus.  through the  Presumably, some  of those motions natural to the organ o f conception - the brain w i l l correspond to the f i r s t phase o f our emotional response. For example,  some s i g n i f i c a n t  looming  - will  conception - that a dangerous  be, i n a l l l i k e l i h o o d ,  object i s  executive i n moving us,  because we are c o n s t i t u t i o n a l l y capable o f responses based on e i t h e r fear  or anger.  Hobbes does not provide exact d e t a i l  o f how a  s i m i l a r response works, but that i s neither here nor there, since we can  construct  h i s framework  for action  from  materials  he does  provide. We are now faced with what appear to be two d i s t i n c t things: endeavour  as i n f i n i t e s i m a l motion, or the i n i t i a l motions  arising  from the heart's ( d i a s t o l i c ? ) a c t i o n , and that form o f motion we are t o l d i s natural t o the heart i n so f a r as i t - i s an organ. latter  one i s the form of motion which w i l l ,  This  i f anything w i l l ,  -84-  q u a l i f y an organ as a centre o f action or r e a c t i o n . species  of motion  come i n t o  play  Both of these  i n Hobbes' a n a l y s i s  of human  a c t i o n , and i t i s p l a u s i b l e to suggest that t h e i r r o l e i s c r u c i a l i n shaping what Hobbes took to be h i s personal c o n t r i b u t i o n to a theory of the passions.  But can both forms of motion be subsumed under the  notion of endeavour?  The- Elements of Law alone does not give us  s u f f i c i e n t evidence f o r t h i s view: i t simply argues that is  endeavour  to be understood as i n i t i a t i n g movement and that action begins  with conception.  Thus, i n so f a r as conception - our capacity to  s i z e things up - i s the f i r s t and endeavour i s the f i r s t  i n t r a - b o d i l y cause of human a c t i o n ,  step i n voluntary a c t i o n , i t seems to  follow that motion s t a t e s o f the organs and endeavour are i n t i m a t e l y connected.  To gain a b e t t e r purchase on the matter we need to go  more deeply i n t o Hobbes' e a r l y work on o p t i c s ; f o r then we can see a new dimension to the idea o f endeavour which was l e f t underdeveloped in  The Elements of • Law.  work Hobbes does  Yet despite the f a c t that i n t h i s l a t t e r  not assign  the term  "endeavour" to cover those  states i n brain and heart which allow us to conceive (appreciate the significance respectively, dispositions  of he  state-of-affairs) has  and  predicated  his  relevant to the s o c i a l  about the basis of d i s p o s i t i o n s . makes h i s account unique.  initiate ethics  bodily (his  motion  theory  p r o j e c t ) on a physical  of  story  I t i s a f t e r a l l that fact which  What remains as yet undeveloped i s the  c o r r e c t way of describing the b a s i s . The Elements o f Law may work, but  i t was  by  no  have been Hobbes' most notable e a r l y  means h i s f i r s t .  The  Short Tract,  was  probably w r i t t e n seven years before the former book, that i s , around  -85-  1630.  In one respect the Short Tract i s a precursor to The - Elements  of-Law, which i n i t s turn breaks up i n t o De Homine and De•Cive.  The  l i n e of continuation that i n t e r e s t s me however runs from t h i s e a r l y t r a c t , through and  on  to  sensation  De  the f i r s t  Homine alone.  (primarily  discussion i n the there this  t h i r t e e n chapters of The  vision)  work demands our through  and  subject matter human  nature.  i n i t s geometric  Law  of a l l three i s  Short Tract i s austere, to say  i s a c e r t a i n elegance  issues  The  Elements of  Granted, the  rigor.  the  least; In any  but case  a t t e n t i o n because i t embodies some of  which Hobbes worked on  the way  to a theory  the  about  internal states. The major question moving Hobbes i n the Short Tract i s also the one  Aubrey  alludes t o , namely  "What i s Sense?"  Working out  an  answer i n terms of v i s i o n Hobbes s p e c i f i e s the f o l l o w i n g elements:  If  (i)  The agent or source o f l i g h t .  (ii)  The species emitted by the agent.  (iii)  The medium through which the species t r a v e l .  (iv)  The patient whose o p t i c nerve i s a f f e c t e d .  the  Short  sense, and  Tract  represents  Hobbes  1  opinion on  the  of  i f , as seems to be the case, he brought a l o t of h i s  ideas together i n t h i s piece, then i t might be the best discover  matter  what h i s major  preoccupations  i n the  late  place to  1620's were.  From the four elements mentioned above, the second and the t h i r d are of l i t t l e interest.  Hobbes d i d not think that l i g h t was transmitted  instantaneously, and he had no conjecture to make about the of  the  medium through  which  species  travelled.  nature  However, i n the  f i r s t and the fourth we have the f i r s t and the f i n a l steps i n the  -86-  illumination archetypal new  story;  moreover,  agent, and  we  have  the  sun  in  the p e r c i p i e n t as p a t i e n t .  i n what Hobbes has  to say  about the  the  role  of  There i s nothing  more general  notions  of  agent and p a t i e n t , captured i n two of the p r i n c i p l e s from the Short Tract: 3. Agent i s that which hath power to move. A. Patient i s that which hath power to be moved. (E.L., Allowing  193)  that these are orthodox A r i s t o t e l i a n i s m s , the only  to be derived here i s that Hobbes genuine explanation  of sensation  1  conception  o f how  lesson  to set out  ( i n t h i s case s i g h t ) involved  s p e c i f i c a t i o n of q u a l i t i e s i n the agent and  a the  patient v i a which they  were able to mark and to r e g i s t e r r e s p e c t i v e l y .  Hobbes does not the agent  ask  the  further question, namely "In terms of what do  and  the  patient have the power to act and be acted upon?"; or, stated  d i f f e r e n t l y , "What i s i t that c o n s t i t u t e s a t h i n g as e i t h e r agent or patient  or,  questions  more  often  than  not  did not appear u n t i l 1655  both?"  The  answer  to  these  i n De Corpore, as I s h a l l point  out i n a moment. The  Short Tract evidences a mind exercised about the nature of  a c t i v e and saw  the  passive  next explanatory  w i t h i n bodies. What was position?  power, and  (See E.L., i t that  i t gives some i n d i c a t i o n that Hobbes  move as 206  one  utilizing  only  local  motion  top)  enabled  Hobbes  to  arrive  at  The answer seems to be h i s confrontation with  this  later  Descartes'  work on the theory of l i g h t ; but there were some other factors that preceded t h i s confrontation. 1.  In 1631  Hobbes resumed h i s r o l e as s e c r e t a r y / t u t o r to the  -87-  Cavendish  household  at Chatsworth,  taking  responsibility  care of William, Third E a r l of Devonshire, who year.  f o r the  turned 14 i n that  Hobbes t e l l s us that he designed courses i n r h e t o r i c , l o g i c ,  geography, and Latin f o r the i n s t r u c t i o n of W i l l i a m , but there i s no reason to b e l i e v e that he was at Chatsworth f o r the e n t i r e period between 1631 and 1634.  Whilst passing through London on the way to  Oxford i n January o f 1634 Hobbes wrote to h i s Lord's uncle, William, F i r s t E a r l of Newcastle, i n a way that makes i t c l e a r they had spent some time together, presumably at Welbeck Abbey i n company with the E a r l ' s brother Charles Cavendish the mathematician.  Hobbes i t seems  had undertaken t o send Newcastle a copy o f G a l i l e o ' s Dialogues, but reported that none were to be found for s a l e i n London. 2.  In  continental  1634 tour.  Hobbes This was  having been i n 1610 with Gervase  Clifton's  accompanied  son.  to be  the  Hobbes' t h i r d  the Second E a r l , A letter  young  7  Earl  on  his  journey abroad,  and i n 1628 with S i r  to Newcastle  from P a r i s ,  dated  August o f 1635, reveals i n some d e t a i l the i n t e r e s t s Hobbes shared with him.  Hobbes comments on o p t i c a l matters that have arisen i n  connection with t h e i r mutual f r i e n d Warner, and i n a way that makes it  pretty  things.  clear On  an  that  he  entirely  considers himself an authority different  matter, and  one  that  on  such  I have  already had occasion to mention, Hobbes advertises that he hopes to o f f e r "good reasons f o r the facultyes and passions o f the soule." 3. was  From June o f 1636 u n t i l May o f the f o l l o w i n g year Hobbes  i n Paris  circle.  and resumed  A letter  h i s aquaintance with  o f Newcastle  dated July  Mersenne and h i s  o f 1636 mentions  that  Hobbes had been i n discussion with Claude Mydorge, someone close to  -88-  Descartes,  and also someone who  o f mirrors and  lenses.  spent a fortune on the construction  Brandt t e l l s us that Mydorge's work de - l a  Lumiere i s more than l i k e l y the t r a c t that Hobbes alludes to i n t h i s letter.  9  4.  In the L a t i n autobiography Hobbes gives us an i n d i c a t i o n of  h i s consuming i n t e r e s t during t h i s tour of 1634-7: Whether on s h i p , or coach, or on horseback, my mind constantly pondered the nature of t h i n g s ; and i t seemed to me that i n the whole world only one thing i s r e a l , f a l s i f i e d though i t be i n many ways. One thing only i s r e a l , but i t forms the basis of the things we f a l s e l y claim to be something, though they are only l i k e the f u g i t i v e shapes of dreams or l i k e the images I can m u l t i p l y at w i l l by mirrors; fantasies, creatures of our brains and nothing more, the only inner r e a l i t y of which i s motion. (A., 25)  This  p a r t i c u l a r autobiography was  w r i t t e n i n 1672  when Hobbes  was  84, but i t s theme c a r r i e s a note which Hobbes struck some 36 years e a r l i e r i n a l e t t e r to Newcastle from P a r i s . had  corroborated  some point  of  In that l e t t e r Hobbes  Newcastle's, quoting  the  latter's  remark that "the v a r i e t y of things i s but v a r i e t y of l o c a l motion i n the  spirits  or  invisible  parts of bodies are not i n t e r n a l and  parts  of  bodies."'''  i n v i s i b l e simply  0  These  i n as much as they  Hobbes' view i s that when we  body the very best we doubt we have  can  invisible",  philosophize about a n a t u r a l  hope for i s p l a u s i b l e guesses.  would hope that those guesses u t i l i z e the best  about  are  hence not obvious on surface i n s p e c t i o n ; rather these  parts are m i c r o s c o p i c a l l y s m a l l , "so subtle as they are (ibid.)  invisible  the  fine  structure  of  bodies,  (ibid.)  But  no  views  we  This  letter  foreshadows the p r i n c i p l e from De Corpore quoted above, and predates Hobbes' f a m i l i a r i t y with  Descartes'  D i o p t r i c s , a work i n which  a  -89-  s i m i l a r view about method i s s t a t e d . 5. 1636),  In another l e t t e r to Newcastle, again from P a r i s (October, Hobbes says  emitted  he  has  from the l i g h t  abandoned the view  source, and adopted  that  something  the p o s i t i o n  is  that  the  propagation of l i g h t i s a function o f the medium(s) l y i n g between i l l u m i n a n t and p e r c i p i e n t .  At t h i s stage i t i s c l e a r that Hobbes 1  does not yet know how to characterize the medium.''" 6.  Hobbes f i r s t came i n t o contact with Mersenne i n 1634.  Many  i n Mersenne's c i r c l e were concerned with o p t i c s , but probably none more so than Descartes. Monde by  this  time, but  We  know that  Descartes had  there i s no  reason  contents were known to anyone other than their  shared i n t e r e s t i n the nature and  completed  to think  Mersenne.  Le  that i t s  So, despite  propagation o f l i g h t ,  we  have no evidence to connect Hobbes and Descartes up to and i n c l u d i n g the end of Hobbes' departure from P a r i s a f t e r h i s t h i r d c o n t i n e n t a l journey, that i s , u n t i l May o f 1637. 7.  However, i n October  Chatsworth and  of 1637  when Hobbes had  returned to  House, h i s f r i e n d Kenelm Digby wrote to him  enclosed a copy  from P a r i s  of Descartes' r e c e n t l y published (June,  1637)  12 Discourse on Method,- Optics,- Geometry, and - Meteorology. The foregoing h i s t o r i c a l material provides at best a s k e l e t a l image.  There  touched on. circulated thinking while.  are  no  doubt  many  facets  to Hobbes'interests not  For example, the manuscript of The- Elements o f Law i n the middle  about  of  the substance  1640 of  but that  obviously Hobbes had sizeable  work  was been  for quite  a  The reason for concentrating on the p h y s i c a l speculation i s  simply to explain the impact o f the confrontation with Descartes,  -90occasioned by the a r r i v a l o f h i s book.  There i s nothing contentious  i n the suggestion that Hobbes was much exercised by Descartes' work; this  point was made p l a i n l y  1928.  and e f f e c t i v e l y  by F r i j h o f Brandt i n  What stands a much b e t t e r chance of being contentious i s the  claim  that Hobbes discovered an idea i n that work o f Descartes'  which  would  give h i s own t h i n k i n g  fundamentally Descartes'  new d i r e c t i o n .  about the nature  Most o f those  o f bodies a  who have  considered  physics at a l l have commented on h i s conception  tendency, but none  t o date  have  1  linked  Descartes'  of a  notion  with  3  Hobbes use of conatus or endeavour."''  Before moving on t o consider Descartes' notion o f tendency i n a l i t t l e d e t a i l , i t might pay t o b r i e f l y summarize the p o s i t i o n on the nature of powers i n bodies that Hobbes had reached by the early part o f 1637.  You w i l l r e c a l l that i n the Short Tract the focus i s on  agents and p a t i e n t s ; i t a l s o contains a d i s c u s s i o n o f what Hobbes calls attempt  "necessary  and s u f f i c i e n t  causes",  (E.L.,  193-4) and some  t o c h a r a c t e r i z e the capacity o f the b r a i n t o receive and  r e t a i n impressions.  Sensation i s s a i d to be motion, and the a c t i o n  between the " q u a l i f i e d " b r a i n and the animal s p i r i t s i s described i n terms o f l o c a l motion:  they have d i r e c t contact.  There i s but one  s i g n i f i c a n t a d d i t i o n a l step taken during the period o f the 1630's; and  there i s a r e a l question as to where the impetus f o r the step  came from.  As mentioned already Hobbes wrote t o Newcastle  i n 1636,  apparently quoting back to the E a r l an e a r l i e r remark o f h i s own to the  effect  that  "the v a r i e t y  o f things i s but v a r i e t y  motion i n the s p i r i t s or i n v i s i b l e parts o f bodies." reason,  that i d e a , be i t o r i g i n a l l y  from  Hobbes,  of local  For whatever Newcastle,  or  -91-  someone e l s e , was t o surface as the dictum from De Corpore  about  what d i s t i n g u i s h e s one body from another. Wondering about what makes a body the p a r t i c u l a r s o r t o f body that i t i s , might w e l l be connected with a second preoccupation that one  can see i n Hobbes over  the same period  thought about the nature of causes.  o f the 1630's: h i s  The two are connected, because  one way of s p e c i f y i n g an object i s i n terms o f what i t does, or what can be done to i t .  I t s c a p a c i t i e s and l i a b i l i t i e s are as important  i n s e t t i n g a thing apart as any other properties one could mention. Hobbes d i d introduce the notion o f causes i n t o the Short Tract, i n f a c t he brought i t under two heads: s u f f i c i e n t cause and necessary cause.  The  former  i s that  which  has everything  requisite  to  producing an e f f e c t , and the l a t t e r , "that which cannot but produce the  effect." (ibid.)  These two are, however, not d i s t i n c t .  goes on t o say that because  "that  cause  "a s u f f i c i e n t which  cannot  cause  Hobbes  i s a necessary cause",  but produce  the e f f e c t ,  is a  Necessary cause (by the 13 P r i n . ) , but a s u f f i c i e n t cause cannot but produce the e f f e c t , because i t hath a l l things r e q u i s i t e t o produce it  (by the 14 P r i n . ) . "  ( i b i d . , 196)  I t i s not c l e a r what Hobbes  wants with the two ideas o f cause, but there i s some reason t o view his  Necessary cause as a version o f what he c a l l s the e n t i r e cause  i n De Corpore: But a CAUSE simply, or an e n t i r e ^ causey i s the aggregate o f a l l the accidents both o f the agents, how many soever they be, and o f the p a t i e n t , put together; which when they are a l l supposed t o be present,- i t cannot-be understood but that the e f f e c t i s produced at the same i n s t a n t ; and i f - any one- o f them- be wanting, i t cannot be understood but the e f f e c t i s not produced. (E.W.I, 121-2)  -92-  This  definition  i s further  broken  down  into  the aggregate o f  accidents i n the agent: the e f f i c i e n t cause, and the aggregate of accidents i n the p a t i e n t : the e f f e c t being produced, ( i b i d . , 122) I f you keep t h i s development i n mind and look back to the Short Tract, you w i l l notice that i n the 15th conclusion o f s e c t i o n one Hobbes r e f e r s to the " a c t i v e power inherent" i n an agent to move some p a t i e n t . (E.L.,  197)  I t could be conjectured  that with h i s  idea o f an "active power inherent" Hobbes i s p r e f i g u r i n g the notion of an e f f i c i e n t cause i n h i s l a t e r sense. agent  that  can move  three  distinct  His i l l u s t r a t i o n i s o f an  and w e l l separated  patients  equally.  3.3  I  Descartes' Optics  shall  not attempt  a reconstruction o f the Cartesian p h y s i c a l  theory, but look instead a t j u s t the one work with which Hobbes came i n t o contact i n 1637, the Discourse on Method. The essay on o p t i c s included i n the work was not intended as a t h e o r e t i c a l t r e a t i s e on l i g h t , and a l l three of the essays i n the book were proffered as examples o f a new method i n a c t i o n . subject  matter o f the essay on o p t i c s i s avowedly p r a c t i c a l ; i t  addresses  the concerns  manufacture of o p t i c a l "those  The  o f craftsmen instruments,  marvelous telescopes  engaged  i n the design  but i n p a r t i c u l a r  and  telescopes,  which, i n use f o r only a short  time,  have already revealed a greater number o f new s t a r s i n the sky, and other new objects above the earth, than the sum t o t a l o f those we have seen there before...carrying our s i g h t much f a r t h e r than the  -93-  .ic imagination  of our fathers  was  used  to going...."  The main  lesson taught i n the f i r s t part o f the essay i s about the nature o f l i g h t rays. The  genuinely  theoretical  work,  Le Monde - ou t r a i t e  de l a  lumiere, was completed i n 1633 as planned, but l e f t unpublished  by  i t s author, and there i s reason to believe that the essay on o p t i c s was f i r s t w r i t t e n i n 1630 as an abstract of parts o f Le Monde. A further summary o f the t h e o r e t i c a l work i s included i n part of  the Discourse  o f Method,  where,  i n barest  outline,  16  five  we are  introduced t o the way i n which the cosmic vortex functions to give l i g h t to the sun. No r e a l d e t a i l o f the three basic elements o f the cosmology are given, but i t i s made p l a i n that the transmission of l i g h t through the medium i s instantaneous."'"  7  placed on a theory o f l i g h t can be appreciated Mersenne difficult  i n 1630, that subjects  i t was  which  I could 18  The weight Descartes from h i s remark to  "one o f the most important undertake,  because  and  almost a l l  physics i s included i n i t . " Following up h i s promise to i n s t r u c t through c l e a r examples, i n i m i t a t i o n o f astronomers, Descartes introduces  h i s example o f the  b l i n d man using a s t i c k to help him traverse rough ground. In order t o draw a comparison from t h i s , I would have you consider l i g h t as nothing e l s e , i n bodies that we c a l l luminous, than a c e r t a i n movement or a c t i o n , very rapid and very l i v e l y , which passes toward our eyes through the medium o f the a i r and other transparent bodies, i n the same manner that the movement or resistance o f the bodies that this blind man encounters i s transmitted to h i s hand through the medium of h i s s t i c k . 1 9  At  least  four  lessons  are taught with  the use o f t h i s  F i r s t l y , that the transmission i s instantaneous,  example.  "for you know that  -94-  the action with which we move one of the ends of a s t i c k must thus 20 be  transmitted i n an i n s t a n t to the other end".  our  experience  coloured,  of  is a  light,  or  function of  rather the  our  way  Secondly, that  experience  of  things  external objects  affect  as our  retina. This corresponds to the way d i f f e r e n t objects r e s i s t the s t i c k and thus exert d i f f e r i n g pressures on the man's hand. T h i r d l y , j u s t as there i s a continuous and  extended object between hand  ground, with nothing making the journey  from the second to the  f i r s t , so there i s nothing t r a v e l l i n g through the medium of the a i r from the source  of l i g h t  to our  eyes.  third  d i r e c t e d against  those  point  as  Descartes who  understands h i s  believed  "intentional 21  species"  to  Nonetheless,  be  "small  images  flitting  through  the  air".  i t plays j u s t as d i r e c t l y against Hobbes' e a r l y , and by  then abandoned view, that species were to be read as material and not i n t e n t i o n a l . The three,  final and  this  difficulty,  but  Descartes' example  lesson has  something  rather  more  conjecture.  in  mind  "you  question...concerning  sensation  i s l e s s s u c c e s s f u l l y taught  of  The will  the 22  sight."  ways i n which the s t i c k  to  to  do  even  and  are an  with the  is  that  easily of  the  asked  the  with  suggestion  origin  We  do  to  be  than the  magnitude  of  plausibility  of  by  keeping  the  to  decide  the  that  causes  the  able  action  first  consider  obstacle might be  two  different  connected:  the  f i r s t i s simply impact caused by something leaping up to s t r i k e the walking-stick, rested  on  hand.  Sight  whereas the  firm ground with  second  i s more l i k e  a constant  for human subjects  pressure  corresponds  to  the  stick  maintained the  first  being by  the case,  -95-  occurring "by means o f the a c t i o n which, being i n them, tends toward the  eyes".  But what  does  the second  case  argue  by analogy?  Descartes i s o f the opinion that the action which causes sight can be i n i t i a t e d i n the eye o f some creatures - cats f o r example I we are p r i m a r i l y  concerned with  Since  "the a c t i o n which comes from the  24 objects",  our a t t e n t i o n i s r e a l l y drawn to the question of what  form the action o f i l l u m i n a t i o n  takes.  At t h i s  juncture we are  introduced to the second major example. We are asked t o envisage (with the help o f an i l l u s t r a t i o n i n the  t e x t ) a vat f u l l o f wine and half-crushed grapes.  There are two  holes i n the bottom o f the vat marked A and B; these are plugged. On the surface o f the l i q u i d Descartes has points marked C, D, and E.  C i s directly  equidistant  above  A, E i s d i r e c t l y  between the two holes.  above  B, and D i s  This model i s a r e p l i c a of  Descartes' s o l a r system: the surface o f the mixture i n the vat i s the it  i n t e r f a c e between the sun and the medium which extends between and us.  intervening  The holes A and B correspond to two eyes, and the medium  p a r t i c l e s ) and wine  i s composed  of s o l i d  grapes  (third  (second element p a r t i c l e s that f i l l  i n t e r s t i c e s between bodies and transmit l i g h t ) .  element  a l l o f the  Each o f the points  on the surface i s joined to both holes by a s t r a i g h t l i n e , and we are flow  asked to envisage what w i l l freely  imaginary  through straight  the two lines  occur when the wine i s allowed to drain  from  representative o f rays o f l i g h t .  holes  points  at the bottom. on  the  surface  The are  Descartes holds that despite the  intervening medium being f u l l o f obstructions, the wine at any one point on the surface w i l l ,  presumably, as rays w i l l , be connected by  -96-  a s t r a i g h t l i n e with each o f the holes below.  The model i s intended  to represent a very large number o f such s t r a i g h t l i n e s o f course, so i t would have a l i m i t e d number o f points on the surface  (those  Descartes has drawn i n as C, D, and E f o r example) connected  by an  i n f i n i t e number o f l i n e s t o the bottom o f the vat. Well, what does happen when the holes are unstopped? believes that wine a t each o f the surface points tends i n a s t r a i g h t l i n e through  Descartes  "to go down  hole A at the very i n s t a n t that i t i s 25  open, and at the same time through  hole B".  Moreover, none of  these i n t e r s e c t i n g pathways c o n s t i t u t e s an impediment t o any of the others.  We are now t o l d that the tendency of the parts o f the wine  to go t o A and B at p r e c i s e l y one and the same time i s an a c t i o n , but "without any of these actions being impeded by the others, nor 26  by  the r e s i s t e n c e o f the bunches o f grapes i n t h i s vat".  The  vat example has one main f u n c t i o n : t o explain the a c t i o n o f l i g h t rays.  The d i f f i c u l t y , soon to be f e l t by many, was that rays o f  l i g h t considered as tending along an i n f i n i t y o f pathways were a l s o considered to be a c t i n g without movement.  The account  given i s as  follows: And note here that i t i s necessary t o d i s t i n g u i s h between movement, and the a c t i o n or i n c l i n a t i o n to move. For one can very e a s i l y conceive that the p a r t i c l e s o f wine which are f o r example near C, tend toward B and a l s o toward A, notwithstanding that they cannot a c t u a l l y be moved toward these two holes at the same t i m e . When i l l u m i n a t i o n i s under consideration we get the following: 2 7  And i n the same way considering that i t i s not so much the movement as the action of luminous bodies that must be taken f o r t h e i r l i g h t , you must judge that the rays of t h i s l i g h t are nothing e l s e but the l i n e s along which t h i s a c t i o n tends.  -97And then again, i n a passage which comes s h o r t l y a f t e r t h i s : [ I ] t i s very easy to believe that the action or the i n c l i n a t i o n to move which I have s a i d must be taken for l i g h t , must follow i n t h i s the same laws as does movement.28  I t i s not c l e a r to me what Descartes means by " a c t i o n " ; but i t is  clear  that  movement and  he  wants to e s t a b l i s h  inclination.  form of a c t i o n .  Similarly,  a  firm  distinction  he  treats  between  inclination  as a  Some o f h i s contemporaries were confused by h i s  29 terms,  3.4  but Hobbes' r e a c t i o n was d i f f e r e n t .  Conatus I I  Hobbes wrote three d i s t i n c t works on o p t i c s : (1)  The  Tractatus Opticus, which was  published  as part seven  Marin Mersenne's Cogitata Physico-Mathematica i n 1644. Due to the research o f Brandt, we formed  part of an exchange  now  A  Minute  or  First  entirely  know that t h i s work o r i g i n a l l y  that took place between Descartes and  Hobbes i n the e a r l y months of 1 6 4 1 . (2)  of  Draft- o f  30  the  Optiques, w r i t t e n  in  two  sections:  one on v i s i o n , the other on i l l u m i n a t i o n , and completed  i n 1646.  Hobbes must have been pleased with t h i s t r e a t i s e i f h i s  words from the conclusion are any i n d i c a t i o n : " I s h a l l deserve the reputation sciences;  o f havirrg been this  the  first  of Optiques, the most curious,  Natural J u s t i c e , which  I have done i n my  p r o f i t a b l e of a l l others"; (E.W.VII, (3)  to l a y the  grounds  and  of  two  the other of  book DE CIVE, the most  471)  The Latin Optical Manuscript, an excerpt o f which Tonnies added  -98-  as an appendix  .  to h i s e d i t i o n of The Elements• of Law.  Brandt, i n  agreement with Kohler, dates t h i s work between 1644 and 1646.^ The most important o f these three for my purposes i s the f i r s t : the portion from the Hobbes-Descartes exchange. discussed i n the exchange was  One of the topics  conatus, or the idea of a  that Descartes u t i l i z e d to e x p l a i n the a c t i o n of rays.  tendency  In a l e t t e r  Descartes wrote to Mersenne, we get some i n d i c a t i o n of what he  and  Hobbes had o r i g i n a l l y discussed: What the t h i r d p r o p o s i t i o n , on s y s t o l e , contains i s completely overthrown by what I have already s a i d , as i s what he says i n the c o r o l l a r y about i n c l i n a t i o n : he holds that t h i s i s a motion, and f o r the following b r i l l i a n t reason, 'because the beginning of motion i s motion'. But who has conceded to him that that inclination i s the beginning or f i r s t part of motion?32 We have no independent object of  record of the remark from Hobbes that i s the  Descartes' r i d i c u l e  here,  but  an  found i n a fragment that Kohler reproduced Manuscript.  approximation from the L a t i n  can  be  Optical  With respect to the propagation of l i g h t Hobbes claims  that: This processure i s r e a l l y and a c t u a l l y . . . a l o c a l motion...and i s not...a mere i n c l i n a t i o n . For a l l i n c l i n a t i o n i f i t be pressure or endeavour i s a c t u a l l y a motion and progression of something out of i t s place, pressure cannot otherwise be conceived.33  Since t h i s excerpt comes from a l a t e r period than the exchange with Descartes, i t i s c l e a r  that Hobbes has  issue  or  of  tendencies  Remembering that Descartes laws  as  movement, and  inclinations  stuck to h i s guns on being  believed i n c l i n a t i o n  that  both  movement and  actual  the  motions.  to obey the same inclination  were  a c t i o n s , i t i s no s u r p r i s e that Hobbes might have taken the path he  -99did  i n responding  light  rays  tends","  54  to  to  be  but  conceived  Hobbes  pressure  (endeavour).  one,  more l i k e l y  or  Descartes  has  on  of read  inclinations.  as  lines,  this  Perhaps he was he  just  could  Descartes  "along  wants  which...action  requirement  as  one  about  seeing the model as a not  imagine a  pressure  fluid to  be  anything other than a species of motion. It i s hardly s u r p r i s i n g that Hobbes and loggerheads on  Descartes  would be at  the question o f i l l u m i n a t i o n , e s p e c i a l l y since  d i r e c t i o n of Hobbes  1  the  thought since the Short Tract had been formed  by the idea of a medium that was  subject only to l o c a l motion.  fully  medium appears i n the  worked out  Opticus,  account of  the  where Hobbes considers  the  sun's  operation  Tractatus  i n terms  d i l a t i o n and c o n t r a c t i o n , thus going contrary to Descartes' about i t s functioning.  Descartes  sun as composed of p a r t i c l e s  was  prepared  A  of  beliefs  to c h a r a c t e r i z e the  ( f i r s t element p a r t i c l e s ) , and he  was  sure that these minute p a r t i c l e s c i r c u l a t e d r a p i d l y and gave r i s e to light;  but  caused by  he  strenuously  their  pressing  second element p a r t i c l e s .  resisted out  into  the suggestion the  that l i g h t  was  medium c o n s t i t u t e d by  the  This model of pressing out and r e t r a c t i n g  i n was Hobbes* chosen one f o r the sun.  Despite the fact that he did  not publish h i s account of the sun's a b i l i t y to a f f e c t the adjacent medium u n t i l Descartes  1644,  during  Hobbes  their  must have  exchange, as  discussed  a letter  this  from the  point latter  Mersenne makes p l a i n : The second p r o p o s i t i o n i s t r u e , and my own, i f one replaced r e j e c t i o n i n i t by r e p u l s i o , so that impulsion alone, and not motion, can be understood.35  with to  -100c  My conjecture i s t h i s : Hobbes was provoked by Descartes' idea of  a tendency  because  i t purported to explain  an action without  recourse to l o c a l motion. Hobbes'  thought  about  illumination  certainly  forward due to h i s confrontation with Descartes.  took He was  a  leap  able to  o f f e r an explanation o f how the sun operated on i t s adjacent medium, but he was s t i l l  unable to understand how  allowed i t to so operate. when the l a t t e r  had  i t s internal  functioning  Witness h i s comment to Charles Cavendish  questioned him  about  the s o l a r  dilation  and  c o n t r a c t i o n : "the cause o f such r e c i p r o c a t i o n , i t i s hard to guess what i t i s . "  (E.W.VII,  459)  Nonetheless, Hobbes was  able to make  another step forward, but one which required him to reconceptualize the  nature o f conatus motions.  In making t h i s step he looked to the  pattern of p a r t i c u l a t e motion within bodies.  Thus the i n c l i n a t i o n  or  tendency o f bodies to e i t h e r have c h a r a c t e r i s t i c e f f e c t s , or to  be  marked  i n certain  ways, could  now  be  explained i n terms  of  motions; where the motions i n question are o f the p a r t i c l e s out of which the objects are composed. in  explanation, but  Local motion i s s t i l l the base l i n e  there i s an expansion o f the conatus idea's  province to include the inner, i n v i s i b l e motions of the constituent p a r t i c l e s of bodies. In  h i s C r i t i c i s m of Thomas White's De Mundo (1642-4) one  observe Hobbes somewhere between horses on  can  the question of what  conatus motions are; seemingly he wants to be able to keep h i s more basic conception o f conatus as i n f i n i t e s i m a l motion, while using the same term to cover what i s c l e a r l y the i n t e r n a l motion s t a t e of an object.  Chapter 34 contains the following d e f i n i t i o n o f the term  -101-  "potential": [T]he act by which an act not yet produced w i l l produced l a t e r . (T.W., 414) There  has  been  dispositions. properties  a  The  like  lot  written  discussion  fragility,  of  has  late  centred  solubility,  on  the  around  elasticity,  be  question  of  dispositional and  the  like.  Recourse i s often taken to a m i c r o - s t r u c t u r a l story i n order to show why,  f o r example,  certain  materials  shatter  when struck:  molecular bonding i s s a i d to explain t h e i r f r a g i l i t y . of a thing's molecular bonding  i s an  intrinsic  their  I f the s t a t e  state,  then some  a c t i o n o f that thing might i n part be explained by reference to an intrinsic indeed.  state.  Hobbes' l i n e  on  "potential"  i s very l i k e  this  He d i r e c t s a t t e n t i o n to some a c t u a l s t a t e of a thing which  i s responsible for q u a l i f y i n g that thing to e i t h e r act or be acted upon i n some s p e c i f i c respect.  Having no grasp o f molecules, and  being no atomist, Hobbes turns to e n t i t i e s and t h e i r motions. How t h i s concern manifested i t s e l f i n 1642-4 i s evident i n t h i s long passage from the c r i t i c i s m of White: I f someone s a i d , "The p r i n c i p l e of motion i s the p o t e n t i a l to motion, without the act [ o f motion]", i t w i l l follow that conatus i s not an a c t i o n and does not achieve anything, whether the conatus be inward or outward. Conatus i s therefore motion i n a c t u a l i t y , even though the motion be very small and i n d i s t i n g u i s h a b l e by the eye So conatus i s nothing but an actual motion, e i t h e r of the whole body that tends, or o f i t s inner and i n v i s i b l e p a r t s . But, [ I say] the presence of motion i n the inner parts o f a l l hard bodies and o f those whose v i s i b l e parts cohere and r e s i s t an agent i s argued from the fact that a l l resistance i s motion: for r e s i s t a n c e i s a r e a c t i o n ; a reaction i s an a c t i o n ; and a l l a c t i o n i s motion. (T.W., 148-50)  Hard bodies are not continuously being put to the t e s t of impact,  -102-  nor  f o r that  matter are people with  p e r f e c t l y normal  nervous pathways continuously being given r e f l e x t e s t s . behavioural specified  claim ways  to  constitutional investigation  that  hammer  facts could  this  brick  or that  blows  rests,  about  the  display.  To make the  person w i l l so  subjects  The claim  knees and  react i n  Hobbes  holds,  on  which  microscopic  i s put t o the t e s t i n  a c t i o n ; the claims about the outcomes are stated i n hypotheticals; but  the r e a l l y  crucial  p h y s i c a l question  awaits the use o f the  microscope. In the passage quoted above Hobbes l i n k s conatus with that c o n s t i t u t e an object's Law he had given  endeavour  ability  t o react.  actions  In The Elements of  an employment much c l o s e r to the other  sense o f conatus found i n t h i s passage; namely the i n i t i a l stages o f an  i n t e r n a l motion  action.  More  reference  to  occasioning account  which  would  importantly conatus  perception  our impression  however,  Hobbes under  ramify  has  a  voluntary  i n explaining subsumed  the conatus  of sound  into  the  umbrella.  as d e r i v i n g  overt  reaction  by  brain  states  On  Hobbes'  from some external  source i s a function o f the r e a c t i o n o f the b r a i n to the inflow o f sensory information. Hobbes i s obliged  With h i s new conception  f o r the f i r s t  b r a i n which enable i t to react.  o f conatus  time t o postulate  operating  states o f the  These states are p r e c i s e l y those  which characterize the organ as the organ that i t i s - they define i t s function.  What I r e f e r t o here i s the " i n t e r n a l natural motion"  from De Corpore.  Hobbes was understandably vague about the minute  p a r t i c l e s , but that he was reasonably confident about the d i r e c t i o n of  h i s conjecture  i s no doubt  connected with  his faith  i n the  -103-  a b i l i t y of o p t i c s to create b e t t e r microscopes: Nor i s there any doubt but by that augmenting the power o f these microscopes (for i t may be augmented as long as neither matter nor the hands o f workmen are wanting) every one o f those hundred thousandth parts might yet appear a hundred thousand times greater than they did before. (E.W.I, 446)  Since  my claim i s that Hobbes emerged from h i s confrontation  with Descartes armed with an expanded idea o f conatus, and that t h i s new notion served will  as a foundation  be useful t o consider  realm of character.  f o r a theory o f d i s p o s i t i o n s , i t  the a p p l i c a t i o n o f the theory  This task i s taken up i n chapter 4.  i n the  What i s of  immediate i n t e r e s t i s how the idea o f conatus as i n t r i n s i c  states  was elaborated i n Hobbes' purely p h y s i c a l speculations. The and  works i n question  Decameron  Chapter  are Seven P h i l o s o p h i c a l Problems (1662)  Physiologicum  5 o f the Seven  (1674)  (EW. V I I , 1-68 and 69-177).  Problems i s concerned with  hardness and  softness, an issue that brings back i n t o view matters which arose i n the 1641 exchange with Descartes. with  a novice  mentor B.  _ posing  The work takes a dialogue  a s e r i e s o f questions  form,  f o r h i s Hobbesian  My i n t e r e s t i n t h e i r discussion begins a t the point where  B claims that: For the cause therefore o f hardness, I suppose the r e c i p r o c a t i o n o f motion i n those things which are hard, to be very s w i f t , and i n very small c i r c l e s . (E.W. V I I , 32)  The  degree of i m p e n e t r a b i l i t y and r e s i s t a n c e to d i s t o r t i o n i s put  down t o the speed and d i r e c t i o n o f the constituent elements i n a hard body  (whatever they might be qua m a t e r i a l ) .  The explanation  perplexes A, and by way o f a m p l i f i c a t i o n B suggests that he envisage  *104-  a cross-bow that i s drawn ready to f i r e .  J3 then puts the question,  "do you think that the parts of i t s t i r ? " answer i s that they do • not.  to which A's  immediate  The stage i s now set f o r B's  further  explanation, the s a l i e n t portions of which are as follows: B.  How are you sure? You have no argument f o r i t , that you do not see the motion. When I see s i t t i n g s t i l l , must I b e l i e v e there i s no motion your parts w i t h i n , when there are so many arguments convince me there i s .  but you in to  A.  What argument have you to convince me that there i s motion i n a cross-bow when i t stands bent?  B.  I f you cut the s t r i n g , or any way set the bow at l i b e r t y , i t w i l l have then a very v i s i b l e motion. What can be the cause?  A.  Well, grant that endeavour be motion, and motion i n the bow unbent, how do you derive from thence, that being set at l i b e r t y i t must return to i t s former posture?  B.  Thus there being within the bow a s w i f t (though i n v i s i b l e ) motion o f a l l the parts, and consequently of the whole; the bending causeth that motion, which was along the bow (that was beaten out when i t was hot i n t o that length) to operate across the length i n every part i f i t , and the more by how much i t i s more bent; and consequently endeavours to unbend i t a l l the while i t stands bent. And therefore when the force which kept i t bent i s removed, i t must of necessity return to the posture i t had before, ( i b i d . , 33-34)  At t h i s juncture A reminds B_ t h a t , since endeavour is_ motion, and that since a l l motion produces some e f f e c t or other, i t follows that some  change  drawn. will  must  be  taking  place w h i l s t  the  cross-bow  remains  B agrees, adding that a f t e r a "long time" the new posture  become permanent;  the  cross-bow  lath  attempt to return i t to the o r i g i n a l shape. being w e l l l e a r n t , A makes the f i n a l comment:  will  then r e s i s t  The Hobbesian  any  lesson  -105-  That i s t r u e . For bows long bent lose t h e i r appetite to r e s t i t u t i o n , long custom becoming nature, ( i b i d . , 34-35) There are two things to note i n t h i s f i n a l remark.  Firstly, a  s t a t e i n a piece o f s t e e l i s described i n terms o f a p p e t i t e .  That  might be passed o f f as mere anthropomorphism or as simply a harmless locution. turn  to  I t i s n e i t h e r , and the reason w i l l become obvious when we a  parallel  discussion  in  the  Decameron- Physiologicum.  Secondly, since the o r i g i n a l nature o f the l a t h was created i n the forge and hammer process, something j u s t as fundamental has occurred in  the change which reverses the tension.  saying  something  stronger  than  would  be  Hobbes i s d e l i b e r a t e l y captured with  the term  "second-nature". As  mentioned  above,  there  is  a  period  of  twelve  years  separating the Seven Problems from Decameron Physiologicum, and f o r some i n t e n t s and purposes they can be considered as mapping the one ground.  However, i n the d e t a i l o f the discussion o f hardness some  relevant  and  important changes  take place.  In t h i s  latter  work  Hobbes puts h i s f i n a l touch on the theory o f conatus by suggesting a change i n motion. B.  The characters i n the dialogue are unchanged:  I have t o l d you already, how the smallest parts o f a hard body have every one, by the generation of hardness, a c i r c u l a r , or other compounded motion; such motion i s that of the smallest parts of the bow. Which c i r c l e s i n the bending you press i n t o narrower f i g u r e s , as a c i r c l e i n t o an e l l i p s i s , and an e l l i p s i s i n t o a narrower but longer e l l i p s i s with violence; which turns t h e i r n a t u r a l motion against the outward parts o f the bow so bent, and i s an endeavour to s t r e t c h the bow i n t o i t s former posture. Therefore, i f the impediment be removed, the bow must needs recover i t s former f i g u r e .  -106-  In  A.  I t i s manifest; and the cause can t h a t , except the bow have sense.  B.  And though the bow had sense, and appetite to the cause w i l l be s t i l l the same. (E.W. V I I , 135-6)  r e f u s i n g to  objects and  draw a  line  between  creatures with sense,  the  be  no  other  tendencies  but boot,  of  inanimate  Hobbes makes i t p l a i n that h i s  theory of what a d i s p o s i t i o n amounts to i s u t t e r l y general. should come as no s u r p r i s e however, since conatus  This  i s introduced as  part of f i r s t philosophy, and thus i s a p p l i c a b l e to human beings i n so  far as  they  are n a t u r a l bodies.  That we  have any  particular  d i s p o s i t i o n we do i s not an i n t r i n s i c f a c t about us, although that we are so c o n s t i t u t e d as to have a range of d i s p o s i t i o n s i s a fact about our nature as the p a r t i c u l a r kind of bodies that we are! Hobbesian men essentially aversion.  are assumed to have the same r e p e r t o i r e of variants  of  the  dominant  passions  However, "the nature of s i n g l e men",  the p a r t i c u l a r natures o f i n d i v i d u a l men,  of  All  emotions;  desire  and  (DeH., 47) that i s ,  comes through habituation  to what might w e l l be unique l i k e s and d i s l i k e s . In  broaching  passions,  we  the  leave  question  the  province  of  particular of  philosophy and enter that of h i s e t h i c s .  Hobbes  1  or  idiosyncratic  physics  or  first  The argument of t h i s t h i r d  chapter has been that w i t h i n Hobbes' physics one can f i n d a theory of d i s p o s i t i o n s .  C l e a r l y , i n order to trace the development of the  ideas i n question I went i n t o the account of human nature. as  I  mentioned  above  there  i s reason  to  set  apart  However, the  first  appearance of the idea of endeavour from i t s place i n the system. It  was  claimed  that  Hobbes  developed  a  theory  of  dispositions  -1.07-  utilizing  the notion o f i n t e r n a l motions.  were d i s t i n g u i s h e d i n t o  These i n t e r n a l motions  two categories: those  which give  objects  t h e i r p a r t i c u l a r character as the kind o f objects that they are, and those  that  are the f i r s t  interesting since  stirrings  of voluntary  action.  The  form o f motion from my point o f view i s the former,  i t i s the p h y s i c a l basis of responses.  I have taken the  a n a l y s i s o f Hobbes on character t r a i t s down to t h i s l e v e l , because I believe  that  inexorable  i f there  i s to be some p l a u s i b l e story about the  shape o f character  f o r Hobbesian  i n d i v i d u a l s then i t  would need to be found here, i n the most d e t a i l e d account he gives. I can f i n d no such s t o r y , and thus conclude that there i s nothing i n the  detail  adequately The  of  Hobbes'  physiological  psychology  which  would  ground egoism. connecting  l i n k between t h i s chapter  idea o f a d i s p o s i t i o n t o a c t .  and the next i s the  In t h i s chapter  the focus was on  objects i n general, but i n the next i t i s human beings.  I f the  argument o f t h i s chapter i s sound, then the character o f i n d i v i d u a l men w i l l need to be explained by reference to c e r t a i n factors other than t h e i r basic psychological make-up.  I hold that Hobbes does a  f a i r job o f t h i s i n De Homine, where he s t r i v e s t o create an account of how human d i s p o s i t i o n s are formed. theory  as h i s e t h i c s ,  material  i n h i s ethics  He sees t h i s  and my suggestion t o ground  part o f h i s  i s that there  his political  theory  i s ample without  recourse to dubious notions about i n e v i t a b l e egoism; notions that i n my opinion Hobbes never espoused.  -108-  CHAPTER IV  CHARACTER AND SELF-PRESERVATION  -109-  4.1  From Conatus to Character  In  Chapter  psychology and  2  David  was c r i t i c i z e d  d i d not impugn  Gauthier's  account  But the c r i t i c i s m  Gauthier's  important.  suggests Hobbes'  But having  rejected  view  was o f l i m i t e d  more general  psychology i s inseparable from his- p o l i t i c s . and  o f Hobbes'  thesis  of  scope,  that Hobbes'  That I take t o be true  the connection  that Gauthier  I must readdress the question o f the r e l a t i o n s h i p between politics  and i t s psychological premises.  How  then are  character and psychology r e l a t e d i n Hobbes? To begin w i t h , Hobbes o c c a s i o n a l l y r e f e r s t o something  he c a l l s  "the whole nature o f man", o r , when he s p e l l s i t out i n terms of human powers, "strength of body, experience, reason, and passion." (E.L., 70) He suggests that human nature i s best understood as the composite  of these  four  powers.  Then again  c l o s e r to our conception o f psychology Nature  there  i s something  appearing as part o f Human  (E.L., 1-69), and h i s theory of v i t a l and voluntary motion.  A l l three o f these: human nature as a s e t o f powers and both the empirical  and more s p e c u l a t i v e p h y s i o l o g i c a l  psychology  should be  set to one s i d e f o r the moment, since none o f them plays a r o l e o f importance i n h i s theory o f character.  With respect to t h i s theory  we need t o address the i s s u e o f d i s p o s i t i o n s , and i n p a r t i c u l a r the passions.  The passions, taken very g e n e r a l l y , are "the same i n a l l  men, d e s i r e ,  fear,  hope,  etc.;"  (E.W. I l l ,  x i ) ; what tends to  d i f f e r e n t i a t e are the s p e c i f i c objects o f the passions, since these depend on "the c o n s t i t u t i o n i n d i v i d u a l , and p a r t i c u l a r education", (ibid.)  Anyone who intends "to govern a whole n a t i o n " ( i b i d . , x i i )  -110-.  will  need  to  understand  the  political  significance  passions; that i s , t h e i r impact on c i v i l order.  of  human  He w i l l not attempt  to read the more i n s c r u t a b l e d e t a i l of i n d i v i d u a l characters. task i s possible only f o r "him that searcheth hearts",  That  (ibid.)  A r i s t o t l e remarked t h a t : Moral v i r t u e comes about as a r e s u l t of h a b i t , whence also i t s name ethike i s one that i s formed by a s l i g h t v a r i a t i o n from the word ethos ( h a b i t ) . (1103a20f.)  S i m i l a r l y for Hobbes the treatment of our " d i s p o s i t i o n s and manners, is our  c a l l e d e t h i c s " (E.W.I, 11) and civil  thus d i s t i n c t from the matter of  duties which i s covered i n " p o l i t i c s ,  philosophy",  (ibid)  or  simply  civil  Hobbes argues that i n order to have knowledge  of the l a t t e r one must f i r s t "know the d i s p o s i t i o n s , a f f e c t i o n s , and manners of men".(ibid)  Since  character  can  ensemble of a f f e c t i o n s , d i s p o s i t i o n s , and  f a i r l y be seen as  manners, i t i s  the  reasonable  to assume that a science of p o l i t i c s presupposes a firm grasp of the nature  of  character.  More to  the  p o i n t , since  i t i s true  that  Hobbes does so understand character, i t therefore follows that f o r him a theory of character i s the c e n t r a l part of e t h i c s . We  are  now  in a  p o s i t i o n to  answer the  question  about  the  r e l a t i o n s h i p between character and psychology i n Hobbes.  The  latter  is  p h y s i o l o g i c a l account: how  the  brain,  heart, and nervous pathways operate with sensory imput.  The  former  on  based  on  a  speculative  the other hand i s concerned with j u s t those d i s p o s i t i o n s which  a f f e c t the l i f e of men and v i c e s . prerequisite  i n groups; that i s , the manners or v i r t u e s  The wider psychological basis i s presumably the p h y s i c a l for  any  d i s p o s i t i o n s , but  equivalent to a concern with man  a  concern  with  as a sentient creature.  i t is Character  -Ill-  is  o f concern when we adopt the point o f view o f the p o l i t i c a l  philosopher  rather  physicist  is  dispositions, point  than  that  concerned  of the Hobbesian  with  the  but the p o l i t i c a l  o f departure.  He  physical  philosopher  takes  physicist.  The  conditions  for  manners as h i s  does so because o f the relevance  manners have for p o l i t i c a l  order;  thus c e r t a i n human i n c l i n a t i o n s  require study from the p o l i t i c a l point o f view.  Hobbes assumes that  the p o l i t i c a l point of view takes the success o f cooperative of endeavour as fundamental.  that  forms  Subsequently the assessment o f manners  takes s p e c i a l account of t h e i r impact on c i v i l  cooperation.  Since the study o f character or manners has the point that i t does,  one  might  expect  that  Hobbes  would  d i s t i n g u i s h between  d i s p o s i t i o n s i n l i g h t o f t h e i r known e f f e c t s on the i n t e r a c t i o n of individuals.  This i s e x a c t l y what he does.  cut, separating ourselves, those  those i n c l i n a t i o n s  and to leave others  "by which  (E.L., 85)  we  strive  Hobbes makes a c e n t r a l  which lead us to  "accommodate  as f a r as we can behind us", from  mutually  to accommodate  Captured i n the gaze of c i v i l philosophy,  each  other".  that i s , from  the p o l i t i c a l point o f view, men w i l l appear as sets o f p o l i t i c a l l y relevant i n c l i n a t i o n s . civil  right  Thus when Hobbes remarks that " I ground the  o f sovereigns,  and  both  the duty  and  liberty  of  s u b j e c t s , upon the known n a t u r a l i n c l i n a t i o n s o f mankind" (E.W. I l l , 710) he i s saying a t l e a s t two things o f some importance.  Firstly,  a l l o w i n g that he has already d i s t i n g u i s h e d the passions n a t u r a l to all  men  from the desires which are i d i o s y n c r a t i c , he i s a s s e r t i n g  that h i s p o l i t i c a l philosophy r e s t s only on an account o f the common stock  o f human  passions.  Secondly,  assuming  that  i f we  were  -112-  entirely  other-accommodating  pointless,  a  sovereign  and that i f we were t o t a l l y  procedure  indifferent  would  be  to others i t  would be impossible, Hobbes' claim i s that p o l i t i c a l science takes a middle  ground  weaknesses.  in  basing  itself  on  both  our  strengths  and  Our strengths make the whole p r o j e c t v i a b l e , whereas  out weaknesses require the c o n s t r a i n t s that the created sovereign brings to bear.  The l a r g e l y overlooked fact i s that Hobbes says we  are o f mixed nature when analysed life.  In De  sensitivity "charity",  Homine  i n terms o f aptitude f o r c i v i l  a l l o f the i n c l i n a t i o n s  t o the p l i g h t  of others  manifesting our  are gathered  together  as  (DeH., 69-70) whereas the absence o f them i s taken to  argue a "mind i n s e n s i b l e t o another's e v i l s " , ( i b i d . ) In terms o f the three d i f f e r e n t psychology: the  four  character;  ( i ) human nature considered as a generic term covering faculties; only  ( i i ) physiological  the l a s t  p o l i t i c a l point o f view. conatus human  c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n s we have o f  i s the object  psychology;  and ( i i i )  of scrutiny  from the  Since I have presented Hobbes' account of  as the m a t e r i a l i s t background to a theory of character or dispositions,  h i s physiological  theory  stands  intermediate  between the p h y s i c a l theory o f conatus and the theory of character. Thus on my reading there i s a reasonably c l e a r sense i n which Hobbes d i d create a s e t o f connections connecting bodies  j o i n i n g physics to p o l i t i c s .  element i s the theory  per se i n De Corpore,  of dispositions:  The  a p p l i c a b l e to  to human beings  i n De Homine, and  f i n a l l y t o human beings as c i t i z e n s i n De Cive.  Looked a t i n these  terms each one of Hobbes' three books i l l u m i n a t e s a d i f f e r e n t aspect of the human being.  I t i s p a r t l y the f a i l u r e t o separate the points  -113-  of  view  peculiar  t o each  o f them  that  has occasioned  so many  objections to Hobbes' p r o j e c t . I f we begin with the object  of a n a l y s i s described merely as a  human being we can trace the movement between the d i f f e r e n t points of view.  Physics c o n s t i t u t e s one such point of view, since we a r e ,  among other things, material e n t i t i e s . physiological  Psychology, taken as Hobbes'  account of a c t i o n , considers  man as an animal  a p p e t i t e s , and p o l i t i c s or the science o f the body p o l i t i c  with  considers  the r o l e of the c i t i z e n and man's aptitude f o r i t . In a d d i t i o n t o being  the matter o f the body p o l i t i c  Hobbes' p o l i t i c a l  point  task  a context  of creating  contained,  politics  view, because there  man i s also i t s maker, and  o f view i s i n t i m a t e l y connected with the within  which  i s the culmination  our appetites  o f the e a r l i e r  the matter o f the body  self-conscious shaper o f that matter.  politic  can be  points o f  i s also the  To be a s k i l l e d a r t i f i c e r one  must have intimate knowledge o f the matter upon which one's c r a f t works. In the case of Hobbes' p o l i t i c s knowledge of human character counts as t h i s e s s e n t i a l knowledge. I  began t h i s  section  with  a question  between Hobbes' psychology and p o l i t i c s . that  the more c e n t r a l  between h i s theory  question  o f character  was  about the r e l a t i o n s h i p I t was then established  one about the r e l a t i o n s h i p  and p o l i t i c s ; t h i s second  question  emerged once the p o l i t i c a l l y relevant aspect o f Hobbes' psychology h i s theory o f character theory  o f character,  - had been located.  In as much as Hobbes'  "the known natural i n c l i n a t i o n s o f mankind",  forms the basis o f h i s accounts o f both l i b e r t y and s u b j e c t i o n , the most  crucial  relation  between  character  and p o l i t i c s  i s this:  -Unc e r t a i n aspects o f character make the s t a t e necessary whereas others make i t p o s s i b l e .  We turn now to Hobbes' d e t a i l e d  treatment  of  character.  4.2  On D i s p o s i t i o n s and Manners  Hobbes introduces h i s account of the determination of character with  the remark that d i s p o s i t i o n s are "men's i n c l i n a t i o n s  certain  things".  (DeH., 63)  This  i s immediately  toward  followed by a  statement o f the ways i n which i n c l i n a t i o n s are acquired, and s i x sources  are mentioned: the c o n s t i t u t i o n  habit,  the goods  authority. looks  o f fortune,  A list  like  this:  of the body,  experience,  s e l f - e s t i m a t i o n , and  f i g u r e s of  of the t r a i t s timidity,  stubborness,  cautiousness,  diffidence,  vituperativeness,  that Hobbes a c t u a l l y  daringness,  liveliness,  foolhardiness, impudence, covetousness,  discusses dullness,  ambitiousness,  censoriousness  and  jealousy. This l i s t  reads  l i k e a catalogue of s o c i a l l i a b i l i t i e s , almost  ignoring the t r a i t s which f a c i l i t a t e s o c i a l l i f e . concentrate  on these  traits  Why does Hobbes  to the exclusion o f others, and what  does he say about the e r a d i c a t i o n o f undesirable t r a i t s ? to  the f i r s t  question  i s surprising.  Rather  than,  The answer  as one might  expect, being given a mixture o f t r a i t s , we are given most o f the qualities  of  character  which  Hobbes  was  to  pin-point  as  p r e c i p i t a t i n g causes leading t o the C i v i l War. In  the f i r s t  position  part of Behemoth Hobbes considers the vulnerable  o f the k i n g , and has one o f the p a r t i c i p a n t s i n the  -115-  dialogue ask, "how  came the people to be  so corrupted?  kind of people were they that could so seduce them?"  And  what  By way  of  answer he i s given a l i s t of c o r r u p t i n g i n f l u e n c e s : Presbyterians; Papists;  Sectaries;  the  classics  of  Greek  and  Roman  antiquity;  market c i t i e s ; and an incomplete grasp of what i s o b l i g a t o r y . are p r e c i s e l y the elements f a c t o r s which  These  that appear when Hobbes described those  are instrumental i n forming d i s p o s i t i o n s .  Consider  the following passages from De Homine: Therefore among a l l peoples', r e l i g i o n and d o c t r i n e , which everyone hath been taught from t h e i r early years, so shackle them forever that they hate and r e v i l e d i s s e n t e r s : as i s made manifest p r i n c i p a l l y from the books o f theologians ( f o r whom, of a l l people, i t i s l e a s t f i t t i n g ) , which are f u l l of the most atrocious abuse. The d i s p o s i t i o n of these men i s not s u i t e d to peace and society.( DeH., 65) Ancient nobility makes the disposition affable, because i n bestowing honour on someone, they can be bountiful and kind to a l l , since under a l l circumstances they are secure enough about the honour due to themselves. The d i s p o s i t i o n of new n o b i l i t y i s more suspicious, l i k e those who, not yet c e r t a i n enough of how much honour ought to be bestowed on themselves, often become excessively harsh toward i n f e r i o r s and excessively d i f f i d e n t toward equals, ( i b i d . , 66) From the opinion that one hath of oneself. Whence i t also happens that those who to themselves seem wise, and are not, have a disposition unsuited f o r c o r r e c t i n g t h e i r own f a u l t s . For they do not believe that anything i n them needs c o r r e c t i n g . On the contrary, they are i n c l i n e d e i t h e r to correct others' deeds, or to be v i t u p e r a t i v e or s c o r n f u l about them, l i k e those who b e l i e v e that whatsoever they see being done contrary to t h e i r own opinion i s being done improperly. And so they judge a s t a t e to be badly governed which i s not governed as they themselves wish; and as a r e s u l t they are more s u i t e d than other men to new t h i n g s . Those who to themselves seem learned have the same d i s p o s i t i o n ; f o r to themselves they seem wise; f o r no man desires to be learned unless l e a r n i n g leads to wisdom. Whence i t happens that pedagogues are most frequently censorious and a n t i s o c i a l i n d i s p o s i t i o n , l i k e those who, because  -116-  they see that they have been selected t o regulate the manners o f youths, scarcely abstain from censuring the manners o f t h e i r own fathers, even though dead, ( i b i d . , 66) Also those, who are c a l l e d to regulate p u b l i c morals by t h e i r teaching ( e s p e c i a l l y doctors o f the Church and they not knowing by whom they are c a l l e d t o so great a m i n i s t r y ) , demand that kings themselves, the supreme governors o f the Church, be r u l e d by them; yea, with the greatest danger t o the s t a t e , they wish i t to seem that t h i s o f f i c e hath been granted t o them, not by k i n g s , and by those whom God hath commissioned for the care and safety o f the people, but d i r e c t l y by God. ( i b i d . , 66-7) S i m i l a r l y , those who are elected by the s t a t e to i n t e r p r e t the laws cannnot but seem to themselves wiser than other men, so great i s the testimony that they have received from the s t a t e . And so they demand to use t h e i r o f f i c e not so much for d e c l a r i n g what i s r i g h t , that i s , f o r explaining the laws (that i s , the state's mandates), but often even for l a y i n g down what i s r i g h t , that i s , f o r commanding the highest, that i s , for compelling order i n the s t a t e : something that frequently i s wont t o be the s t a r t o f c i v i l wars, e s p e c i a l l y when the r u l e r s of the s t a t e are accused o f i n j u s t i c e by those who are considered to be most expert i n law, but who are i n fact a most inexpert mob. ( i b i d . , 67) There a r e , however, books which were w r i t t e n by c i t i z e n s o f Rome, when democracy was f l o u r i s h i n g or recently e x t i n c t (and also by Greeks, when the r e p u b l i c o f Athens was f l o u r i s h i n g ) , that are f i l l e d with both examples and precepts that make people's d i s p o s i t i o n h o s t i l e t o kings;...In t r u t h , the people's d i s p o s i t i o n hath up to now been g r e a t l y corrupted by the reading o f books and the l i s t e n i n g t o s i r e n songs of those who want supreme power i n the kingdom to belong t o an e c c l e s i a s t i c i n c i v i l form, ( i b i d . , 68)  This  material  from  De  Homine  appeared  ten years  before  Charles I I refused permission for the p u b l i c a t i o n o f Behemoth. it  What  suggests i s that Hobbes' d e t a i l e d treatment o f d i s p o s i t i o n s and  manners i s c e n t r a l t o h i s thoughts on the matter o f c i v i l i t y and peace.  The  examples  vituperativeness,  of  the v i c e s ,  censoriousness  and  particularly covetousness,  diffidence, attach  to  -117-  theologians, the new n o b i l i t y , pedagogues, and lawyers.  So, at one  l e v e l the answer to the question of why Hobbes introduced so many character flaws i n t o h i s treatment o f manners i n De Homine i s t h a t , given h i s views about the relevance of character to p o l i t i c s , h i s i n t r o d u c t i o n o f examples allows him to preview the reasons he would u l t i m a t e l y o f f e r to e x p l a i n the p u b l i c ' s propensity to abandon the Royal a u t h o r i t y . With  respect  to  the  second  matter  d i s p o s i t i o n s - Hobbes i s f o r t h r i g h t .  -  the  alteration  of  His claim i s that d i s p o s i t i o n s  are subject to i n c u l c a t i o n and change.  Since he began h i s treatment  with what were i n the main undesirable t r a i t s , i t i s no s u r p r i s e that he goes on to the matter of change f i r s t : Men's d i s p o s i t i o n s are corrected by adverse events, namely a daring d i s p o s i t i o n by frequent misfortune, an ambitious one by repeated setbacks, and an impudent one by repeated coldness. (DeH., 65) I t would hardly be unusual i f we found Hobbes agreeing that some of the d i s p o s i t i o n s he t r e a t s were open to change.  After a l l , i f a  love of democracy i s bred i n t o the young through study o f c l a s s i c a l political  philosophy, then presumably the i n c l i n a t i o n to see i t as  the best form o f government i s a c u l t u r a l a r t i f a c t . different  cultural  milieu  would  different  predilection.  alteration  are the more fundamental,  timidity.  These  But  too are open  in  what  Subsequently  a l l likelihood  Hobbes  explains  traits,  t o change  like  through  produce as  open  a a to  daringness  and  the impact  of  experience. Hobbes wants to d i s t i n g u i s h between adverse experience as a mode of  character change, and what  he r e f e r s  to as h a b i t .  In  both  -118-  instances however the change e f f e c t e d seems t o be quite fundamental: From habit: because of t h i s , that those things that offend when new (that i s , those things that man's nature i n i t i a l l y r e s i s t s ) more often than not whet that same nature when repeated; and those things that at f i r s t are merely endured soon compel love. ( I b i d . , 64-65)  We face  here, w i t h i n the theory  o f human d i s p o s i t i o n s ,  the same  issue about change of nature that was broached i n the example o f the cross-bow l a t h .  Hobbes i n s i s t e d that the a l t e r a t i o n i n the bow that  was l e f t drawn for a very long time be seen as fundamental; i n some sense a l t e r i n g  i t s very  nature.  Furthermore, he claimed  that the  l a t h ' s i n i t i a l i n c l i n a t i o n t o spring back t o the shape i t was cast in,  and i t s l a t e r  paradigmatic: or  aversion  shape,  was  i n some  sense  i r r e s p e c t i v e o f the subject i n question being animate  not, the basic  precisely  t o that  account  the same  terms.  o f d i s p o s i t i o n s i s t o be given i n Endeavour  motions  of  constituent  p a r t i c l e s are e s s e n t i a l l y what the d i s p o s i t i o n a l basis i s . Yet despite the d i s t i n c t i o n between experiences as  and habituation  modes of change, the key process at the basis of both i s the  same.  In the case o f the long bent cross-bow the story i s t o l d i n  terms of i t e r a t e d endeavours; i n the case o f habit the important aspect seems t o be r e p e t i t i o n again. alteration  toward  adverse experiences cautious  In both the end r e s u l t i s an  r e v e r s a l o f some i n i t i a l  Finally,  with  changing a rash or impetuous person i n t o a more  one, the i t e r a t i o n of an experience  a l t e r i n g a nature  bent.  i s given the r o l e of  that i s characterized as, i n i t i a l l y ,  daring.  I  postulate that the underlying basis f o r character change i n Hobbes'  -119-  theory  i s the process of endeavour motion.  change  from being  impetuous  to  being  What i s phenomenally a  cautious  i s e s s e n t i a l l y an  a l t e r a t i o n of endeavour motions i n sets of p a r t i c l e s . Human nature i s going to be properly thought of as f i x e d i f that nature i s understood i n one way the  conceptual  experience. actual  composite  But  appetites  that Hobbes describes i t , namely as  of  reason,  strength,  when human nature i s looked and  aversions,  as  at  distinct  passion,  i n terms of  from  a p p e t i t i v e , then human nature becomes more diverse: we to the nature of p a r t i c u l a r human beings.  and  groups  of  individuals.  simply  are  looking  Human nature, so  My  claim  our  being  i s explored through an a n a l y s i s o f the forms that passions individuals  and  taken, take i n  i s that  while  Hobbes takes appetite and aversion as p r i m i t i v e , that i s , as a quite f i x e d b a s i s , he sees a l t e r a t i o n at the l e v e l of p a r t i c u l a r desires as i n some respects equally fundamental.  Witness what he says about  habituation that a l t e r s our i n i t i a l appetites. Up  to t h i s point very  little  has  been s a i d about the  role of  reason v i s a v i s the d i s p o s i t i o n s . Reason only comes to the fore at that  moment  when  d i s p o s i t i o n s and scheme.  Hobbes  manners.  explains  the  relationship  "Manners" i s a defined  between  term i n Hobbes'  In Leviathan we are t o l d that "Manners" are not "the small  morals; but  those q u a l i t i e s of mankind, that concern t h e i r  together i n peace, and u n i t y " . (E.W.III, 85)  living  S i m i l a r l y , i n De Cive,  when discussing the r a t i o n a l assessment of q u a l i t i e s l i k e modesty, equity, t r u s t , humanity, and mercy, or  h a b i t s , that  catalogue  i s , virtues".  Hobbes c a l l s them "good manners  (E.W.  I I , 48)  Subsequently,  any  of laws of nature, i f read as recommending these q u a l i t i e s  -120-  and  others as constituents of character, w i l l  rightly  deserve  the  t i t l e of moral law: The law therefore, i n the means to peace, commands also good manners, or the p r a c t i c e of v i r t u e ; and therefore i t i s c a l l e d moral. ( i b i d ) Good manners are those d i s p o s i t i o n s c r u c i a l f o r the success civil  of the  e n t e r p r i s e , i f only i n the straightforward respect that t h e i r  opposites - the vices - play the d e c i s i v e r o l e i n undermining i t . It i s the r o l e of reason to assess which q u a l i t i e s conduce t o , and which are d e s t r u c t i v e o f , c i v i l accord. Hobbes takes  even greater  pains  i n De  Homine than he  did i n  Leviathan to accurately r e l a t e h i s p r i n c i p a l terms: D i s p o s i t i o n s , when they are so strengthened by habit that they beget t h e i r actions with ease and with reason u n r e s i s t i n g , are c a l l e d manners. (DeH., 68)  Thus manners are morally relevant q u a l i t i e s found i n the characters of i n d i v i d u a l human beings. drift  of h i s argument we  Following both Hobbes' usage and  reach  the  the conclusion t h a t , "manners, i f  they be good, are c a l l e d v i r t u e s , i f e v i l , v i c e s . " ( i b i d . )  But i f  manners  reason  are  dispositions  strengthened  by  u n r e s i s t i n g " , then whether or not someone has v i c e w i l l be as r e a l and certain  o b j e c t i v e an  metal i s malleable  This i s Hobbes' view.  habit  "with  a certain virtue  issue as whether or not  or a  when heated to 100 degrees centigrade.  However, can  Hobbes hold such a view about  moral properties given h i s s u b j e c t i v i s t a n a l y s i s of "good" and "bad"? The answer to t h i s question i s that Hobbes i s j u s t i f i e d , w i t h i n the  terms of h i s own  o b j e c t i v e i n character.  theory,  i n holding that moral q u a l i t i e s  To appreciate why  are  t h i s i s the case we need  -121-  to return to the matter of perspective; i n p a r t i c u l a r the point of view. position  of  The the  political  political  point of view i s synonymous with  political  philosopher  who  considers  d i s p o s i t i o n s i n terms of t h e i r aptitude for c i v i l l i f e .  the  men's  I t i s to be  compared with what might be c a l l e d the n a t u r a l point of view, from which  men  are  sentients.  considered  not  as  prospective  citizens  but  as  The n a t u r a l point of view i s that of Hobbes' p h y s i c i s t .  There are no moral properties from the n a t u r a l point of view, since the object of c i v i l l i f e i s not given by nature; yet when that is  given  by  character  adopting  are assessable  the  political  stance,  by  reference  to the  then  qualities  political  aim of  benchmark:  "the goodness of actions to c o n s i s t i n t h i s , that i t was i n order to peace,  and  the  (E.W..II, 48-9)  evil  in  this,  that  it  related  to  discord."  Once again, t h i s point i s remade i n De Homine:  So, condensing t h i s whole teaching on manners i n t o the fewest words, I say that good d i s p o s i t i o n s are those which are s u i t a b l e for entering i n t o c i v i l s o c i e t y ; and good manners (that i s , moral v i r t u e s ) are those whereby what was entered upon can best be preserved. (DeH., 70)  There i s nothing virtues.  inconstant or subjective about the v i c e s  They have t h e i r c a t e g o r i c a l basis i n n e u t r a l conatus.  there  i s something c h a o t i c a l l y inconstant  vices  and  virtues.  The  section of  about the  Leviathan  evaluation  chapter  four  and But of ("Of  Speech") dealing with "inconstant names" makes t h i s abundantly c l e a r : And therefore i n reasoning a man must take heed of words; which besides the s i g n i f i c a t i o n of what we imagine of t h e i r nature, have a s i g n i f i c a t i o n also of the nature, d i s p o s i t i o n , and i n t e r e s t of the speaker; such as are the names of v i r t u e s and v i c e s ; for one man c a l l e t h wisdom, what another c a l l e t h fear; and one c r u e l t y , wha~E another justice...And therefore such  -122-  names can never be true grounds of any (E.W.Ill, and see DeH., 68-9)  ratiocination.  This passage from Leviathan does not assert that v i c e s and  virtues  are inconstant; nor does i t imply that no sound moral reasoning can u t i l i z e the notions o f v i c e and v i r t u e .  I t says that the names can  never be the s o l i d ground of such reasoning.  As the previous quote  from De Homine argues, and as other remarks i n De Cive suggest, the traits  of character which have a dramatic  social  life  are  destroy i t . may  constant:  (E.W.II, A6)  the  virtues  impact  improve  The judgments men  on the tone  i t and  of  the v i c e s  make about these t r a i t s  w e l l be personal and biased, but that i s n e i t h e r here nor there  with  respect to the nature of the t r a i t s  themselves  (where t h e i r  nature i s understood as t h e i r s o c i a l impact). His theory of character i s Hobbes  1  moral psychology, and at the  same time that aspect of h i s psychology But there i s another aspect of Hobbes thought to be of c r u c i a l importance  1  relevant to h i s p o l i t i c s .  psychology which i s generally  to h i s p o l i t i c a l theory without  n e c e s s a r i l y being considered a part of h i s theory of character as we have begun to a r t i c u l a t e i t ;  that i s , as a theory about manners.  But there i s good reason to see s e l f - p r e s e r v a t i o n and character as parts  of  one  account  of  in  Hobbes'  self-preservation motivation.  dispositions work  i_f you  issues  as  a  believe  that  theory  about  Since many have understood Hobbes to be suggesting that  s e l f - p r e s e r v a t i o n i s the most dominant motive (or the s o l e motive) it his  i s appropriate to consider the r o l e of s e l f - p r e s e r v a t i o n w i t h i n theory.  In  the  section  following  s e l f - p r e s e r v a t i o n i s a more protean  I  conception  will  argue  that  i n Hobbes than i s  -123-  usually  acknowledged.  Subsequently  between self-maintenance and  I  shall  make  self-preservation;  a distinction  the f i r s t  property of a l l s e n t i e n t s , and the second a consideration  being a that can  take a number of forms i n humans: bodily s e l f - p r e s e r v a t i o n and the preservation  o f self-image are two such forms.  that s e l f - p r e s e r v a t i o n does not stamp Hobbes because  i t does  required  way.  not  affect  h i s account  1  of  It  w i l l be argued  e t h i c s as e g o i s t i c a l , dispositions  i n the  In other words what he says about s e l f - p r e s e r v a t i o n ,  i n a l l o f i t s forms o f i n t e r e s t to him, does not provide any uniform account  of motivation,  and  such  a uniform account  i s needed to  support the view that Hobbes' p o s i t i o n i s e g o i s t i c a l .  4.3  Self-Preservation  D.D.  Raphael and T.A.  Hobbes who  Spragens are among the modern w r i t e r s on  see an i d e n t i t y between h i s views on  and what they l a b e l as "egoism".  self-preservation  Here i s a passage from a recent  work o f Raphael's: If anarchy or war between men i s n a t u r a l , i t i s l i k e l y , or at l e a s t p o s s i b l e , the causes l i e i n human nature. Hobbes thinks we know by experience that human nature i s predominantly e g o i s t i c . Men are mainly out for t h e i r own i n t e r e s t s . That i s why they compete and f i g h t . But why i s human nature e g o i s t i c ? Because the natural tendency of any organism i s to preserve i t s own l i f e . E a r l i e r i n the same discussion Raphael had gone i n t o the question of n a t u r a l tendencies i n a l i t t l e more d e t a i l : A l i v i n g thing does have the tendency to go on l i v i n g , and so i t behaves i n ways that w i l l a s s i s t t h i s tendency. In a conscious being, l i k e man, the tendency o f the organism appears i n the mind as a desire for self-preservation...the desire for  -124-  s e l f - p r e s e r v a t i o n or aversion from fundamental motive o f human conduct -.  death  i s the  1  This point about the human expression o f the basic organic tendency is  s u c c i n c t l y stated by Raphael.  However, the point, that humans  have an innate motive t o s e l f - p r e s e r v a t i o n , i s not one that Hobbes espoused.  Further t o t h i s , despite the f a c t that Hobbes d i d have a  view about s e l f - p r e s e r v i n g mechanisms i n a l l organisms, h i s view on the matter does not e n t a i l that humans are i n e v i t a b l y e g o i s t i c . To begin with, consider the core o f Raphael's p o s i t i o n .  I t can  be stated as two premises: (1) A l l l i v i n g organisms have a preservatory tendency; (2) In conscious operates  organisms  as  like  a•- desire  man a s e l f - p r e s e r v a t o r y (or  a  fundamental  tendency  motive)  for  self-preservation. I have agreed that (2)  (1) s t a t e s p r e c i s e l y what Hobbes believed, but  does not accurately  believes  that  because  represent  a Hobbesian  thesis.  a l l men have preservatory  Raphael  mechanisms, and  because the mechanism works as a motive, Hobbesian men are thereby all  egoists.  But the very  way i n which  Raphael  argument m i l i t a t e s against the conclusion he wants. to  say, as he does,  that  men  introduces h i s I t i s one thing  are "predominantly"  or  "mainly"  e g o i s t i c , and quite another t o say that t h e i r motivation i s i n n a t e l y egoistic.  I t i s undeniable  that  Hobbes saw a t h i c k streak o f  egocentrism i n human nature, and Raphael i s aware o f the f a c t . the evidence he intends t o present humans  exists  as an  Yet  - the view that preservation i n  e g o i s t i c motivational  structure  -  is,i f  c o r r e c t , evidence for a much stronger conclusion: men are not mainly  -1-25-  e g o i s t i c , they are uniformly so. The argument of the next three sections i s designed to show that (1) i s t r u e , and that (2) i s c e r t a i n l y not true i n the sense that Raphael intends.  I f i t were merely intended  t o express the fact  that men are by and l a r g e s e l f - i n t e r e s t e d creatures I believe that i t would adequately capture Hobbes' point o f view. The case that Spragens makes f o r an e g o i s t i c reading o f Hobbes i s very s i m i l a r to Raphael's: In Hobbes' world o f i n e r t i a l motion, t h i s fundamental metaphysical postulate i s transformed from the perception of a u n i v e r s a l tendency of a l l things to grow i n t o a b e l i e f that a l l nature possesses a universal tendency to persist. All nature fundamentally desires i t s self-preservation...Man, as a natural creature, i s no d i f f e r e n t . He i s possessed by an o v e r r i d i n g n a t u r a l tendency to seek h i s self-preservation...This fundamental, irreducible natural desire t o p e r s i s t i n one's being, t o preserve o n e s e l f . . . i s the o n t o l o g i c a l foundation of natural right. 2  The statement of the p o s i t i o n i s more grandiose the same point i s made.  than Raphael's, but  Men, consistent with being part o f nature,  have s e l f - p r e s e r v i n g mechanisms.  In the human being t h i s mechanism  takes the form o f an unwavering desire f o r continued l i f e . has  argued  for the same conclusion,  "self-preservation action"." All  is a  necessary  captured and  Gauthier  i n the claim  basic  motive  of  that, human  5  three  of  these  writers  recognize  the  importance  of  preservatory mechanisms w i t h i n Hobbes' theory; but they b e l i e v e that the  presence  action. Their  of the mechanism  r e s u l t s i n an  Egoism i s taken to be the nature common  error  i s to  have  e g o i s t i c mode of  o f Hobbesian d e s i r i n g .  collapsed  Hobbes  1  account  of  -126-  motivation i n t o h i s account o f appetite and aversion.  The nature o f  human desire i s , f o r Hobbes, i n t i m a t e l y connected with the mechanism for  s e l f - p r e s e r v a t i o n , but that mechanism works a t a l e v e l  that of reasons f o r a c t i o n . allowing  that  men  considerations  may  of  underestimate  the  below  Hence there i s no d i f f i c u l t y i n Hobbes  have  bodily  reasons  f o r action  preservation.  primacy  of  bodily  that  The  override  tendency  self-preservation  to  would,  however, be j u s t as much a mistake as to consider i t the s i n g l e and overriding could  motivation  construct  i n Hobbesian men.  a stable  civil  order  Hobbes' b e l i e f presupposes  that  he  that  most men  accept reasons o f b o d i l y s e l f - p r e s e r v a t i o n as s u f f i c i e n t .  To deny  t h i s would be to f a i l t o see a dominant thread i n h i s p o l i t i c s . The assumptions that Hobbes employs i n h i s p o l i t i c s are i n some respects  exactly  like  those of A r i s t o t l e ,  and indeed, l i k e  Homer alludes t o i n the second book o f h i s I l i a d .  those  When Odysseus i s  sent t o h a l t the Achaian exodus he employs two s t y l e s o f persuasion: "whenever he encountered some k i n g , or man o f i n f l u e n c e , he would stand  beside  'Excellency! coward. saw  him  and  with  soft  words  t r y to  i t does not become you to be  and reprove him a l s o :  l i s t e n to what others 4  l i k e any 1  his staff,  you"".  frightened  him:  Rather hold f a s t and check the r e s t o f the people .. .When he  some man o f the people who was shouting,  with  restrain  Similarly,  tell  he would s t r i k e him  'Excellency!  S i t s t i l l and  you, t o those who are better men than  i n the Nicomachean Ethics  A r i s t o t l e comments  that: It i s the nature o f the many to y i e l d t o the suggestions o f fear rather than honour, and t o abstain from e v i l not because of the disgrace but the penalties e n t a i l e d by not abstaining people are by  and large r e a d i e r to submit to punishment and compulsion than be moved by arguments and i d e a l s . (1179b 11-13 and 1180a 3-4) Hobbes, l i k e A r i s t o t l e and Homer, was s o c i e t y , whose conceptions  f a m i l i a r with an a r i s t o c r a t i c  of honour and  e n t a i l disdain for p h y s i c a l d e s t r u c t i o n .  reputation  could  easily  His intimate knowledge of  t h i s c u l t u r e makes i t implausible to believe that he would  simply  f a i l to accommodate i t s motivations i n t o t h i s theory of a c t i o n . In summary then, I hold that i t i s best to frame a conception  of  Hobbes' theory of character and motivation which allows a place for those whose behaviour i s governed by men  may  be  "arguments and  unresponsive to considerations  ideals".  of honour, and  Most  perhaps  some who are responsive need to be addressed i n other terms as w e l l ; but Hobbes' point of departure take  him  to  have thrown  a  i s not accurately represented  blanket  of  coercion  over  the  i f we entire  p o l i t i c a l domain.  4;4  Self-Maintenance  On  at l e a s t two  j u s t one  occasions  Hobbes draws a t t e n t i o n to humans as  species of s e n t i e n t creature.  The  most important  i s the  s e c t i o n of De Corpore dealing with animal sensation, and the other a reference  i n De Cive.  By looking to these two  that Hobbes goes some way all  sentients  self-maintenance), that,  "from  their  can  see  toward d i s t i n g u i s h i n g the n a t u r a l urge i n  (something  that  from conscious first  places we  birth,  I  shall  motivation. as  they  In De are  designate  as  Cive he  says  merely  sensible  creatures, they have t h i s d i s p o s i t i o n , that immediately as much as  -128-  in  them  lies  they  desire  and do whatever  i s best  pleasing t o  them...." (E.W.II, x v i ) Since a new born has no ideas about what does  and  does  disposition  not conduce  to i t s preservation,  i t manifests might  be, i t i s c l e a r l y  depends on the operation o f reasons. appetite/aversion world. the  mechanism  whatever  the  not one that  Presumably then the i n f a n t ' s  is_ i t s mode o f accommodation t o the  In De Corpore Hobbes uses the example o f a foetus t o make  same point: And i n animal motion t h i s i s the very f i r s t endeavour, and found even i n the embryo; which while i t i s i n the womb, moveth i t s limbs with voluntary motion, f o r the avoiding o f whatsoever troubleth i t , or f o r the pursuing of what pleaseth i t . (E.W.I, 407)  Human  beings  are c o r r e c t l y  thought  of  as  self-maintaining  because they have the appetite/aversion mechanism.  In t h i s they are  not unique, but merely one among the group o f sentient creatures. So,  Hobbes'  remark  beginning whereof  that  life  i s "but a motion  i s i n some p r i n c i p a l  of limbs, the  part w i t h i n " ,  (E.W.Ill,ix)  a p p l i e s equally to a l l creatures with hearts and limbs; the heart being that " p r i n c i p a l part w i t h i n " a c t i n g as the prime mover. conatus  of  the  heart,  " i t s own  internal  natural  The  motion",  (E.W.I, 391) enables i t t o receive and respond t o the inflow o f sensory imput.  But there are r e a l l y two species o f conatus motion  here and not one: the conatus o f the heart i n and o f i t s e l f ( i t s natural  motion), and the conatus or endeavour  stage i n a c t i o n .  The f i r s t  that  i s the f i r s t  o f these two forms o f conatus motion  characterizes the heart as the kind o f organ that i t i s , while the second connects d i r e c t l y  with the c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n o f a c t i o n s .  s e l f - m a i n t a i n i n g system acts to preserve i t s e l f ,  A  but i f I am r i g h t  -129-  about Hobbes, then we should l i m i t the range o f self-maintenance t o the autonomic functions of the heart.  The heart  itself  a c t s , and  i t s a c t i o n i s the p r i n c i p a l part i n the s e l f - m a i n t a i n i n g system; but its  actions  cannot be characterized  i n the way that  actions can. Our i n t e r e s t i n human motivation rewarded by d e t a i l s o f the heart's man  i s a p p e t i t i v e , and equally  conception his not  i s not advanced or  endeavour motions. obviously  he  purposes and what i s h i s conception a l l o f these  Obviously  i s guided  of what i s good and serves h i s purposes.  t r y to answer  the agent's  with  by h i s  But what are  o f the good?  questions  a  Hobbes does  an account of  self-maintenance. In order to see that he does not, we can turn to a comparison o f the  Hobbesian  Spinoza.  conatus  with  In the t h i r d  the s t r i k i n g l y  book  of h i s Ethics  similar Spinoza  theory  of  asserts the  following: Everything, i n so f a r as i t i s i n i t s e l f , to p e r s i s t i n i t s own being. (Prop. VI)  He  adds  immediately  that  "the endeavour,  endeavours to p e r s i s t i n i t s own being, a c t u a l essence o f the t h i n g i n question."  endeavours  wherewith  i s nothing  everything  else but the  (Prop. V I I ) Both of these  propositions f i t quite w e l l with Hobbes' understanding o f bodies as characterized by t h e i r conatus, and moreover, as persevering the  continuation  of this  form o f motion.  Going  through  further however,  Spinoza says that the endeavour to p e r s i s t , "when r e f e r r e d s o l e l y to the mind, i s c a l l e d WILL, and when r e f e r r e d t o the mind and the body in  conjunction  i t i s c a l l e d APPETITE." (Prop. IX,note)  Desiring i s  thought by Spinoza t o be the conscious r e a l i z a t i o n o f appetite and  -130-  thus i t would seem t o follow that  man i s i n essence a d e s i r i n g  creature; again a p e r f e c t l y good Hobbesian d o c t r i n e . is  where the s i m i l a r i t y  ends, f o r i n e x p l a i n i n g  However, that  the r e l a t i o n s h i p  between opinions and desires Spinoza reverses the order that Hobbes gives them: It i s thus p l a i n from what has been s a i d , that i n no case do we s t r i v e f o r , wish f o r , long f o r , or desire anything, because we deem i t to be good, but on the other hand we deem a thing to be good, because we s t r i v e f o r i t , wish f o r i t , long for i t , or desire i t . (Ibid)  Spinoza desiring  appears to be saying  something, are inseparable  appetite.  that  striving  f o r , seeking, or  from the mechanics o f bodily  We take i t that he would be equally opposed t o seeing  these as e i t h e r caused by some bodily states or causing states i n their aspect,  turn.  The mental aspect,  will,  appetite, are presumably separable  thought experiment.  only  the bodily  and the physical f o r the sake o f a  Now, since Hobbes believes that conceptions are  reducible to the motion o f p a r t i c l e s i n the brain., and that appetite i s a systemic matter c e n t r i n g on the heart, he i s not d i s t i n g u i s h i n g between w i l l and appetite i n a d u a l i s t way.  Indeed, i n so f a r as  w i l l i s merely the l a s t appetite before a c t i o n , he seems to deny the sense o f the d i s t i n c t i o n  a t a l l . But that d e n i a l i s misleading.  Hobbes  a causal  gives  conceptions  role  i n the determination  of  a c t i o n ; the claim being that opinions govern the w i l l , and thus that opinions  govern  appetites:  "consequently,  our w i l l s  follow our  opinions, as our actions follow our w i l l s . . . t h e world i s governed by opinion."  (E.L., 63) In the Anti-White manuscript Hobbes commented  t h a t , " i n God the w i l l does not follow the reason, as i n men: that  -131-  men w i l l something because the reason keeps saying that [ t h i s thing] i s good." (T.W., 393) Reason might s e l e c t on the basis of appetite's stated  criteria,  but on occasion  i t may pronounce a course  requires habituation contrary t o e x i s t i n g t a s t e . treat w i l l  and appetite i n a way more akin  that  Spinoza appears t o  t o the way i n which  Hobbes t r e a t s God's w i l l ; that i s , as coextensive with opinion. Unlike Spinoza then,  Hobbes does not allow self-maintenance  to  swallow the r o l e o f opinions about the d e s i r a b l e .  I f these opinions  are  particular  the element  actions,  then  governing  we  i n order  a considered  actions  statesman.  seek  will  view  be  to explain  about  the predominant  e s s e n t i a l knowledge  for a  human  opinions Hobbesian  But why a l l opinions about the d e s i r a b l e or worthwhile  should be generated from concerns with b o d i l y s e l f - p r e s e r v a t i o n i s not  clear.  If  self-maintaining  the  autonomic,  mechanism  heart  i n Hobbesian  nothing of i n t e r e s t about human motivation.  based  system  sentients,  i s the  that  argues  There may be r e a l point  i n expecting most men t o adopt s t r a t e g i e s that are not i n f l a g r a n t opposition t o preservation, but that expectation for Hobbes i s based on knowledge o f what most people cherish most, and i s not derived from the story he t e l l s  about sensation.  contrast between self-maintenance affect  preservation  l e t us  In order  to make t h i s  and opinion-governed-actions  consider  the Hobbesian  that  p o s i t i o n on  suicide.  4:5  Natural Necessity and Suicide  There i s a passage i n De Cive which appears t o fuse the urge to  -132-  self-maintenance and the motive of s e l f - p r e s e r v a t i o n : For every man i s desirous of what i s good f o r him, and shuns what i s e v i l , but c h i e f l y the c h i e f e s t of natural e v i l s , which i s death; and t h i s he doth by a c e r t a i n impulsion o f nature, no l e s s than that whereby a stone moves downward. (E.W.II,8) Hobbes i s usually taken to be saying that avoidance of death i s as omnipresent a motive as g r a v i t y i s a force. his is  I f that were genuinely  p o s i t i o n , then i n company with h i s claim t h a t , "of two e v i l s i t impossible not to choose the l e a s t " ,  ( i b i d . , 26) we would have  enough material to v a l i d l y i n f e r on h i s behalf that i t i s impossible to  ever  choose  death  before  dishonour.  i n e v i t a b l e i f death i s everywhere I  This  conclusion seems  and always the worst e v e n t u a l i t y .  take i t that t h i s conclusion suggests one of two things: e i t h e r  Hobbes has constructed a theory which f a i l s to account f o r a portion of  human motivation, or the i n t e r p r e t a t i o n assumed above i s f a u l t y .  The l a t t e r i s the case. Without denying for a moment that death i s "the t e r r i b l e enemy of nature... from whom we expect both the l o s s o f a l l power, and a l s o the greatest of b o d i l y pains i n the l o s i n g " , (E.L., 71) i t i s patent that some deaths are worse than others.  In p a r t i c u l a r , death a f t e r  t o r t u r e seems worse than a painless death without i t . any  sane person, was  well  aware o f t h i s and  said  Hobbes, l i k e  as much i n De  Homine: [T]he greatest o f goods for each i s his own preservation. For nature i s so arranged that a l l desire good for themselves. Insofar as i t i s w i t h i n t h e i r c a p a c i t i e s , i t i s necessary to desire l i f e , health, and f u r t h e r , i n s o f a r as i t can be done, s e c u r i t y o f future time. On the other hand, though death i s the greatest of a l l e v i l s ( e s p e c i a l l y when accompanied by t o r t u r e ) , the pains o f l i f e can be so great t h a t , unless t h e i r quick end i s foreseen, they  -133-  may lead men 48-49) There  to number death among the goods.  (De.H.,  i s every reason to believe that De - Homine i s Hobbes  considered work on psychology and e t h i c s . question of whether  most  So we are faced with the  i t s pronouncements on death are, or are not,  consistent with the passage began.  1  from De Cive with which t h i s  section  I hold that the two are p e r f e c t l y consistent and hence that  s e l f - p r e s e r v a t i o n i s i n no sense a necessary motive. To begin with, renderings.  the De  Firstly,  Cive passage  there i s the one  i s open to at l e a s t  two  I have considered already  where death i s the worst of a l l possible e v i l s and i t s avoidance i s paramount. of  On t h i s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n there can be no r a t i o n a l seeking  death, even where one death i s preferable to another.  Secondly,  and rather obviously, we could take Hobbes to be saying that  men  shun what they take to be e v i l , and that death i s almost always seen as an e v i l . of  On the f i r s t reading avoidance of death has the status  a natural necessity, whereas on the second avoidance of e v i l  that  status.  Furthermore,  this  second  reading  allows  us  has to  e n t e r t a i n the p o s s i b i l i t y that death, while perhaps never chosen f o r i t s own sake, i s capable o f being chosen.  Saying that i t may  rank  among the goods i s to say no more than that i t may be the l e s s e r of two  evils.  Consequently,  i f we  accept  the  second  reading  and  combine i t with the point about the necessity of choosing the l e s s e r evil,  we  avoid  choiceworthy. for  the  conclusion  That we  that  death  i s necessarily  never  should accept the second reading i s argued  by the fact that Hobbes begins the passage  from De Homine with  p r e c i s e l y the same remarks about the arrangements of nature that he  -134-  captured  i n the a l l u s i o n to g r a v i t y found i n the De Cive passage.  Thus he_ obviously  wants  (attaching to the  choice  to  allow  a  sense  of  natural  necessity  of l e s s e r e v i l s ) that does not  with death sometimes being r a t i o n a l l y sought.  conflict  Further evidence for  our p o s i t i o n derives from the statement that what i s good, "follows from  the  nature  circumstances  of  circumstances",  (ibid.,47)  are not normal, but i n Hobbes  1  Admittedly  the  England t o r t u r e was  a  feature of the j u d i c i a l system, despite i t s dubious l e g a l i t y . Of course Hobbes' l i f e about  death  and  gives us  suffering.  further evidence of h i s views  Anthony  a  Wood,  in  his  Athenae  Oxonienses, reports the f o l l o w i n g story about Hobbes: Being t o l d impossible, f i n d a hole then to be would endure  that a cure for the bladder u l c e r was Hobbes r e p l i e d " I s h a l l be glad then to to creep out of the world a t " , seeming more a f r a i d o f the pains he thought he before he died, than of death.5  This anecdote r e l a t e s to the end of Hobbes' l i f e , but much e a r l i e r , when he  was  in  P a r i s , he  was  treated  by  Guy  Patin  stones.  P a t i n reports that Hobbes s a i d he would prefer to die than  go through another bout of the pain involved i n passing  for  kidney  stones.  6  But having laboured to support a p o s i t i o n that nobody would f i n d exceptionable faced case.  respect  to any  with a famous remark by  philosopher  except Hobbes, I am  Hobbes which threatens  In h i s Dialogue Between a Philosopher  Common Law, his  with  and  to undo  my  a Student of the  Hobbes says that nobody k i l l s himself v o l u n t a r i l y  unless  mind i s unhinged (he i s not compos mentis): I conceive not how any Man can bear Animum felleum, or so much Malice towards himself, as to hurt himself v o l u n t a r i l y , much l e s s k i l l himself; for n a t u r a l l y and necessarily the Intention of every Man aimeth at somewhat, which i s good to himself, and tendeth to h i s  -185-  preservation: And therefore, methinks, i f he kill himself, i t i s to be presumed that he i s not compos mentis, but by some inward Torment or Apprehension of somewhat worse than Death, D i s t r a c t e d . (D., 116-117) The  problem  is  this:  if  men  unable  to  i n t e n t i o n a l l y hurt themselves, leave aside k i l l themselves, then  how  could they ever take t h e i r own or  throw t h e i r  reading  constitutionally  l i v e s to avoid a p a i n f u l a l t e r n a t i v e ,  away over t r i f l e s ?  of the above passage, would be  insane. As  lives  are  The  only answer, on  that they are  one  temporarily  But t h i s passage argues nothing of the kind. i t happens the  case o f  the  s u i c i d e comes i n t o prominence general  because  Hobbes i s considering  the  intent,  and  classified  Philosopher  the  suicide  i n the  is  question as  of  felo  felonious  de  se.  Dialogue s i g n a l s Hobbes' i n t e r e s t when he  The says  t h a t , "[n]or i s i t the manner of punishment that d i s t i n g u i s h e t h the nature the  of one  Crime from another; but the mind of the Offender and  Mischief  he  intendeth,  Circumstances of Person, Time, and considered  prior  to  together  Place." (D., 112)  s u i c i d e : murder, manslaughter  k i l l i n g , the i n q u i r y was accused.  considered  with  the  In the cases and  accidental  i n t o the malice evident i n the mind of the  In contrast with a c c i d e n t a l k i l l i n g , but i n concert  with  murder and manslaughter, s u i c i d e i s i n t e n t i o n a l ; yet i n l i g h t of h i s f i r m c o n v i c t i o n that no man  can w i l l f u l l y embrace what he takes  to  be the worse of two e v i l s , Hobbes i s r e a l l y forced to say that the motivation toward  of  his  himself, no genuinely  the  victim. one  s u i c i d e cannot Thus, since  parallel no  man  i n h i s r i g h t mind could  a felony.  that can  of  the  maliciously  murderer destroy  s u i c i d e i f s u i c i d e were  Subsequently, Hobbes suggests that the s u i c i d e  -136-  be treated as not compos mentis and  thus not a candidate  for the  s t a t u s of f e l o n . But once t h i s much i s i n the open i t i s obvious that the s u i c i d e in  question  little  in  (one common  circumstances damage  and  who  with  death not  apparently the  is a  simply  person  good. causing  gangrenous thumb to save h i s arm this  sense.  intends  thought  who  pain:  himself)  concludes  Presumably  "hurt"  someone  that  takes h i s own  of  as  shares in  the  means wanton  who  cuts  causes pain but does no  Equally, someone who i s not  harm t o  life  off  a  hurt i n  to avoid a  h u r t i n g himself  death  sense.  His i n t e n t i o n to save himself from s u f f e r i n g , i s p r e c i s e l y  the reverse o f the i n t e n t i o n Hobbes assumes when he l e g a l c l a s s i f i c a t i o n of the f e l o de se. the  Dialogue  that men course  in  Hobbes  1  crueler  looks at  the  A l l that the passage from  shows i s that Hobbes s t e a d f a s t l y refuses to b e l i e v e  can desire what they perceive to be bad for them.  that  the  s e c t i o n on s u i c i d e taken from the Dialogue i s of no use to those  who  would  i s what I have been arguing, and  wish  to  argue  that  Hobbes  thus  I conclude  This of  thought  s e l f - p r e s e r v a t i o n an  unshakable motive i n men. So, by way  of conclusion to t h i s s e c t i o n , the mechanism w i t h i n  creatures that works f o r t h e i r self-maintenance men  as the motive to s e l f - p r e s e r v a t i o n .  talks  about the arrangement of nature  does not surface i n  P l a i n l y enough, when Hobbes and  draws an  analogy  with  g r a v i t y he intends us to see the s t r i v i n g for s e l f - p r e s e r v a t i o n as powerfully e f f e c t i v e i n human behaviour; and indeed i t i s . However, to  confuse  the  d i s t o r t s Hobbes  1  utterly theory.  common  with  the  unavoidable  seriously  Not only does s u i c i d e become n e c e s s a r i l y  -137-  i r r a t i o n a l (a f a i r l y minor i s s u e ) , but we lose our a b i l i t y to grasp the  motivations  of those Hobbes describes  about honour and  as being  reputation than about l i f e  more concerned  itself.  Consider for  example a case that Hobbes mentions j u s t p r i o r to h i s treatment of suicide: I f two meeting i n the Street chance to s t r i v e who s h a l l go nearest to the Wall, and thereupon F i g h t i n g , one of them k i l l s the other, I believe v e r i l y he that f i r s t drew h i s Sword d i d i t of Malice forethought, though not long forethought.... (D., 114)  Hobbes doubts that " f e l o n " i s the r i g h t d e s c r i p t i v e term for one "for  who  a word, or a t r i f l e s h a l l draw h i s sword", ( i b i d ) but that i s  beside the point. that  Hobbes was  violence  The  confronted  which was  survival.  example simply  not  Walking  by  serves to r e i n f o r c e the fact  a s o c i e t y that contained  brought about by  to  the  road  side  struggles of  the  a l o t of  over  sidewalk  physical hardly  c o n s t i t u t e s grave r i s k to l i f e , whereas d u e l l i n g c l e a r l y does. the question  of what l a y behind the propensity  to duel we must  To now  turn.  4.6  The Preservation of the S e l f  To  argue,  as  I  have,  that  Hobbesian  individuals  i n t r i n s i c a l l y and i n e v i t a b l y s e l f - p r e s e r v i n g i s one t h i n g .  are  To argue  that they are moved by reasons other than those based i n t h e i r conceptions of good and e v i l i s another. allowed  for the fact that a few  d e s t r u c t i o n i n preference dishonour.  I am  not  own  I assert only that Hobbes  i n d i v i d u a l s would embrace p h y s i c a l  e i t h e r to a more h o r r i b l e death, or  to  therefore committed to the view that death i s not  -138-  uniformly allowed  shunned.  Nothing  for a l t r u i s t i c  asserted so  reasons  f a r implies  for a c t i o n .  that  I f altruism  Hobbes involves  a c t i n g on someone else's conception o f the good, then Hobbes does not recognise i t as a p o s s i b i l i t y . a l e s s gruesome end, or who self-related.  The motivation of those who seek  prefer death to dishonour, i s openly  But the two cases are importantly d i f f e r e n t .  To begin with, s u i c i d i n g to avoid the t o r t u r e r ' s grasp i s simply prudent.  To carry out the act would require courage c e r t a i n l y , but  perhaps  fear o f b o d i l y dismemberment might, depending  means,  be  enough  to  render  only  Refusing unjust means required  a  little  on  courage  f o r preservation, or  available necessary.  risking  life  over a matter of honour i s not prudent i n any obvious sense; quite the reverse.  Men who adventure t h e i r l i v e s over what Hobbes thinks  o f as t r i f l e s may effects  not see the matter as t r i f l i n g , but that hardly  the r i s k y ,  uncertain,  their  course.  Thus as  least  risk  death  of  dangerous  prudence then  these  and  requires  imprudent  taking  individuals  nature  of  the course with  are,  i f rational,  u t i l i z i n g a d i f f e r e n t c a l c u l u s to reach t h e i r decisions. Consider the case o f the person who i s above being "beholden f o r the (E.W.  contentment 111,136)  adherence chase  of  his l i f e ,  to  fraud,  The  principled  avoidance  or  of  promise."  of dishonesty and  to one's word are hardly l i k e l y  for simple material advantage.  breach  strict  to be expedient i n the  Hence the character o f the  i n d i v i d u a l with these q u a l i t i e s operative w i l l not at a l l be those Hobbes describes as seeking "present b e n e f i t " (E.W.11,33 & honesty  45)  But  nor  need he  be  because o f some commitment that  thought  or  of as  i s imposed  like  "profit". practising  from outside  -139-  himself.  I f h i s commitment t o j u s t i c e i s a moral one, i t i s moral  without being s o c i a l l y derived.  In other words h i s action need not  be guided by the b e l i e f that he ought t o bring about the good o f others  for their  general.  sakes,  or  f o r the improvement  of things i n  Why he acts as he does i s presumably to be understood i n  l i g h t o f who he takes himself to be, and what that image o f himself requires  f o r i t s development and care.  There i s nothing  to stop  such an i n d i v i d u a l from t r y i n g to r e a l i z e the good o f others;  being  a c t i v e i n the i n t e r e s t s o f others i s merely one o f the ways i n which a person might be p r i n c i p l e d .  Furthermore, f o l l o w i n g through with  a c t i o n might involve s a c r i f i c e s or even s e l f - s a c r i f i c e .  The point  to grasp i s that the guidance i s i n t e r n a l and by reference  to an  i d e a l o f behaviour which renders some reasons for a c t i o n unavailable. There i s some reason f o r keeping the character o f the j u s t man (Minogue's paragon) separate  from the other  uses when he wants to t y p i f y  examples that  a p r i n c i p l e d imprudence.  Hobbes When he  mentions the son who would "rather d i e than l i v e infamous and hated of a l l the world" (E.W. I I , 83), he does not elaborate on the nature of the son's reasoning  other  than to say that having an infamous  reputation s t r i k e s most as worse than death.  He says neither that  for a son to execute h i s father would be impossible, nor unbearable; rather he claims that no one would act i n t h i s way because o f the dishonour involved. and  There i s nothing at a l l high-minded about t h i s ,  i t i s not c l e a r that the son, as compared with the j u s t man, i s  p o l i s h i n g a model o f excellence. lose  their  S i m i l a r l y , those who "would rather  l i v e s . . . t h a n s u f f e r slander"  p r i c e on reputation than p h y s i c a l s a f e t y .  (ibid.,  38) put a  higher  Honour, as w i l l be argued  .-140-  in  the following chapter, i s a powerful motive  does not ignore.  Indeed  i t would  force that Hobbes  be extraordinary i f he d i d not  allow f o r actions d i s d a i n f u l o f death, e s p e c i a l l y given h i s r o l e as mentor to the young Cavendishes and the advice he gave about young men being too e a s i l y l e d to chance t h e i r l i v e s over minute points o f honour.  7  What the j u s t man  and those who  believe dishonour to be worse  than death have i n common i s a degree o f esteem f o r t h e i r self-image that goes beyond t h e i r preservatory i n s t i n c t s .  The s e l f they aim to  preserve  than  through  action  is a  persona  rather  Cassio, they account reputation everything.  a body I  Like  They are akin to those  "generous" i n d i v i d u a l s whose q u a l i t i e s are "too r a r e l y found to be presumed  on,  especially  i n the  pursuers  of wealth, command, or  sensual pleasure; which are the greatest part o f mankind." (E.WI I I I , 128-9)  In d i s t i n g u i s h i n g  them from those preoccupied with wealth  and command Hobbes i s , thereby, s e t t i n g them apart from the general c l a s s of those whose conception of honour would lead them to duel over matters of deference and innuendo.  Thus I am not t r e a t i n g the  whole c l a s s of those whose self-image i s paramount as homogeneous. It  contains the  best  considers: those who  and  the  are j u s t men  worst  of  the  characters Hobbes  and those whose pride i s the very  t h i n g which makes the s t a t e e s s e n t i a l .  4.7  Preservation and - Reason  When Hobbes says, as he often does, that "of the voluntary acts of every man,  the object i s some good to himself", (E.W..111, 120)  -141-  he has not thereby l i m i t e d an agent's conception preservation of l i f e . of  the  intended  present to  The establishment  chapter.  give  Nonetheless  openly  encouragement, act j u s t l y . offered as g u i d e l i n e s .  of t h i s has been the burden i t is  prudential reasons  d u t i e s ; recognizing that while  of the good to the  clear  that  Hobbes  for observing  social  few would be j u s t most could, with  For the l a t t e r  the laws of nature  are  I t i s an open question as to whether Hobbes  thought that adherence to the guidelines would a l t e r character.  On  t h i s matter Hobbes, l i k e E l i z a b e t h 1, seems i n d i f f e r e n t to opening windows i n t o men's minds.  So the main purpose of the laws of nature  i s to b r i n g about s o c i a l l y cohesive behaviour that i s appreciated to be p r u d e n t i a l l y based: [T]he law • of - nature, that I may define i t , i s the d i c t a t e of r i g h t reason, conversant about those things which are e i t h e r to be done or omitted for the constant preservation of l i f e and members, as much as i n us l i e s . (E.W.11,16)  As maxims for the guidance of action the laws of nature  "concerning  those actions of h i s , which may  damage or  benefit  of  his  e i t h e r redound to  neighbours", come  with  consequences of these a c t i o n s are important they have on the agent's "own  of  the  the  proviso  that  because of the  the  impact  conservation". ( I b i d . , I6n)  I f the laws o f nature  are the r a t i o n a l response to the dangers  the  and  s t a t e of  nature,  i f most men  feel  themselves to  be  vulnerable, then reason, f i r e d by passion, has provided a way out of the  dilemma.  prepared  to  possibility  Further, endorse  as  i f men the  can best  adhere to the maxims they answer, then  for the i n d i v i d u a l s Hobbes describes.  impossible, as Gauthier  peace  is  a  are real  I f adherence i s  has argued, then there i s no way  out.  My  -142-  argument has sought to show that since Hobbesian i n d i v i d u a l s are not intrinsically  maximizers  they might w e l l be  of  selfish  advantage i n the  capable of guiding  their  actions  short  term,  i n terms  of  goals only r e a l i z e d by adherence to a course of long term or o v e r a l l interest.  This does not a l t e r the cast o f t h e i r reasoning;  s t i l l openly and unashamedly p r u d e n t i a l .  i t is  The point i s a f t e r a l l to  encourage c i v i l i t y , not moral excellence. But  why  is civility  a problem?  One  might expect that  since  Hobbes writes from w i t h i n a c i v i l context, and since h i s u t i l i z a t i o n of the state of nature i s as a t h r e a t , that he simply took c i v i l i t y for  granted.  He d i d not.  I f the laws o f nature  are looked at not  as external d i c t a t e s , but rather as i n t e r n a l i z e d modes of operation, then while c i v i l l i f e might i n some respects presuppose that some of them are operative  i n character  recommend them as v i r t u e s . the  v i r t u e s were  not  in  doing  so  invoked  exercised.  Hobbes was  the  Macpherson's a t t e n t i o n to proved penetrating  makes e x c e l l e n t sense to  C i v i l i t y would be a problem i f most of  being  offered an account of why  it still  since he  preoccupied  relevance the  Crawford  of  society  Macpherson  has  with c i v i l i t y ,  and  Hobbes'  within  social  which  context.  Hobbes  lived  succeeded i n demonstrating that  there  were forces a f f e c t i n g the tone of i n t e r a c t i o n over the society as a whole.  However, I b e l i e v e that Macpherson missed the most c r u c i a l  dimension of s o c i a l d i s c o r d , and Hobbes.  An  i n v e s t i g a t i o n of  f o l l o w i n g chapter,  but  the very one  this  dimension  that most exercised occupies  us  in  the  summarily, Macpherson took Hobbes' concern  with c i v i l i t y to be a response to the c e n t r i f u g a l forces of a newly emerging c a p i t a l i s t economy, whereas I see  i t as a response to  a r i s t o c r a c y torn over competing conceptions of honour.  an  =143-  CHAPTER V  HISTORY AND INTERPRETATION I I  -144-  Introduction  In  the f i r s t  chapter  i t was asserted that Quentin  Skinner's  work had served to r e i n s t a t e Hobbes i n two o f the contexts w i t h i n which  he functioned  political  as a t h i n k e r .  context r e f e r r e d  The f i r s t  to as the Engagement  was the s t r i c t l y Controversy.  The  second was the c i r c l e o f philosophers formed l o o s e l y around Mersenne in Paris.  I t was then suggested  new information, Skinner  that despite the presence o f much  chose to accept  the c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n o f  Hobbes' theory o f human nature that was current i n England the l a s t h a l f of the seventeenth  century.  during  My argument began from  the observation that Skinner's research had provided a t l e a s t the clue to a new i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f Hobbes; one based on the surmise that h i s French view  d i s c i p l e s may have been responding t o a d i f f e r e n t  o f h i s work  than  the one that was the object o f so much  c r i t i c i s m i n England. In with  o u t l i n i n g Hobbes' account  h i s p h y s i c a l theory  o f character and i t s connections  I have stayed  close t o the texts 1  In  p a r t i c u l a r I have argued f o r the importance o f De Homine's treatment of human d i s p o s i t i o n s and manners.  In t h i s chapter  I propose t o  come at the question o f d i s p o s i t i o n s and manners i n a d i f f e r e n t way; namely by the i n t r o d u c t i o n o f a t h i r d alongside  the p o l i t i c a l  events  context  around Mersenne, i s placed a debate:  nature  of n o b i l i t y ,  proposal  honour, value,  the debate about the  and worth.  to what Mervyn James has c a l l e d i s that  So,  of 1649-1651 and the i n t e l l e c t u a l  circle  central  f o r Hobbes.  This  debate was  the honour c u l t u r e .  an a p p r e c i a t i o n o f what was a t stake  My  i n this  -145-  primarily  aristocratic  import of Hobbes interaction. is  1  of  is  crucial  for  understanding  the  remarks about human nature and the nature of human  Hobbes  w e l l known; but  nature  debate  nobility  1  l i f e long connection with the Cavendish family what i s l e s s w e l l known are h i s views on and  i t s social  role.  When considered  contributor to t h i s debate Hobbes looks l e s s l i k e a man  the as  a  making broad  g e n e r a l i z a t i o n s about human nature, and rather more l i k e someone who was  mounting a c r i t i q u e of the manners common among the Jacobean and  Caroline  aristocracy.  dispositions  of  As  has  c i t i z e n s as  been the  claimed,  basic  Hobbes  units  in  treated  his  the  political  science; consequently h i s c r i t i q u e of the a r i s t o c r a c y takes the form of an a n a l y s i s of the d i s p o s i t i o n s most prevalent among i t s members. I f the suggestions about Hobbes  1  m i l i e u are c o r r e c t , i t would  seem that c e r t a i n c e n t r a l features of C.B. interpretation  must  be  mistaken.  presented models of man in  detail  lived.  absorbed  Moreover,  and  from Hobbes  Macpherson's w e l l known  Macpherson  holds  that  interpersonal behaviour that were r i c h  the  bourgeois  unwittingly  society  within  presented  about  human c o n d i t i o n .  Hobbes by  demonstrating  models.  There are  Firstly,  I argue that  observations Hobbes was s p e c i f i c and  the  at l e a s t three  historical things  Hobbes' s o c i a l  conscious o f  u n i v e r s a l claims  not g u i l t y of c o n f l a t i o n here.  universal  specificity  wrong with  detail  the  this  i s derived  he  socially  Macpherson seeks to enlighten  of a predominantly a r i s t o c r a t i c m i l i e u . fully  which  these  derived d e t a i l s as i f they were timeless truths about men, aspects of the  Hobbes  of  us his  stance. from h i s  Secondly, that  d i f f e r e n c e between h i s t o r i c a l l y  about human nature, and  that he  was  F i n a l l y , that what Hobbes says about  -446the  historically  s p e c i f i c i s intended  forward as a merely gloomy objective the  abstract.  The  Hobbes' p r i n c i p a l aim Collingwood's  aristocracy.  criticism,  not  put  Hobbes put  forward  c r i t i c i s m s are intended to educate, and  was  sense  and  account of human behaviour i n  s i g n i f i c a n c e of saying that  c r i t i c i s m s i s simply t h i s :  In  as  to educate i n the d i r e c t i o n of Hobbes  was  endeavouring  to  civility.  civilize  the  1  The s t r u c t u r e of t h i s chapter i s as  follows:  (i)  a b r i e f account of the 'Macpherson t h e s i s ;  (ii)  a reminder of what Keith Thomas urged against Macpherson and a statement of what my p o s i t i o n owes to both;  ( i i i ) a consideration  of Hobbes' claims about human nature i n  l i g h t of the u n i v e r s a l / p a r t i c u l a r d i s t i n c t i o n ; (iv)  a discussion of the state of nature;  (v)  an a n a l y s i s of Hobbes on honour, value, and worth;  (vi)  a look at the character of Hobbes' g a l l a n t or magnanimous man  5.2  - h i s p o s i t i v e account of n o b i l i t y .  The-MacphersonThesis  In one Macpherson  of the most i n f l u e n t i a l i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s of Hobbes,  CB.  claims  the  to  have  discerned  an  embedded  model  in  2 Hobbesian  discussion  of  "power, honour, and  i s , so Macpherson says, one unlike his deliberate The  value."  This model  that Hobbes never e x p l i c i t l y  models of man  and  man's natural  formulated, condition.  embedded model i s composed of s o c i a l d e t a i l s taken  "from  3  the  -147-  behaviour  of  society".  4  men  towards  Presumably,  s o c i a l d e t a i l , was us  to believe  each  other  i n claiming  in  that  a  specific  t h i s model, or  that  Hobbes was  made more c r e d i b l e  by  r e p o r t i n g the surface the of  mass of  i n some sense unaware that  Macpherson's claim  f a c t s of s o c i a l l i f e ,  'natural' p r o c l i v i t i e s of men contemporary  of  not a d e l i b e r a t e c o n s t r u c t i o n , Macpherson intends  d e t a i l i n g the mores of "a s p e c i f i c kind of s o c i e t y . " is  kind  society."  In  that but  to  was  This surmise  Hobbes was  not  t r y i n g to get  "at  by looking j u s t below the  attempting  he  present  an  surface abstract  account Hobbes l o s t s i g h t of the h i s t o r i c a l l y s p e c i f i c nature of h i s material. What i s the believes are  s i g n i f i c a n c e of  created  from  elements  appreciate  behaviour  in  does consist milieu,  and  Hobbes' most  his  work as  i f this detail important  a  the  "brilliant 5  So,  derived  then  embedded  condition model.  Hobbes' f a i l u r e  to  the h i s t o r i c a l l y p a r t i c u l a r ,  the  dissection  i f the  from  serves as  models,  Macpherson  the natural  i s made for  society."  social detail  and in  u n i v e r s a l and  contemporary of  found  adjustment  d i s t i n g u i s h between the can  embedded model?  that the e x p l i c i t models of man  Consequently, when an  we  the  a  embedded model  particular social  substance  Macpherson  of men's  is  for both  of  warranted  in  a s s e r t i n g that Hobbes i s best understood by reference to the society h i s work so accurately represents.  The s o c i a l m i l i e u r e f e r r e d to i s  a possessive market s o c i e t y , or c a p i t a l i s m i n i t s nascent form. Macpherson's case r e s t s there  is  the  discussion  of  on  two  honour  pieces of and  evidence.  power which  d i s p l a y the s o c i a l d e t a i l of English c a p i t a l i s m .  Firstly  i s taken  to  Secondly there i s  -148^  De  Cive, and  book.  i n p a r t i c u l a r the  and  first  From t h i s book Macpherson derives Hobbes  psychological  portrait)  interaction).  The  their  Preface  idea  i n t e r a c t i o n can  and that  be  the  state  1  chapter  of  that  models of man  (the  of  nature  Hobbes' propositions  "reduced  to  an  (human  about men  historical  and  measure"  6  is  very much the idea that Hobbes has given us an anatomy o f bourgeois man  under the mistaken b e l i e f that he  But  of course the  force o f  i s anatomizing  man  as such.  Macpherson's argument depends on  the  p l a u s i b i l i t y of h i s i n i t i a l i n t e r p r e t a t i o n , and thus to convince us that  Hobbes'  demonstrate  account  that  is_ predicated  power, honour, and  on  bourgeois  value  are  man  best  he  must  explained  as  bourgeois notions. The  argument of sections 5.4  that Macpherson's i n i t i a l  - 5.7,  i f convincing, w i l l  i n t e r p r e t a t i o n i s flawed.  show  However, I am  not entering i n t o a point by point r e f u t a t i o n of Macpherson. so would leave us with a welter of small p o i n t s , whereas give  the broader l i n e s  of a u n i f i e d  Macpherson's t h e s i s i s mentioned  interpretation.  f o r two  To do  , aim  Subsequently  major reasons.  Firstly  because there are s i m i l a r i t i e s between h i s approach and my own, debts to be acknowledged. o f divergence clear  of  my  and  Secondly because there i s a serious point  between our p o s i t i o n s ; one  formulation  to  so stark that i t allows a  positive thesis  by  a  comparison  with  Macpherson's. Macpherson believes that we are i n a b e t t e r p o s i t i o n to grasp the s i g n i f i c a n c e of Hobbes' theory than he himself was.  We  can  do  t h i s because we are more aware of the forces that shaped h i s society than he.  Further,  Hobbes made general  claims  about human  nature  -149-  which he hoped would gain observers",  7  and  these  acceptance by  claims  were  " a l l honest contemporary  at  best  general  assumptions  conditioned by h i s s o c i e t y . Hobbes'  treatment  of  power,  u n w i t t i n g . d i s s e c t i o n o f behaviour part  of  a  dominant  fully  conscious  concerns  of  honour  value  is  not  an  w i t h i n a possessive market; i t i s  attempt  one  and  to  social  analyse  class:  and  the  criticize  aristocracy.  the Any  propensity we might f e e l to i n t e r p r e t h i s words i n l i g h t of modern theories should be held i n check pending consideration o f h i s intentions.  own  I f we are ignorant of the context w i t h i n which Hobbes  discusses a concept l i k e honour we  are u n l i k e l y to appreciate  the  s i g n i f i c a n c e of h i s remarks.  Hobbes' concern i s seldom with s o c i e t y  broadly  h i s Behemoth  conceived, general,  although  here.  In  value,  his attention i s  Whether Hobbes had  and  any  certainly fixed  the smaller  on  one  conception  group.  as  when h i s object  general i s i r r e l e v a n t to j u s t how inherent i n  counts  of  part  of  an  exception  i s honour  and  English s o c i e t y .  what moves the  society i n  w e l l he understood the problems The  view argued for here i s that  Hobbes did not make u n i v e r s a l claims about the character o f members o f h i s s o c i e t y , but that h i s comments were, and were intended to be, specific.  So, f a r from b e l i e v i n g that Hobbes informs us o b l i q u e l y  about the manners of a possessive  market s o c i e t y , I hold that  d e l i b e r a t e l y addresses us on the question of a r i s t o c r a t i c  he  behaviour.  -150-  5.3-  Keith Thomas  Keith  Thomas'  "The  Social  Origins  of  Hobbes's  Political  Thought" (1965) sets out to " i d e n t i f y some o f the a c t u a l elements i n seventeenth  century  assumptions and appealed."  society  from  which  Hobbes  derived  to which h i s recommendations were l i k e l y  Thomas  believes  that  Macpherson  has  his  to have  misidentified  these elements, and amasses a staggering amount o f evidence to show that i f there was  a s o c i a l imprint on Hobbes' conception  t h e i r i n t e r a c t i o n i t was  one  "reminiscent  1  i n which status i s a l l important."' "  of  paper  "automatically  was  to  discourage  characterizing  Hobbes's  0  An express  future  thought  writers  as  bourgeois  thereby o v e r - s i m p l i f y i n g what i s a highly complex p o s i t i o n . When making out h i s case for t h i s complexity two  important points.  The  who  aim from and  1 , 1 1  Thomas argues f o r  f i r s t concerns the character  finds commonly alluded to by Hobbes: "these men heinously, who  and  o f feudal s o c i e t y , or at  l e a s t of one Thomas'  of men  who  traits  one  take i n s u l t s so  resent o b l i g a t i o n s to t h e i r equals (E.W.Ill, 87),  and  even care for t h e i r c h i l d r e n out o f hope to receive posthumous  honour from them, (E.W.II, 123)  are not obviously...the  denizens of  12 a commercial world." Hobbes "had ethical  second a r i s e s from Thomas' remark that  a whole theory o f h i s t o r i c a l change, according to which  codes change to  society.""'"' tensions  The  5  reflect  the  changing basis  Hobbes' i n s i g h t , according  created  w i t h i n the  to  a r i s t o c r a c y by  of  Thomas, was conflicting  power i n into  the  notions  of  n o b i l i t y ; moreover he cleaved to the "old Renaissance p r i n c i p l e that virtue  rather  than  birth  constituted  true  1  nobility", ^  and  -151-  opposed the claim that n o b i l i t y rested e i t h e r i n lineage or " v i r t u e military".'''  5  Both o f Thomas' points chapter.  are taken up and elaborated  i n this  The f i r s t provides the occasion t o discuss Hobbes  o f nature.  It will  be suggested that the s t a t e o f nature  n a t u r a l condition i s constructed  1  state or the  by Hobbes as a c a r i c a t u r e o f the  a n t i - s o c i a l exchanges i n t r i n s i c t o the o l d , m i l i t a r i l y based, honour culture.  His lesson being that no s t a b l e s o c i e t y i s possible where  t h i s e t h i c i s predominant.  The second allows us t o i n v e s t i g a t e the  context o f Hobbes' discussion o f honour and value.  Following Thomas  I hold that Hobbes i s making a point i n an ongoing debate, and i n the same s p i r i t as was Montaigne when he gave the f o l l o w i n g advice to Princes who might have been too impressed by the archaic models of m i l i t a r y v i r t u e : We see merchants, v i l l a g e j u s t i c e s , and a r t i s a n s keeping up with the n o b i l i t y i n valour and m i l i t a r y knowledge. They do honourably i n both public and p r i v a t e combats; they f i g h t , they defend c i t i e s i n our wars. A prince's d i s t i n c t i o n i s smothered among t h i s crowd. Let him shine with humanity, t r u t h f u l n e s s , l o y a l t y , moderation, and e s p e c i a l l y j u s t i c e , marks that are r a r e , unknown, and banished. I t i s only by the w i l l of the people that he can do h i s job, and no other q u a l i t i e s can f l a t t e r t h e i r w i l l as much as these, which are much more u s e f u l t o them than others. Nothing i s so popular as goodness (Cicero).16  Thomas does not stop at the claim that Hobbes contributed t o a contemporary suggest  that  nobility."'' "noble",  7  debate we  about can  the nature  see  in  In 2.5 I considered  o f honour, he goes on to  Hobbes  a  preferred  model  of  some t r a i t s of Hobbes' " g a l l a n t " ,  or j u s t man, and h i s features are merely part o f Hobbes'  -152-  more I n c l u s i v e p r o t r a i t o f the g a l l a n t i n d i v i d u a l . this  individual  again,  because  the  We must turn to  characteristics  of  pride  g l o r y i n g that Hobbes a t t r i b u t e s to him r a i s e i n t e r e s t i n g about the  tenability  of my  view of Hobbes.  and  questions  This i s the subject  matter of 5.7. So, Macpherson's t h e s i s , with i t s i n s i s t e n c e on the h i s t o r i c a l dimension  to Hobbes' model o f man  and  the  state of  nature,  and  Thomas' learned r e b u t t a l , have both deeply i n f l u e n c e d the d i r e c t i o n taken i n t h i s f i n a l chapter.  Like them I b e l i e v e that reference to  the context of Hobbes' t h e o r i z i n g helps i n understanding the theory itself;  but  u n l i k e Macpherson  I do  not  hold  that  the  Hobbes' i n s i g h t s awaited a twentieth century audience.  power  of  I f anything,  Hobbes may have been speaking more d i r e c t l y to a generation that was almost past when he wrote.  I f Lawrence Stone i s c o r r e c t , the forces  which were i n the process o f p u l l i n g the Caroline a r i s t o c r a c y apart -18 were  only  insight  partly  perceived  i n t o these  by  Hobbes.  However,  forces does not i n any  his  lack  of  sense suggest  that  he  not obvious  to  conveyed them at a deeper l e v e l , a l e v e l that was him.  That aspect of Macpherson's view i s e n t i r e l y r e j e c t e d .  5.4.  Human Nature  In  4.1  I d i s t i n g u i s h e d four  things  that  aspects o f Hobbes' t h e o r i z i n g about psychology.  might  a l l rank  The f i r s t was what  Hobbes c a l l e d "man's nature" (E.L., 2) or simply human nature. second was and  physiological  cognitive  psychology  capacities);  the  (the mechanics of our third  as  descriptive  The  sensory  psychology  -153-  (accounts o f dreaming, remembering e t c . ) ; and the fourth h i s theory of character.  The t h i r d of these i s o f no relevance t o our p r o j e c t ,  and the second and fourth have played t h e i r parts i n chapters two, three and four. It  The f i r s t w i l l occupy us now.  was Hobbes  1  interest  in civil  order  which  motivated h i s  i n q u i r y i n t o human nature, and h i s conclusions about what form that order must take were supported views on human nature.  by the premises  which d e t a i l e d h i s  However, the argument to date has been that  Hobbes' assumptions about human nature are found  i n what he says  regarding character or d i s p o s i t i o n s and not i n what he says at the abstract l e v e l about human nature as such.  What Hobbes says about  human nature i n general i s d e l i b e r a t e l y circumscribed; both by the d e s i r e to be u t t e r l y uncontentious pitfall the  he thought  assumption  and by the d e s i r e t o avoid the  he discerned i n c l a s s i c a l p o l i t i c a l  that  aptitude  for c i v i l  (as d i s t i n c t  s o c i a l ) l i f e was i n t r i n s i c to human nature. connected,  since i n aiming  philosophy: from  mere  These two desires are  to establish a p o l i t i c a l  theory on an  uncontentious basis Hobbes was thereby r e j e c t i n g any strategy which rested on one or more contentious theses.  Aristotle's politics i s  rejected for p r e c i s e l y t h i s reason. (E.L.,88) Our  nature  as human  beings,  consistent with  our status as  material e n t i t i e s , i s given i n terms of powers or c a p a c i t i e s . In the precedent chapters hath been s e t f o r t h the whole nature of man, c o n s i s t i n g i n the powers n a t u r a l of h i s body and mind, and may a l l be comprehended i n these four: strength o f body, experience, reason, and passion. (E.!_.,70)  -154-  This i s the bare account o f human nature i n terms o f the f a c u l t i e s which compose i t . political  In i t s e l f t h i s account would hardly do t o found a  theory, and i n De Cive Hobbes i n d i c a t e s how i t must be  enriched to accomplish that task: The f a c u l t i e s o f human nature may be reduced unto four kinds; bodily strength, experience, reason, passion. Taking the beginning o f t h i s f o l l o w i n g doctrine from these, we w i l l declare, i n the f i r s t place, what manner o f i n c l i n a t i o n s men who are endued with these f a c u l t i e s bear towards each other, and whether, and by what f a c u l t y they are born apt f o r s o c i e t y , and t o preserve themselves against mutual violence (E.W. I I , 1-2).  Passion i s Hobbes of  1  primary concern, and h i s a t t e n t i o n to the forms  human emotion i s designed t o show i n general which i n c l i n a t i o n s  are,  and which are not, conducive to c i v i l amity.  The treatment of  passions as i n c l i n a t i o n s i s fundamental t o Hobbes' account o f human character.  I have considered the matter i n chapter four and w i l l  return t o i t at 5.7.  But why does Hobbes begin h i s major  political  t r e a t i s e (De Cive) with a sustained attempt to show that none o f the faculties  o f human  nature  society?  I believe  that  - as described  i t i s because  - make man  fit  for  Hobbes wants to reverse,  rather that j u s t n e u t r a l i z e , the assumptions o f c l a s s i c a l  political  theory. Immediately a f t e r mention of the f a c u l t i e s c o n s t i t u t i n g human nature Hobbes proposes t o s e t t l e "whether, and by what f a c u l t y they [ i . e . , men] are born apt f o r s o c i e t y , " ( i b i d ) . specific political tells  aim: t o demolish animals.  us about  the assumption  Hobbes' attack  the c l a s s i c a l  This endeavour has a  that  human beings are  i s important l e s s  position  f o r what i t  than what we learn  about  -155-  Hobbes'  concern  with we  civil  are  told,  association are  and  discerned  its  conditions.  Men,  congress and  mutual correspondence" ( i b i d . , 2n); so i t i s c r u c i a l  not to confuse our s o c i a l nature, captured  to be  necessary  "desirous  i n the remark that  "men  (even nature compelling) d e s i r e to come together" ( i b i d . ) , with c i v i l nature. anything  The  could be, whereas the l a t t e r i s not.  bees;  our  former i s , as Hobbes s t a t e s , as natural to us as P r e c i s e l y the same  point i s made i n Hobbes' comparison of human beings with the and  of  creatures  whose  "natural  inclination"  ants  (ibid.,66)  is  s u f f i c i e n t to create peace and well-being w i t h i n t h e i r communities. Ants and  bees are equipped by  God,  v i a nature, with  inclinations  that put communal aims above personal p r o j e c t s ; but i t i s what they lack  (thoughts of pre-eminence, p r i v a t e judgements about r i g h t  wrong etc.) that allows t h e i r s o c i a l i n c l i n a t i o n s to be without  friction.  So, whatever one may  and  coordinated  say about s o c i a l  impulses,  something above and beyond n a t u r a l concord must be created i n order to. reach the c i v i l form o f l i f e . Hobbes makes the same case i n a somewhat d i f f e r e n t way; time i n terms of f r i e n d s h i p , l o v e , and sociableness. that while men  combat the  His point i s  have deep personal attachments to some others, t h i s  form of love cannot be the basis of c i v i l s o c i e t y . to  this  view  that  humans are  political  He c l e a r l y wants  animals  who  "come  together, and d e l i g h t i n each other's company" ( i b i d . , 3) n a t u r a l l y , as the outcome of some t r a i t common to a l l . able to deny t h i s l a t t e r view without that nobody loves anybody but himself.  Hobbes i s l e g i t i m a t e l y  thereby  endorsing  the claim  In Be Cive, the source I am  now r e l y i n g on, Hobbes explains the target t h e s i s - the view above -  -156-  in  terms o f a form o f i n d i f f e r e n t love f o r a l l .  I f society were  based on the love o f man, then everyone would love everyone.  That  form o f i n d i f f e r e n t love f o r members o f our species does not e x i s t , and  Hobbes says that i t does not e x i s t .  deals  with  love,  In those places where he  and e s p e c i a l l y i n The Elements o f Law, he i s  anxious  to d i s t i n g u i s h "the love  pleasure  they take i n one another's company; and by which men are  s a i d to be sociable by nature", binds  one person to another.  men  (E.L.,  bear  to one another, or  43) from the passion which  Hobbes point  i n De Cive  was  that  s o c i e t y i s not based on some generalized form o f t h i s l a t t e r species of love, t r a n s f e r a b l e from one person to another ad -infinitum. is  still  amounts (ibid.)  endorsing  the view  that  men  to no more than t h a t s o c i a l i z i n g So, we must avoid  are s o c i a b l e , since can be. a  the temptation  "present  He that  good"!  to i n t e r p r e t Hobbes as  saying that there i s r_o n a t u r a l dimension to the s o c i a l nature o f civil  life.  Family, lineage and friends are a l l w i t h i n the s o c i a l  world, but the nature o f those i n t e r a c t i o n s i s to be contrasted with those that operate i n the c i v i l aspect o f the s o c i a l world. Civil  association  is a  network  r e l a t i o n s h i p s between strangers.  of  deliberately  In h i s The - Table-Talk,  contrived and under  the t i t l e "Charity", Selden w r i t e s : CHARITY to strangers i s enjoined i n the t e x t . By strangers i s there understood those that are not o f our own k i n , strangers to our blood; not those you cannot t e l l whence they come: that i s , be c h a r i t a b l e to your neighbours whom you know to be honest poor people.I 9  Assuming, as seems to be Selden's  i n t e n t i o n , that strangers are  -157-  those  with  whom  we  have  no  family  or emotional  ties,  then  "strangers" i n h i s sense w i l l cover a l l o f the others with whom one interacts i n social l i f e .  Cur r e l a t i o n s with strangers, u n l i k e our  friendships,  by Hobbes to be instrumental  are assumed  and thus  p e r f e c t l y captured by the idea o f contractual r e l a t i o n s . Hobbes'  conclusion  f a c u l t i e s o f reason, assured  i s that  our human  nature  (those  passion, strength and experience) provides no  basis f o r the success o f c i v i l a s s o c i a t i o n .  But worse than  t h i s , when we turn t o an examination o f the i n c l i n a t i o n s creatures  with  this  particular  elements o f discord rather  faculty  the assumption he claims  theory.  But i n going  theory  t o the d i v i s i v e  observing  o f the a r t i f i c i a l  the actual  individuals  (Selden's  motivations strangers)  To that  to f i n d  space  Hobbes  political  Hobbes begins  civil  explain  associate with  a t t e n t i o n turns to those instrumental  extent  His strategy i s to b u i l d called  which  found i n f i n d the  i n classical  inclinations  where he believes a remedy i s most needed. a  endowment we  than concord.  reverses  up  four  society by  why unconnected  each other.  When  i n t e r a c t i o n s outside o f love  and a f f i n i t y there i s an undeniable r i n g o f t r u t h i n the remark that: We do not therefore by nature seek s o c i e t y f o r i t s own sake, but that we may receive some honour or p r o f i t from i t ; these we desire p r i m a r i l y , that secondarily. (E.W. i l , 3 )  If  i t i s correct t o think that Hobbes sees nothing  c i v i l , as  d i s t i n c t from s o c i a l , i n human nature, i t might be worth considering j u s t how c i v i l  Hobbes considered  civil  s o c i e t y to be.  brings us t o a consideration o f the s t a t e o f nature. us  cause to reconsider  the apparently  This query  I t also gives  s o c i a l examples that Hobbes  -158uses when d e t a i l i n g the i n c l i n a t i o n s o f men who are, so i t seems, supposed to be i n the s t a t e o f nature.  There i s no reason t o be  much surprised a t Hobbes' account o f the s t a t e o f nature, since i t s u t i l i z a t i o n of s o c i a l or c i v i l examples allows him to explain which inclinations  and modes  anti-social  manners.  character.  Hobbes'  complex,  o f behaviour The  reasons  but i t c e r t a i n l y  state  manifest  of nature  f o r using allows  the d i v i s i v e  i s ever  the device  him to address  and  present i n  are no doubt men  who are  c u r r e n t l y i n a society without n e c e s s a r i l y having any aptitude t o be citizens.  He says that the "laws o f nature" are the "conditions of  s o c i e t y " , ( i b i d . , 2) and, since he agrees that h i s audience i s part of a society he must agree that the conditions o f society hold to some degree there and then.  So, consistent with the s t a t e o f nature  operating as a warning, i t would seem to follow that Hobbes saw h i s audience i n terms o f mixed characters: the  seeds of both c i v i l  appreciate social  amity  men w i t h i n whom there were  and discord.  Subsequently we can  that the s t a t e o f nature can be described  examples because i t s presence i n the character  p e r f e c t l y consistent with t h e i r being  i n terms o f of men i s  s o c i a l , but imperfectly  civil  creatures.  5.5--  The State of Nature  (a) The s t a t e o f nature as a s t a t e o f mind  Most w r i t e r s on Hobbes would agree that h i s s t a t e o f nature i s not intended as an h i s t o r i c a l account o f what men were l i k e p r i o r to  -159-  the c r e a t i o n o f s t a t e s .  The importance o f the notion i s l e s s f o r  what i t t e l l s us about p r e - c i v i l man than what i t shows us about i t s opposite:  the c i v i l  condition.  Construed  as an a n a l y t i c  device  Hobbes' s t a t e o f nature i s a graphic account o f what we are l e f t with  once  the sovereign  interactions  departs  and men  i n the absence of law.  are forced  t o manage  To the extent that we are  impressed by the nastiness o f the n a t u r a l condition we are expected to  support those precepts which Hobbes o f f e r s as the conditions of  civil  life,  the n a t u r a l laws.  This p o s i t i o n  on Hobbes' s t a t e o f  nature i s informative about how to understand h i s p r o j e c t , but i t s view  i s limited.  We are cautioned not t o read Hobbes as e i t h e r  h i s t o r y or anthropology, and we are d i r e c t e d t o the l o g i c a l point o f his  employment o f the concept.  (5.5  (a)) w i l l  construed  be that  as an account  The argument o f t h i s sub-section  Hobbes' s t a t e of certain  of nature should a l s o be character t r a i t s  consequences f o r the development of c i v i l amity.  and t h e i r  The emphasis i s on  the s t a t e o f nature as a condition w i t h i n  men rather than as a  c o n d i t i o n within which men f i n d themselves.  Subsequently, the move  out o f the s t a t e o f nature might be thought o f as a change within men rather than merely a change i n t h e i r environmental circumstances. Hobbes thought  that  De Cive,  "this  little  work  o f mine",  (E.W.II, v i i ) contained a demonstration of "the absolute necessity of  leagues and c o n t r a c t s " , ( i b i d . )  The conclusion demonstrated i s ,  i n Leviathan, r e f e r r e d t o as an "inference, made from the passions", (E.W.Ill, 114) and there i s a tendency t o look back t o chapter s i x of  that work - the chapter on the passions - as the basis f o r the  i n f e r e n c e ; but that i s an e r r o r .  The c l e a r and, a t l e a s t to Hobbes,  -160-  obvious  truth  which  allows  the inference  i s that  human  nature  contains properties which are responsible both f o r p r e c i p i t a t i n g men i n t o discord (the "concupiscible p a r t , which desires to appropriate t o i t s e l f the use o f those things i n which a l l others have a j o i n t interest", ("the  ( E . W . I I , v i i ) ) and f o r showing them the way out again  rational,  which  teaches  every  man to f l y a contra-natural  d i s s o l u t i o n , as the greatest mischief that can a r r i v e t o nature:" (ibid)).  A p e r f e c t l y p l a u s i b l e way to take  blaming the passions affairs.  and commending  It i s this  reading,  this  passage i s as  the r o l e o f reason i n human  p l a u s i b l e though  i t i s , that can  obscure the more subtle point that Hobbes i s a c t u a l l y making. Using an image that  appears elsewhere, Hobbes writes o f h i s  method i n c i v i l philosophy as f o l l o w s : For everything i s best understood by i t s c o n s t i t u t i v e causes. For as i n a watch, or some such small engine, the matter, f i g u r e , and motion of the wheels cannot w e l l be known, except i t be taken insunder and viewed i n p a r t s ; so to make a more curious search i n t o the r i g h t s o f s t a t e s and the duties o f subjects, i t i s necessary, I say, not t o take them insunder, but yet that they be so considered as i f they were d i s s o l v e d ; that i s , that we r i g h t l y understand what the q u a l i t y o f human nature i s , i n what matters i t i s , i n what not, f i t to make up a c i v i l government, and how men must be agreed amongst themselves that intend t o grow up i n t o a well-grounded s t a t e , ( i b i d . , x i v ) This method o f " f e i g n i n g . . . a n n i h i l a t i o n ( E i w . l j 91) or " p r i v a t i o n " , 1  once  applied  to c i v i l  philosophy,  requires  that  we d i s s o l v e the  s t a t e i n t o i t s constituent parts - human beings - and see how they are n a t u r a l l y r e l a t e d (that i s , r e l a t e d i n terms o f the q u a l i t i e s o f t h e i r bare untutored  faculties).  point) i s a dissolved s t a t e .  The s t a t e o f nature (our s t a r t i n g  But that i s merely the beginning, f o r  -161-  the method requires f u r t h e r that we look at the constituent elements in  terms of t h e i r aptitude for c i v i l government.  takes  This further step  us i n t o the psychological dimension of the s t a t e of  suggesting  that  i t i s particular  formations  Hobbes i s concerned to i n v e s t i g a t e .  Put  of the  nature,  passions  i n another way,  that  although  Hobbes' conception of sovereign r u l e i s "an inference drawn from the passions", manners.  i t is  an  inference  drawn  from  passions  embodied  Consequently i t i s no accident that i n the three  as  chapters  of Leviathan which immediately precede the t h i r t e e n t h ' s account of the  natural  condition,  Hobbes t r e a t s a r i s t o c r a t i c  preoccupations  with honour and worth, manners that are of s p e c i a l concern to success of c i v i l l i f e , and r e l i g i o n . are  discussed  in  terms  of  the  These features of s o c i a l  a t t i t u d e s and  life  d i s p o s i t i o n s , and  the  inference to "some coercive power" (E.W.II, x i v ) i s premised on that d i s c u s s i o n , not the e a r l i e r account of the passions. A further reason for accepting that Hobbes' argument r e s t s on his  account of manners, rather than the treatment of the passions  such, a r i s e s from what he says about the o r i g i n s of contention fear  of  one  another.  He  believes  r e p e r t o i r e of emotions, but He  also holds  that c i v i l  that  a l l men  d i f f e r e n t objects  peace i s d i f f i c u l t  t h i s " d i v e r s i t y of passions, i n divers men". question the  of s u i t a b i l i t y  passions  for c i v i l  i n general,  "MANNERS...those q u a l i t i e s together  i n peace and  but of  life  have  the  as and  same  for those emotions. to obtain because of  (E.W.III. 85)  i s not one  Thus the  r e v o l v i n g about  about something more i d i o s y n c r a t i c , mankind, that  unity." (ibid.)  concern  their  living  The image i n De Cive of the  -162-  stones  collected  for  a  building  conveys  Hobbes'  concern  with  aptitude: There i s i n men a d i v e r s i t y of d i s p o s i t i o n s to enter i n t o s o c i e t y , a r i s i n g from the d i v e r s i t y of t h e i r a f f e c t i o n s , not u n l i k e that which i s found i n stones, brought together i n the b u i l d i n g , by reason of the d i v e r s i t y of t h e i r matter and f i g u r e . (E.W.II, 36)  Someone who,  "for the  superfluities  for  harshness  himself,  of h i s d i s p o s i t i o n  and  detaining  of  in  retaining  necessaries  others", ( i b i d . ) i s as unsuitable for c i v i l l i f e as are "sharp angular" stones for the purposes of b u i l d i n g .  from and  I t i s noteworthy that  the character s i n g l e d out by Hobbes as a poor candidate for c i v i l life  is  someone  contending",  on  whom  (ibid)  This  "alone  angular  there stone  lay  no  contends  necessity  of  for things for  reasons other than need; h i s p o s i t i o n w i t h i n s o c i e t y puts him beyond questions of mere s u r v i v a l , but nonetheless he w i l l regardless  of  preservation. in  whether  their  destruction  destroy others  safeguards  his  The v i c e a l l u d e d to w i t h i n t h i s character i s analysed  5.7. The metaphor of b u i l d i n g materials reappears i n Leviathan, and  it  would seem from what Hobbes has  to say there that he had  noble and pre-eminent i n mind as the angular stones.  the  The passage i n  :  question comes r i g h t at the s t a r t of Chapter XXIX , "Of Those Things That  Weaken,  (E.W.Ill, "irregular their  Or  Tend  308-322)  Men,  jostling,  hearts  edifice:.!.",  to  To  and  he  Dissolution  says,  hewing one  conform  (iibid.,  the  308)  themselves  will  of  Commonwealth".  eventually t i r e  another, into  A  and  one  of  the  desire with a l l firm  and  lasting  However, Hobbes claims that they  will  -163-  lack e i t h e r "the a r t of making f i t laws, to square t h e i r by",  or  "humility and  patience,  to s u f f e r the.rude and  actions  cumbersome  points of t h e i r present greatness to be taken o f f . . . " , ( i b i d )  As a  result  able  of  this  double d i s a b i l i t y  they w i l l  need some "very  a r c h i t e c t " i f they wish to "be compiled i n t o any building,...", one  (ibid..)  other than a  crazy  Since Hobbes i s describing what he sees as  of the causes of the commonwealth's d i s s o l u t i o n , and  indeed a  cause springing from some flaw i n what he c a l l s the " i n s t i t u t i o n " of the commonwealth, i t would appear to be reasonable to assume that he i s pointing to what he takes to be r e a l flaws i n e x i s t i n g p o l i t i c a l formations. about the  Looked at i n t h i s way, "imperfect  order,  Hobbes' point  nation  are  neither  that i s , considered as a comment  I n s t i t u t i o n " of (I assume) England's p o l i t i c a l i s that wise  the major elements i n the  enough  nor  humble  enough  to  governance of t h e i r a c t i o n necessary for s e t t l e d order.  political allow  the  I believe  that even f a i r l y recent English h i s t o r y would have convinced Hobbes that t h i s was  true.  That Hobbes' p o r t r a i t of an u n c i v i l character was drawn from an aristocratic  ethos seems c l e a r  enough, but  i t i s certainly  e s s e n t i a l for h i s argument that the u n c i v i l be a r i s t o c r a t i c . the  argument requires  others,  will  respect  and  i s that  some man,  have a l i c e n s e to do honour, as  argument of a f i e r y  due  spirit."  to  "supposing himself  what he  him  before  (E.W.11,7)  lists, others;  and  not What  above  challenges  which  is  This i n d i v i d u a l puts  an the  more moderate on t h e i r guard, and creates that s t a t e of a n t i c i p a t e d combat which Hobbes c a l l s require  that t h i s  "war".  v i o l e n t man  be  But while  the argument does not  aristocratic  - examples of base  -164-  v i l l i a n s w i l l s u f f i c e - the a c t u a l d e s c r i p t i o n s Hobbes gives of h i s behaviour are r e p l e t e with reference to a c u l t u r e that holds honour, esteem and status as supreme. Perhaps the most serious character  flaw i n men, the one which  puts "perpetual j e a l o u s i e s and s u s p i c i o n s " i n t o moderate men, i s the v i c e o f vainglory. indeed  Now, i f the s t a t e o f nature i s a s t a t e o f war,  "a war o f a l l men against  psychological  dimension  to t h i s  a l l men",  condition  (ibid.,  11) and the  i s perpetual  fears and  s u s p i c i o n s , then the cause o f the war (as a psychological  reality)  i s none other than the character o f the f i e r y s p i r i t .  These people  are the most dangerous things i n a Hobbesian world,  because i t i s  their  character  which  threatens  n a t u r a l condition with savage ignorance,  to p r e c i p i t a t e a f a l l  i n t o the  i t s attendant l o s s o f c i v i l i z a t i o n :  "that  which those men are i n that have not, or have not  long had laws and commonwealth, from whence proceedeth science and c i v i l i t y . " (E.W.V, 304) In Leviathan,  "vainglory" i s defined as a " f o o l i s h over-rating  of t h e i r own worth".  ( E . W . I l l , 283) The worth o f the v a i n g l o r i o u s ,  which i s p r i n c i p a l l y a c r e a t i o n o f t h e i r own opinion, i s often based on  the f a l s e  natural  assumption  quality" (ibid.)  that confer  " r i c h e s , or blood, it.  There i s l i t t l e  Hobbes i s pinpointing one element w i t h i n group  who  argue  their  or some  the n o b i l i t y ,  doubt  other that  the same  s u p e r i o r i t y to the law i n claiming  that  punishments "ought not t o be i n f l i c t e d on them, with the same rigour they are i n f l i c t e d  on poor, obscure, and simple  under the name o f the v u l g a r . " questions  (ibid.)  men, comprehended  Being so preoccupied  with  of deference and status these men are prone to anger that  -165-  streams i n t o a c t i o n , ( i b i d . , 28A-5) When  writing  of  men  like  this  Bacon  said  that  these  " s e l f - l o v e r s w i l l s e t a man's house on f i r e , though i t were but to roast t h e i r e g g s . "  20  The temperament alluded t o i s very  close to  that o f Hobbes' v a i n g l o r i o u s i n d i v i d u a l who believes that he has a " l i c e n s e t o do what he l i s t s . "  (E.W..II, 7)  Now, i n i t s very  first  formulation, Hobbes' r i g h t o f nature i s defined as follows: Every man by nature hath r i g h t to a l l t h i n g s , that i s to say, t o do whatsoever he l i s t e t h t o whom he l i s t e t h , to possess, use, and enjoy a l l things,he w i l l and can. (E.L., 72)  Clearly  then, the v a i n g l o r i o u s i n d i v i d u a l , the man whose s t a t e o f  mind i s a t r i g g e r t o the s t a t e o f nature (whose other h a l f i s the precautionary the  untramelled  there  fear o f the moderate), i s an embodiment of  r i g h t o f nature.  gives the impression  psychological  In The Elements of- Law Hobbes  that i n the s t a t e o f nature anything  goes; i f  are any c o n s t r a i n t s then they a r i s e from considerations o f  honour alone.  This r a d i c a l p o s i t i o n i s abandoned i n De Cive where  there i s a requirement o f s e l f - p r e s e r v a t i o n placed o f the r i g h t of nature: whatsoever  he  (E.W.II, lOn)  shall  o u t l i n e d by reference  "a r i g h t t o make use o f , and to do a l l judge  However,  on the exercise  requisite  the character  for h i s  preservation."  o f the f i e r y  spirit i s  t o the more r a d i c a l version o f the r i g h t o f  nature; the inference being that he i s more i n t r a c t a b l e than someone whose destruction o f others was motivated by a genuine concern with preservation. In t h i s sub-section on  the psychological  I have d e l i b e r a t e l y concentrated  dimension o f the n a t u r a l c o n d i t i o n .  attention I., d i d  -166-  t h i s to show that the war  of a l l against a l l i s p r e c i p i t a t e d by  a  c e r t a i n kind of i n d i v i d u a l , and that there are rather a l o t of clues i n Hobbes as to the character type of t h i s i n d i v i d u a l .  I  take i t  that one of the most s i g n i f i c a n t points that Hobbes makes about the f i e r y s p i r i t i s that he has no c o n s t r a i n t s of conscience which debar him  from wanton uses of power.  model  of  the  social  This i s s i g n i f i c a n t because Hobbes'  contract  -  obligations  as  self-imposed  l i m i t a t i o n on action - i s e x p l i c i t l y the i n t r o d u c t i o n of a metaphor for t i e s  i n conscience.  discussion of groups who leagues"  that  are  This  i s made abundantly c l e a r i n Hobbes'  form for reasons of self-defence, "temporal  "entered  into  by  each  man  i n t e r e s t , without any o b l i g a t i o n of conscience."  for  his  private  (E.W.V, 184)  These  p r o t e c t i v e associations l i e somewhere between t o t a l chaos and life,  civil  but the s t a t e of mind which characterizes t h e i r members i s ,  for Hobbes, symptomatic of the former and not the l a t t e r .  The  core  of c i v i l i t y  i s adherence to the pathways l e f t open by  self-imposed  limitations  on  council  freedom, f o r reasons to do  with  "the  and  conscience of the a c t o r " rather than threat of punishment. (E.W.II, 46n  and  33)  One  half  of  the  state  of  nature's  psychological  dimension demonstrates a lack of t h i s capacity.  (b) De Cive's "Of the State o f Men Without C i v i l Society"  Turning now  from the  nature of i n d i v i d u a l s to the  nature  of  t h e i r i n t e r a c t i o n , we need to consider the f i r s t chapter of De Cive, since here above a l l other within  the  p u b l i c domain.  places i s Hobbes' treatment of meetings There i s no  doubt that  Hobbes' mood  -167-  changed between the d i s t r i b u t i o n o f The Elements o f Law and the f i r s t  e d i t i o n of De Cive (1642)  (May,  1640)  The e a r l i e r work contains a  model of the s t a t e of nature, but i t i s schematic and q u i t e l a c k i n g in  those examples from l i f e which make De Cive's opening chapter so  startling. preceding  The  earlier  model  i s , for  sub-section, more permissive  n a t u r a l c o n d i t i o n , but  and  outlined  hence a more  that has u s u a l l y gone unseen.  s t a t e of nature u t i l i z e s which Hobbes was  reasons  portraits  from l i f e ,  21  social  De  in  the  radical Cive's  scenes with  no doubt f a m i l i a r i n the days when he acted as a 22  secretary to William Cavendish  (2nd E a r l of Devonshire).  In saying that there i s a change of mood or tone from one work to  the next the claim i s simply that Hobbes becomes more c y n i c a l and  b i t t e r , as exemplified i n h i s p a r t i c u l a r l y  gloomy p o r t r a i t of  n a t u r a l c o n d i t i o n . But t h i s claim i s open to challenge. might be suggested,  the image i n The  the  Surely, i t  Elements of Law of l i f e as a  race i s no l e s s c y n i c a l or b i t t e r than the l a t e r work.  That image  comes at the end of a chapter devoted to the passions, but i t i s a chapter  that  does  little  other  than  offer  definitions  of  the  passions; the image o f the race i t s e l f being a mnemonic device, and one  that  strikes  a  note  of  agreement  with  Ulysses'  A c h i l l e s i n Shakespeare's T r o i l u s and Cressida: Take the i n s t a n t way; For honour t r a v e l s i n a straiit." so narrow Where one but goes abreast: keep, then, the path; For emulation hath a thousand sons That one by one pursue: i f you give way, Or hedge aside from the d i r e c t f o r t h r i g h t , Like to an entered t i d e they a l l rush by And leave you hindmost; ( I I I , i i i , 152-160) !  advice  to  -168-  The comparison o f l i f e to a race looks l i k e a d e l i b e r a t e attempt to remind h i s audience of the scramble for honour and preferment that so many of them were engaged i n . Indeed the whole treatment o f the passions  in  Hobbes'  aristocratic  early  work  preoccupation, as  is  his  framed  final  in  terms  words  in  of  the  this  chapter  preceding the one on the passions demonstrate: "In the pleasure men have, or displeasure from the signs o f honour or dishonour done unto them, consisteth the nature o f the passions i n p a r t i c u l a r , we are to speak i n the next chapter." (E.L., 36) the  state  of nature became more v i v i d  and  whereof  Hobbes' image of  closer  to a terminal  condition as h i s a n a l y s i s o f the coming c r i s i s began to widen, and as h i s appreciation of the character t r a i t s symptomatic of the s t a t e of nature increased. The war"  Elements o f Law  account of "the estate of h o s t i l i t y  ( i b i d . , 73) i s an e x p l i c i t l y  m a r t i a l one where s t r i v i n g f o r  eminence comes down to strength i n b a t t l e , clearly  in  Hobbes'  argument  for  and  the  (ibid)  rectitude  This comes out of  pre-emptive  violence i n the s t a t e of nature: "much more reason i s there, that a man prevent such e q u a l i t y before the danger cometh, and before there be  necessity  of  battle...;We  i n t e n t i o n , i f we w i l l i n g l y gather strength making  the  same  and  be  point,  manifestly  contradict  that  our  dismiss such a one, and s u f f e r him to  our enemy." ( i b i d . ,  73-4)  avoids a l l reference to  speaking of p r o f i t a b i l i t y instead.  In a l l ,  De  Cive, when  martial  might,  the l a t e r work i s more  deeply psychological, d e l i b e r a t e l y c r e a t i n g a s t a t e o f nature from the d i s p o s i t i o n s of men who meet as strangers i n the public space.  -169-  Hobbes*  strategy  i s to  condition he c a l l s c i v i l for  which unconnected  with one another.  a  theory  of  the  artificial  society by looking to the actual reasons  individuals  (Seldenian  strangers)  associate  He picks out four examples of "free congress"  (E.W.11,4) to i n v e s t i g a t e ; 3)  build  ( i ) " i f they meet for t r a f f i c " ,  (ibid.,  that i s , i f they meet f o r commercial purposes o f exchange; ( i i )  " i f to discharge some o f f i c e " , ( i b i d . ) by which he presumably means the  f u l f i l l m e n t of o b l i g a t i o n s attaching to one's p o s i t i o n ;  (iii)  " i f f o r pleasure and r e c r e a t i o n o f mind"; ( i b i d . ) ( i v ) " I f they meet to  talk  of philosophy",  (ibid,  4)  they might turn out to be, w i l l , something about the t r a i t s human i n t e r a c t i o n s .  Hobbes' conclusions, i f validly  typically  They cannot, by  arrived at, t e l l  found i n a l i m i t e d their  whatever  very  choice,  us  range of tell  us  about the tone of human i n t e r a c t i o n as such. The four examples d i v i d e i n t o two: men seek one another out f o r trade and the execution of o f f i c e i n order to b e n e f i t themselves i n a straightforward m a t e r i a l sense; they seek p r o f i t .  However, they  meet for r e c r e a t i o n and philosophy as a means to gaining reputation,  and  increased  self-esteem.  Summarizing,  honour,  Hobbes says  t h a t , " a l l free congress a r i s e t h e i t h e r from mutual poverty, or from vain g l o r y . " ( i b i d . , 4-5)  The examples chosen are from a r e l a t i v e l y  narrow range of human experience; but granted that they are narrow by  design,  considerable  and  granted  first-hand  further  that  experience of  Hobbes  i s speaking  corporate,  sporting,  from and  i n t e l l e c t u a l c i r c l e s , there i s l i t t l e reason to doubt h i s s i n c e r i t y . To some extent of course the more v i v i d the image of vanity and greed, the more compelling w i l l Hobbes' r e s o l u t i o n to the problem of  -170-  p u b l i c peace be. canvasses  In "A Review and Conclusion" to Leviathan Hobbes  the suggestion  that w i l d  courage and timidness p u l l so  hard i n opposite d i r e c t i o n s , that a s e t t l e d and secure peace among a population composed of men with these t r a i t s w i l l be impossible.  He  then adds: And to consider the c o n t r a r i e t y o f men's opinions, and manners, i n general, i t i s , they say, impossible to e n t e r t a i n a constant c i v i l amity with a l l those, with whom the business o f the world constrains us to converse: which business c o n s i s t e t h almost i n nothing else but a perpetual contention f o r honour, r i c h e s , and a u t h o r i t y . (E.W.Ill, 702)  The response simply  that Hobbes o f f e r s to t h i s suggestion  that,  "these  are  indeed  great  ("they say") i s  difficulties,  but not  i m p o s s i b i l i t i e s : f o r by education, and d i s c i p l i n e , they may be, and are sometimes r e c o n c i l e d . " ( i b i d )  This statement  o f the p o l i t i c a l  problem, plus Hobbes' considered response to i t , show quite p l a i n l y that  the four examples chosen  f o r consideration i n De Cive are  c e n t r a l to h i s stated concerns and t h e i r r e s o l u t i o n . I f , as seems evident, Hobbes i s d e f i n i n g h i s task i n terms of motives l i k e p r o f i t and honour as they operate i n the p u b l i c space, we might w e l l  look to see i f there are any s i g n i f i c a n t  parallels  between the character o f the i n d i v i d u a l who t y p i f i e s the s t a t e o f nature, and the s o c i a l  gatherings which t y p i f y  i t . In the f i r s t  place, the causes o f q u a r r e l i n Leviathan: competition, d i s t r u s t , and  glory,  necessities.  are  never  illustrated  with  reference  simple  Competition i s not over scraps o f food i n the primeval  f o r e s t , but over major goods, "a convenient that  to  i s , a principal  d w e l l i n g or t r a c t  seat", (E.W.Ill, 111)  o f land.  Equally, the  -171-  contest  for riches  superfluities",  i s conducted  (E.W.II,  36).  among  those  who  "contend... for  These contestants are those  troubled with caring f o r necessary things",  (ibid.,  might  ease  reasonably  want." of  expected  (E.L., 169).  what causes  group  implications.  "live  at  Once again, Hobbes  goods necessary  point i s simply that  social  to  1  160); men  without  fear  who of  argument on the question  disorder does not require a r i s t o c r a t i c contention;  competition over The  be  "least  within  f o r mere preservation would  the examples Hobbes uses  which  the  competition had  indicate  dramatic  do. that  social  For instance, when Hobbes discusses the "Foole" h i s  character i s not that o f an i n s i g n i f i c a n t freeloader, but o f someone who i s contending f o r a kingdom.  (E.L., 176)  Hobbes d i s t i n g u i s h e s between p r o f i t and honour as motives that move men  to c i v i l  a s s o c i a t i o n , but we need hardly believe that he  thought of them as u t t e r l y d i s t i n c t .  Thomas F u l l e r ' s wry comment on  the p r i v a t e e r i n g e x p l o i t s o f George C l i f f o r d , 3rd E a r l of Cumberland probably captures an a t t i t u d e toward shared:  the two  motives  that Hobbes  "His f l e e t may be s a i d to be bound f o r no other harbour but  the port o f honour, though touching at the port o f p r o f i t i n passage 23 thereunto." to  which  ventures,  Lawrence Stone has adequately documented the extent  the n o b i l i t y o f Hobbes' time were enmeshed i n f i n a n c i a l and  we  know  that  Hobbes'  friend  and  patron  William  Cavendish, 2nd E a r l o f Devonshire, managed the family's involvement 24 in  the Southhampton sponsored  V i r g i n i a Company.  Hobbes attended  meetings o f the Company Court over the seven years o f i t s l i f e was  witness  hostilities.  both  to  both  i t s factional  fights  and  and  i t s open  The Company was dissolved a f t e r r o y a l i n t e r v e n t i o n i n  -172-  1623,  and at one stage during i t s operation Devonshire and the E a r l  o f Warwick clashed and  departed for Holland to f i g h t a duel.  When  Hobbes remarks that " i f they meet for t r a f f i c , i t i s p l a i n every regards  not  his  f e l l o w , but  h i s business;  o f f i c e , a c e r t a i n market-friendship jealousy  he i s speaking  discharge  some  i s begotten, which hath more of  i n i t than true l o v e , and  a r i s e , but good w i l l never", (E.W.  i f to  man  whence f a c t i o n s sometimes  may  I I , 3) there i s l i t t l e doubt that  from f i r s t hand experience  on the i n t e r n a l  politics  of the V i r g i n i a Company. Thus far i n t h i s  sub-section  I have considered  the d e t a i l e d  examples Hobbes employs to make h i s case for a coercive govern the c i v i l domain.  force to  Agreeing with Macpherson on t h i s point I  hold that Hobbes is_ u t i l i z i n g  the behaviour of men  i n a society to  underscore h i s p o s i t i o n on that which undermines c i v i l i t y .  However,  there i s an undeniable respect i n which Hobbes seems to be  talking  much more generally about human beings; that i s , at a l e v e l  general  enough to embrace remarks about the desires of men might be found.  wherever they  Consider h i s comment on the desire to gain dominion:  But though the b e n e f i t s of t h i s l i f e may be much furthered by mutual help; since yet those may be better attained to by dominion than by the society of others, I hope nobody w i l l doubt, but that men would much more g r e e d i l y be c a r r i e d by nature, i f a l l fear were removed, to obtain dominion, than to gain s o c i e t y , ( i b i d . , 5)  Elsewhere Hobbes says that men, all 73)  "from t h e i r very birth...would have  the world, i f they could, to fear and  obey them."  (E.W.  VII,  As s t a t e d , the w i l l to dominate i s as n a t u r a l as the desire to  preserve  ourselves  from harm:  an  almost  innate  aspect  of human  -173-  belngs!  Hobbes may  systematic  treatment  constituted. his  point  could  have b e l i e v e d t h i s , but a l l that he says i n the human nature  is  that  some men  are  so  Within the context of the examples taken from Be Cive  i s that  be  of  had  i f the  more e a s i l y  assume that men  goods sought through c i v i l ( v i a a dominant w i l l ) ,  association  then we  should  would take the f r u i t s of s o c i a l l i f e while g l a d l y  avoiding the costs of cooperation.  Glaucon's use of the story about  Gyges the Lydian shepherd makes the same point i n Plato's Republic. Hobbes, i f i n fact he believed that a l l men domination,  was  Conversation, assert  his  danger.  certainly  alone.  Guazzo,  notes that because a man pre-eminence,  the  Thus i t would be  inferiors;  not  with  company as he  them list;  shared a l u s t for in his  The-  Civil  of honour i s expected  company  of  equals  i s fraught  to  with  f a r better to seek the company o f known  "he  shall  be  neither s h a l l  anything contrary to h i s mind:  the he  c h i e f man...and r u l e be  forced to  favour  the  or  do  which l i b e r t y i s seldom allowed  him  25 among h i s equals."  S i m i l a r l y , S i r Edward Waller  commented that  the i n f l a t i o n of honours had increased the tensions inherent i n the meetings parity  of in  notables.  The  conversation;  Jacobean  which  p r a c t i c e had  considering  "introduced  a  English d i s p o s i t i o n s 26  proved  of  i l l consequences,  familiarity...begetting  contempt."  Once again Hobbes imputes to human beings per se what may be true of the n o b i l i t y with which he was his  intended  f a m i l i a r ; which i n turn r a i s e s the  question  of  audience.  beginning  of a l l Dominion amongst Men  Given was  his  view  that,  i n F a m i l i e s " , (D.,  "the 159)  Hobbes could be q u i t e happy with the idea that p a t r i a r c h a l i s m was the  correct view about the o r i g i n of dominion, yet deny that  the  -174-  p a t r i a r c h a l a t t i t u d e among Seldenian strangers i s a desirable quality.  If  Hobbes'  intention  is  to  address  important heads of f a m i l i e s , then he might about  the  nature  of  the  attitudinal  the  civil  politically  w e l l be advising them  change  necessary  for  the  c r e a t i o n o f a c i v i l order. That an a t t i t u d i n a l change i s e s s e n t i a l i s argued  f o r by the  i n s t a b i l i t y inherent i n any s o c i a l formation that i s based on desire for  p r o f i t and honour.  Hobbes takes i t as obvious that  and  professional transactions were undertaken  commercial  f o r pecuniary  gain,  and while he has no love f o r those who seek r i c h e s he believes that their  endeavours  scathing society (E.W.  must be  i n h i s treatment can be  I I , 5)  safeguarded. of  one  great or l a s t i n g ,  However, he  mode of which  honour  begins  i s f a r more seeking:  from vain  In order to maintain s o c i a l s t a b i l i t y  "no  glory".  i n a society  where these motives are operative there i s need f o r what he referred to  i n Leviathan as " d i s c i p l i n e " .  D i s c i p l i n e works through fear, and  fear i s the element i n human nature to which Hobbes a l l o t s the r o l e of  creating the c i v i l  indicates,  a certain  e v i l " , not panic,  realm. "politic  The  fear i n question i s , as Hobbes  prudence"  or  "foresight  of  future  ( i b i d . , 6n.) So the a t t i t u d e one i s encouraged to  have toward r e c i p r o c a l l y agreed upon l i m i t a t i o n s does not bear great weight i n the construction of c i v i l society through agreement. will  do  mentioned  in  such  circumstances,  element  Hobbes  i n h i s "Review and Conclusion" to Leviathan would  suffice  as w e l l ; namely "education".  but  the  For those who  other  Fear  see the reasonableness  of abandoning c e r t a i n a t t i t u d e s i n order to mutually sustain a c i v i l c o n d i t i o n , fear might work as a p e r f e c t l y good supporting reason to  -175-  avold  conflict,  but  i t need  not  be  the  only  reason  for  which  c o n f l i c t ridden courses are avoided. Since the educative toward  changing  aspect  of  Hobbes' task  i s not d i r e c t e d  men's a t t i t u d e s about p r o f i t , then with respect to  the examples i n De Cive he must be concentrating on honour. that those who  meet to philosophize or for r e c r e a t i o n seek to  esteemed masters", same eudokimein,  o r , more g e n e r a l l y , "to leave behind  "be  them that  some esteem and honour with those, with whom they  have been conversant."  ( i b i d . , 4-5)  of  this  honour  Recall  implicit  in  Hobbes attacks the  example,  and  i n doing  so  conception offers  a  counter-interpretation: Neither doth the s o c i e t y of others advance any whit the cause of my g l o r y i n g i n myself; f o r every man must account himself, such as he can make himself without the help of others, ( i b i d . , 5) For reasons  that w i l l be discussed i n the next s e c t i o n Hobbes has  begun to question the honour; a conception  dominant seventeenth  century  conception  of  that i s p e r f e c t l y captured by James Cleland:  "Honour i s not i n h i s hands who  i s honoured, but i n the hearts and  27 opinions  of  other  one of the man  men."  The  tension between two  capable of conducting h i s own  conceptions:  survey and basing h i s  self-esteem on h i s own estimation of h i s v i r t u e s , the other of a man whose self-esteem was c r u c i a l l y dependent on the a t t i t u d e s , and more ambiguously,  on  the  behaviour  concern with the world of honour.  of  others,  i s central  to  Hobbes'  -176-  5.6~ Power j Honour, and Value  I remember about 1660 there was a great d i f f e r e n c e between him and S i r Hierome Sanchy, one o f O l i v e r ' s knights. They p r i n t e d one against the other: this knight was wont to preach at Dublin. The knight had been a s o l d i e r , and challenged S i r William to f i g h t with him. S i r William i s extremely short s i g h t e d , and being the challengee i t belonged to him to nominate place and weapon. He nominates, f o r the place, a darke c e l l a r , and the weapon to be a great carpenter's axe. This turned the knight's challenge into r i d i c u l e , and so i t came to nought. From the account o f Hobbes' f r i e n d William Petty as given by John Aubrey i n B r i e f L i v e s .  It i s no exaggeration the  notion  psychology,  o f power.  to say that Hobbes was preoccupied  I t plays  a role  and o f course h i s p o l i t i c s .  with  i n h i s metaphysics, h i s The desire f o r power as a  means to achieving ends i s an i n e r a d i c a b l e force i n Hobbesian men: " i n the f i r s t place, I put f o r a general i n c l i n a t i o n o f a l l mankind, a perpetual and r e s t l e s s d e s i r e o f power a f t e r power, that only i n death." after  power  natures  (E.W. I l l , 85-6)  i s , so  Hobbes  are b a s i c a l l y  centre of l i f e .  says,  ceaseth  The smooth a c q u i s i t i o n o f power felicity,  and  given  a p p e t i t i v e , power and pleasure  that  our  are at the  These remarks about power and pleasure would be as  true o f s o l i t a r y i n d i v i d u a l s as o f s o c i a l ones, but Hobbes alludes to  the s o c i a l  role  o f power when he comments on the comparative  nature o f the notion: hindereth  "because the power o f one man r e s i s t e t h and  the e f f e c t s o f the power o f another:  power simply i s no  more, but the excess o f the power o f one above that o f (E.L., 34) terms  another."  Equally, and i n the same work, he explains f e l i c i t y i n  o f exceeding  others:  "[c]ontinually to  out-go  the next  -177-  before, i s f e l i c i t y . "  (ibid.,  48)  To out-do i s f e l i c i t y ;  to be  out-done, misery. While there i s no denying  that Hobbes conceived o f c i v i l  life  i n terms o f competing powers, there i s a serious question about the identity  of the s o c i a l  m i l i e u manifest  i n h i s examples.  In t h i s  s e c t i o n i t i s argued that Hobbes" conceptions o f power, honour, and value  are demonstrably  interaction. theorizing  a  part  of h i s critique  of aristocratic  Thus i f there i s a s o c i a l m i l i e u which informs Hobbes  on these  matters  i t i s one that i s w e l l  1  captured i n  28 Mervyn James' terms: to  "the honour c u l t u r e " .  This l a b e l  the members o f the governing c l a s s , men whose p o l i t i c a l  attaches culture  included a dominant concern with honour. Thus i t could as e a s i l y include the lawyers and bureaucrats as the o l d and new members o f the n o b i l i t y .  This c l a s s , while united i n terms o f i t s concern with  honour, was deeply d i v i d e d i n respect o f i t s understanding honour e n t a i l e d .  o f what  What Hobbes says about power and honour i s to be  seen as h i s c o n t r i b u t i o n t o t h i s debate. Even Hobbes' d e f i n i t i o n  o f power i n De Corpore has a strong  s o c i a l flavour: [T]he agent - has- power, i f i t be applied to a p a t i e n t ; and the p a t i e n t has power,- i f i t be applied to- an agent; otherwise neither of them have power, nor can the accidents, which are i n them s e v e r a l l y , be properly c a l l e d powers. (E.W. I , 129) The  accidents  authority, precisely will.  which  friends,  are or  because they  i n men:  the favour enable  their  bodily  faculties,  o f the mighty,  riches,  are powers  owner t o move others a t h i s  I n . t h i s respect Hobbes' conception o f power i s a mirror image  -178-  of A r i s t o t l e on p r i o r i t y , which again i s , i n one gives i t , a s o c i a l notion: the more powerful, will  the  other  of the senses  he  "for that which exceeds i n power, i . e . ,  i s p r i o r ; and  - i . e . , the  such i s that according  p o s t e r i o r - must f o l l o w . "  to whose 2 9  In h i s  commentary on t h i s passage Kirwan notes that the things "arranged i n order  of  priority  i n respect  of capacity are  Aristotle  expresses himself  i n the  Both philosophers  seem to have a status s o c i e t y i n mind,  whereas  Aristotle  emphatically  sees  says that  neuter) more and  (although  the  ordered  l e s s powerful  hierarchy  i t i s conventional  as  and  men."  30  although  n a t u r a l , Hobbes  not  rooted  in  the  order of things: N o b i l i t y i s power, not i n a l l places, but only i n those commonwealths, where i t has p r i v i l e g e s : for i n such p r i v i l e g e s , c o n s i s t e t h t h e i r power. (E.W. Ill, 75)  However, h i s point power only  goes  when accorded  further than the privileges.  claim that n o b i l i t y  Prior  to  making the  is  above  remark Hobbes had s a i d that n o b i l i t y , l i k e eloquence, prudence, and l i b e r a l i t y , was a "natural power", ( i b i d . , 74) those he counts among powers of the mind. be  eminence of c e r t a i n v i r t u e s and  within  a  commonwealth a  and presumably one  of  As such, n o b i l i t y might  those who  meritocratic nobility  are given p r i v i l e g e s and  not  one  based  s o l e l y on lineage. I f t h i s i s Hobbes' p o s i t i o n , and reasons w i l l be forthcoming  to  suggest that i n part i t i s , then h i s adversaries would be those  who  argued  that n o b i l i t y  was  an  endowment of the  blood.  Why  Hobbes  might be i n d i r e c t and strenuous c o n f l i c t with that p o s i t i o n i s not hard to see.  The b e l i e f that honour was  i n h e r i t e d gave the k i n s h i p  -179-  group  a  hold  that  was  prior  t o , and  more  powerful  c o n t r a c t u a l o b l i g a t i o n that one might take on.  than,  any  In s i t u a t i o n s where  the honour of the i n d i v i d u a l or the k i n s h i p group was at stake then civil  discord  -  the  dissolving  sovereign - was highly l i k e l y . as c r u c i a l  i n the matter  of  the  bond  between  Furthermore, those who  of n o b i l i t y  would  noble  and  saw lineage  often hark back to a  period when the honour c u l t u r e was s e l f - a u t h e n t i c a t i n g and free from the h e r a l d i c v i s i t a t i o n s that were an aspect o f the Tudor attempt to make the monarch the  "fount o f honour", as  James 1 was  to say.  Hobbes was i n t o t a l agreement with the Tudor p o l i c y , and the reasons he gave for i t are quite r e v e a l i n g : L a s t l y , considering what value men are n a t u r a l l y apt to set upon themselves; what respect they look for from others; and how l i t t l e they value other men; from whence c o n t i n u a l l y a r i s e amongst them, emulation, q u a r r e l s , f a c t i o n s , and at l a s t war, to the destroying of one another, and diminution of t h e i r strength against a common enemy; i t i s necessary that there be laws o f honour, and a p u b l i c rate o f the worth o f such men as have deserved, or are able to deserve w e l l of the commonwealth...To the sovereign therefore i t belongeth also to give t i t l e s o f honour. (E.W. I l l , 167)  These honours granted by the sovereign are c i v i l  honours, and thus  d i s t i n g u i s h a b l e from those which might accrue outside of any context,  as  he  "continually" VI,  259)  had  remarks wars  when one  discussing with  the  another.  "little (ibid.,  lords" 82  and  civil who EW.  In t h i s feudal embodiment of the s t a t e of nature m a r t i a l  v i r t u e s a t t r a c t honour, and remnants o f t h i s view were v i s i b l e i n 1  5  1  Hobbes time." " " The  connection between power and honour i s , to Hobbes' mind,  p e r f e c t l y c l e a r , "the acknowledgement o f power i s c a l l e d HONOUR; and  -180-  to  honour  a  man  (inwardly  acknowledge, that that man  in  the  mind)  is  to  conceive  hath the odds or excess of power above  him that contendeth or compareth himself." (E.L., 34) natural  c a p a c i t i e s or  powers are power".  acquired  means which  "honourable" because they are (E.W.  or  I l l , 79)  Our  Moreover, the  c o n s t i t u t e Hobbesian  "an argument and  honouring  of  a  s i g n of  person  is  "the  manifestation of the value we set on them"; ( i b i d . ) which i n turn i s a consequence of the opinion we hold about t h e i r power. this  Hobbes i s close  to  Cleland.  As  noted  commented that "honour i s not i n h i s hands who the  hearts  straight who  and  opinions  from A r i s t o t l e :  of  other  men",  "honour...is  a  above,  In a l l of  Cleland  i s honoured, but i n view  that  was  taken  thought to depend on  bestow honour rather than on him who  had  those  receives i t " . (I095b25f.)  I r r e s p e c t i v e of our s u b j e c t i v e estimations, our self-esteem, or  our  assertiveness,  was  the  response  required to give honour. one  and  the  same, as  of  the  world,  public  esteem,  To that extent honour and reputation  Cassio's  lament about l o s i n g  his  are  "immortal  - 32  part" t e s t i f i e s .  Hobbes makes the point about p u b l i c evaluation  as w e l l : For l e t a man, as most men do, r a t e themselves at the highest value they can; yet t h e i r true value i s no more than i t i s esteemed by others. (E.W. I l l , 76) This i s patently not a point about wealth, since we are very in  a uniquely  good p o s i t i o n to evaluate  our  own.  likely  It i s a  point  about what others b e l i e v e can be accomplished with our endowments, and  on  measure  that matter we of  the  degree  are to  not  so  which  well situated. our  powers  are  Value,  as  the  esteemed  is  -181-  other-centred, being the c r e a t i o n of others' opinions and  not  our  own. Opinion plays a c r u c i a l r o l e i n the honour c u l t u r e , since the value or worth of a man  i s measured i n terms of others'  about what h i s power w i l l  give them access  to.  opinions  Hobbes held t h a t ,  "our w i l l s follow our opinions, as our actions follow our w i l l s .  In  which  is  sense  they  say  governed by opinion." opinion.  truly  and  properly  (E.L., 63)  that  say  the  world  Honour then i s a creature of mere  There i s ample room for error here.  Others may,  through  e i t h e r mistake or f l a t t e r y , provide the signs of honour which give men  the  confidence  v a i n g l o r i o u s men their  own  to act  rashly.  Or,  as  with  the  case of  the  Hobbes i s so concerned about, t h e i r f a l s e image of  powers might  lead  them  discussion  of  the  vainglorious  sufficient  to  breed o p i n i o n , and  to  imprudent  action.  Bacon  commented  that,  opinion brings  In  his  "lies  are 3  5  on  substance"; "  and  i t i s p l a u s i b l e to view Hobbes' condemnation of  vainglorious  men  who  demand pre-eminence as i n l i n e with Bacon's observations.  However, Hobbes' a n a l y s i s o f t h i s character type - the f i e r y -  puts  more  Bacon's, and  emphasis in this  on  the  respect  sources  of  self-esteem  spirit  than  does  Hobbes goes close to Montaigne for  reasons I s h a l l now d i s c u s s . Hobbes' f i r s t p o l i t i c a l t r a c t , The Elements of Law circulated Falkland.  among As  one  his  acquaintances  might expect,  and  in  the  as we  Tew  (1640),  circle  was  around  have noted, t h i s work  addresses questions of p e c u l i a r i n t e r e s t to the aristocracy., and i t s a n a l y s i s of honour i s more reportage  than c r i t i c i s m .  Hobbes says  that honour derives from the estimations of others, and then, i n the  -182-  best t r a d i t i o n of i n s t r u c t i o n manuals for young nobles, d e t a i l s the behaviour is  appropriate to the acknowledgement of power.  devoid o f c r i t i c i s m .  However, i n De Cive and  His  account  Leviathan Hobbes  attacks the conventional understanding of honour, and does so i n two ways. To begin w i t h , i n De Cive Hobbes argues as follows: Neither doth the s o c i e t y of others advance any whit the cause of my g l o r y i n g i n myself; for every man must account himself, such as he can make himself without the help of others. (E.W. I I , 5)  Presumably the g l o r y i n g i n oneself which counts that "well grounded confidence" (E.W. knowledge of our past a c t i o n s . make our own  ill,  as worthwhile  is  45) which i s based on the  The claim seems to be that we must  survey; and i f that i s what Hobbes intends then he i s  i n d i r e c t opposition to the popular b e l i e f that the s t a t e o f mind of the honoured should be a r e f l e c t i o n of the high esteem i n which they are held by others; witness Du Vair's d e f i n i t i o n of honour: True honour i s the g l i t t e r i n g and beaming brightness of a good and v i r t u o u s a c t i o n , which rebounds from our consciences unto the sight of them with whom we l i v e , and so by a r e f l e c t i o n i n ourselves, brings us a testimony from others of the good opinion which they have of us, which makes us enjoy great comfort of mind.34  When i t was  claimed that Hobbes, i n h i s c r i t i c i s m of the standard  conception of honour, was suggest said  that l i k e  "seek  not  close to Montaigne, the i n t e n t i o n was  Montaigne, who, thyself  outside",  quoting 3 5  Perseus  Hobbes  was  with  approval,  suggesting  self-esteem be disentangled from the mirror-world of opinion. was  nothing new  in this  suggestion, Hobbes being but one  to  that There  among a  -183-  throng o f w r i t e r s who had e x t o l l e d the r o l e o f v i r t u e as that which merited  honour,  i n contrast  archaic  notions  of valour.  Hobbes  felt  i t necessary  with  military  prowess, lineage, or  However, we might w e l l wonder why to  reiterate  a  position  that  was  commonplace. Part Hobbes' defining  of an answer points  against  honour  distinguish  and  emerges when we  consider  the conventional  view  power  that which  Hobbes  utilizes  i s honourable  the second o f  o f honour. the opportunity  ( i n the conventional  from what warrants moral, l e g a l , or c i v i l  When  approval.  to  sense)  His point i s  that i t does not " a l t e r the case o f honour, whether an a c t i o n , so i t be  great and d i f f i c u l t ,  just  or  unjust."  and consequently a sign o f much power, be  (E.W.III.80)  honourable do- not - a l t e r - t h e i r s t a t e o f nature actions  into c i v i l  i n war i s honour",  Standard nature  life.  accounts  of  what i s  i n the t r a n s i t i o n  from the  In the former "the only  (E.L.,  law of  101) and the men Hobbes most  feared were those whose conception  o f honour was m a r t i a l i n o r i g i n ,  and  p o s i t i o n s of supreme dominance.  such as to make them covet  Hobbes' f i r s t version o f h i s famous p r u d e n t i a l argument against the "Foole" i s d i r e c t e d at one who might u n s e t t l e a nation i n the f i g h t for  sovereignty: For i f he consider and take h i s experiences a r i g h t , concerning the success which they have had, who have been the movers and authors o f s e d i t i o n , e i t h e r i n t h i s or any other s t a t e , he s h a l l f i n d that f o r one man that hath thereby advanced himself to honour, twenty have come t o a reproachful end. ( i b i d . 176)  But  i f some look to the archaic c r i t e r i a o f m a r t i a l prowess as the  bench-mark for honour, and hence carry i n t o the c i v i l s t a t e what i s  -184-  i n one respect the code o f the s t a t e of nature, then what i s Hobbes  1  alternate position? As was s a i d above, Hobbes' p o s i t i o n i s one that gives weight to the idea of self-esteem based on self-examination, where the objects o f examination are v i r t u e s .  The  r e a l question  which v i r t u e s the survey i s over, honour  might,  in  self-authentication  one  of  of course i s about  since the m a r t i a l conception  its  forms,  - consistent with  endorse  i t s striving  the  of  same  for autonomy -  j u s t so long as the v i r t u e s at stake were m i l i t a r y v i r t u e s .  Were  Hobbes  civil  to  virtues,  r e j e c t the  military  then i t would be  virtues  fair  c i v i l i a n conception of how  to say  esteem was  in  favour  that he  of  had  the  a  thoroughly  to be based; however, were he  to give q u a l i f i e d endorsement to the m i l i t a r y v i r t u e s as part of h i s account, then he would have a mixed-conception.  That he d i d have a  mixed-conception i n mind i s argued for i n the s e c t i o n f o l l o w i n g . We  now  should  feel  conceptions previous there  have part o f the answer to my i t necessary  tradition,  centuries. still and  The  English that  their  i n c o n s i s t e n t with c i v i l l i f e . martial  notion  theatre-going years 1610  the  of  honour  reply men  1610  and  1620  case  i s that  who  archaic  against  been elaborated  worked  Hobbes martial  over  Hobbes believed within  conception  the  of  the that  martial  honour  was  Barber has argued that p r e c i s e l y t h i s was  appluaded  p u b l i c o f Hobbes' period, and  between to 1620  restate  of honour, a case that had  two  were  to  query as to why  saw  by  the  aristocratic,  i n p a r t i c u l a r that  i t s pinnacle  of  the  popularity.  3 7  i s the period of Hobbes' attendance at the c o u n c i l of  the V i r g i n i a and  Somer Island companies; i t i s also h i s period of  -185-  intimate contact with the 2nd  E a r l of Devonshire, whose entry i n t o  the House of Lords came a l i t t l e l a t e r than the period i n question. I  shall  complete the  thought a new  reply  to  threat to c i v i l  the  query by  peace was  showing  why  Hobbes  coming forward under  the  banner of ancient p r i v i l e g e and m a r t i a l honour. I mentioned above that  Hobbes attended meetings of both  the  V i r g i n i a and Somer Island Companies i n h i s capacity as secretary to the 2nd  E a r l of Devonshire.  These companies were launched by  E a r l of Southampton, and when Devonshire entered he  was  to  join  aristocratic members of Warwick,  the  faction  opposition this  to  around  the  Bristol  and  Southampton  Stuarts.  group were the  3rd  Arundel.  parliament  The  E a r l of These  peers  and  arrest  refused  to  use  be  exempt  obligatory  from  oaths  in  of  proceedings of the p r i v y c o u n c i l ; they claimed on  the  policy  battlefield  and  of  titles);  selling  notions  l i k e honour, and  claimed  that  the  not  bought  their  honour  they subsidized  dependents  in  they legal  that honours are  research  on  of  "old  attainder;  (an open attack  an  Earl  championed  and  place  1628  significant  Essex, the  nobles and  should  in  headed  other  English honour", they argued that the property  who  the  the into  won  Stuart titles,  plays which e x t o l l e d m a r t i a l v i r t u e ; they  English  c o n s t i t u t i o n was  a  mixed-monarchy;  and  f i n a l l y that the t i t l e d n o b i l i t y had the ancient r i g h t to act as the p r i n c i p a l counsellors of England. in  1621,  Arundel, i n a speech to the Lords  denounced the l o s s o f ancient  to the assembled peers as  noble p r i v i l e g e s , r e f e r r i n g  "the Great Councell of the Kingdome, and  t h i s i s hereditary to us. " ^  -186-  With secretary  the  exception  of  to  Buckingham,  a  we  letter know  concerns from the e a r l y 1620's.  from  nothing  Robert of  Mason,  Hobbes'  later  political  However, the l i s t o f c h a r a c t e r i s t i c  opinions of the opposition peers d e t a i l e d above reads l i k e a l i s t of Hobbes' p o l i t i c a l t a r g e t s . attacked  those who  over-rated  I have already  sought a status  pointed  out that  above the law, who  Hobbes  foolishly  " t h e i r own worth", and were contemptuous o f the common  people. (E.W.111,283)  But Hobbes' most trenchant c r i t i c i s m of t h i s  noble f a c t i o n i s d i r e c t e d at t h e i r claim to hereditary authority as counsellors.  Hobbes  r e f e r s to them as those who  claim  "to have  place i n the highest c o u n c i l o f s t a t e by i n h e r i t a n c e . " ( i b i d . , 340) Hobbes' response i s that t h i s b e l i e f i s merely a feudal d e r i v i n g from the ancient German confederations ( i b i d . ) whose j e a l o u s l y guarded autonomy l a s t i n g sovereignty.  to put  aside  counsel requires the passions  that  lords",  i s inconsistent with  He also has a more considered  on the assumption that ability  o f "absolute  prejudice  any  argument based  expert knowledge and the promote s e l f - i n t e r e s t e d  advice: Good counsel comes not by l o t , nor by i n h e r i t a n c e ; and therefore there i s no more reason to expect good advice from the r i c h or noble, i n matter of s t a t e , than i n d e l i n e a t i n g the dimensions o f a f o r t r e s s . (Ibid.)  Hobbes' f i n a l word on the matter of hereditary r o l e o f counsellor  i s incorporated  power, honour and worth. glimpsed definition  i n what  CB.  i n h i s Leviathan  r i g h t to the discussion of  The background to h i s p o s i t i o n i s best Watson  tells  of ' d i s t r i b u t i v e j u s t i c e '  us  about  the  "Renaissance  r e f e r r e d to so frequently  by  -187-  the m o r a l i s t s " . Ethics;  in  the  distributing according  Watson suggests that i t "came from the Nicomachean words  honour  of  and  Hurault,  ' i t consisteth  promotion  to every man's d e s e r t ' . "  unto 40  (the  chiefly  King's  subjects)  The claim of the d i s s i d e n t  nobles was that honour and promotion were t h e i r s by ancient but  Hobbes' rejoinder  i s that  in  to merit  right;  something does c e r t a i n l y  presuppose a r i g h t , although t h i s r i g h t must be based on something promised.  Power and worth, that i s , the powers of men and t h e i r  v a l u a t i o n by others, do not confer  any r i g h t and thus no  The claim to o f f i c e through lineage i s thus rebutted.  desert.  I t i s not the  worth or value of a man that counts, but rather h i s worthiness, particular  power, or a b i l i t y  worthy, which  f o r t h a t , whereof he i s s a i d to be  particular ability,  a p t i t u d e . " (E.W.111,84)  "a  i s usually  named  FITNESS, or  Nothing that Hobbes argues e n t a i l s that the  n o b i l i t y w i l l not be the most apt counsellors t o the sovereign, but simply that i t i s not t h e i r s o c i a l p o s i t i o n which c o n s t i t u t e s t h e i r aptitude.  What makes a good counsellor occupies Hobbes i n chapters  25 and 30 of Leviathan. This  s e c t i o n has provided  honour, power, and worth. attention  to the nature  a context  This  locating  Hobbes  has been accomplished by drawing  of the seventeenth century  honour, and to Hobbes' reasons When  f o r Hobbes' p o s i t i o n on  within  mixed-conception o f honour.  f o r taking  the debate  debate about  the debate s e r i o u s l y .  I said  that  he  held  a  Although he was a s t e r n c r i t i c o f the  older c h i v a l r i c t r a d i t i o n Hobbes d i d not abandon i t e n t i r e l y f o r a m e r i t o c r a t i c view.  The best way to appreciate Hobbes' own model o f  -188-  a r i s t o c r a t i c v i r t u e i s to see  which v i r t u e s he  recommends as  the  psychological r e a l i t y of h i s laws of nature.  5.7  The Magnanimous Man  Hobbes had  a preferred  model of  aristocratic  which derived i t s features from both o l d and new c h i v a l r i c sources and  from more recent  character;  sources:  one  from older  Renaissance sources.  In as  much as h i s model combined these features i t i s c o r r e c t l y thought o f as  a mixed-model; one  capable of  functioning as  e s p e c i a l l y when i t i s compared with Hobbes might also be c r i t i c a l less  clear.  I  believe  connections with  the  archaic  a critical  tool  conception.  That  of the unmixed m e r i t o c r a t i c model i s  that  his  sympathies  were,  despite  his  a m a r t i a l image of g a l l a n t r y , strongly behind  a  conception  of n o b i l i t y that could be elaborated e n t i r e l y i n terms of  the  virtues.  moral  Hobbes  1  noble,  gallant, just,  i n d i v i d u a l i s i n important respects a concession his  thoroughly  civilian  or  magnanimous  to the past, since  view of what c o n s t i t u t e s moral  excellence  depends i n no way upon e i t h e r blood or m a r t i a l prowess.  Nor does i t  depend upon a r e l i g i o u s consciousness, a point that was  not l o s t on  those of Hobbes' contemporaries who civilians devout.  -  41  those  However, t h i s  attacked  the  characterization through  concerned  a  excellences:  merely of  section civil.  Hobbes'  consideration  with  of  drew a d i s t i n c t i o n between the civil  righteousness  will  not  Instead,  preferred the  laws  deal I  model of  with  shall as  he  nature  - and  the  those  who  develop himself understood  a did, as  -189-  The laws o f nature are immutable and e t e r n a l : what they f o r b i d , can never be l a w f u l ; what they command, can never be unlawful. For p r i d e , i n g r a t i t u d e , breach of -contracts...inhumanity, contumely, w i l l never be l a w f u l , nor the contrary v i r t u e s t o these ever unlawful, as we take them f o r d i s p o s i t i o n s o f the mind, that i s , as they are considered i n the court of conscience, where only they oblige and are laws. (E.W.II, 46)  By reference Hobbes  1  to the content  o f these  laws  I hope to show that  noble i n d i v i d u a l , h i s magnanimous man, i s , while c e r t a i n l y  embodying elements o f an o l d c h i v a l r i c code, modified and r e f i n e d i n terms o f the v i r t u e s Hobbes saw as c i v i l . As might be expected, given Hobbes' worry about self-esteem and honour as other-centred, h i s magnanimous man enjoys a s t a t e o f mind, " a r i s i n g from imagination o f a man's own power and a b i l i t y " .  (E.W..  I l l , 45) This s t a t e o f mind i s r e f e r r e d t o e i t h e r as " j o y " ( i b i d . ) or " g l o r y i n g " , ( i b i d . ) and consistent with the b e l i e f that power i s preeminence o f power ( a l l e q u a l i t y o f power being contention), t h i s joy or g l o r y i n g i s symptomatic of favourable  comparison:  Glory, or i n t e r n a l g l o r i a t i o n or triumph o f the mind, i s that passion which proceedeth from the imagination or conception o f our own power, above the power o f him that contendeth with us. (E.L., 36-37) The magnanimous man, as d i s t i n c t from those who f a l s e l y value t h e i r own c a p a c i t i e s ,  i s able  to make a c o r r e c t estimate of h i s power  based on h i s "experience o f h i s own former and  proceed  (E.L.,  47)  a c t i o n s " , (E.W.Ill,45)  to a c t i n what Hobbes r e f e r s to as an "open manner". The man we are dealing with  knowledge, wealth, or s t a t u s (more l i k e l y  i s superior e i t h e r i n the l a t t e r two) and h i s  s u p e r i o r i t y i s marked by how he t r e a t s h i s i n f e r i o r s .  Unlike the  -190-  man who laughs at the misfortune o f others who  lords  i t over  common  men,  (E.W. 11,3-4) or the one  s c o f f i n g and j e e r i n g at  weakness, Hobbes' noble does n e i t h e r .  He does not laugh  their a t the  f a i l u r e s of others, "because i t i s a f f e c t a t i o n o f glory from other men's i n f i r m i t i e s " , (E.L., 47) and not from any a b i l i t y o f h i s . Nor does he t r e a t i n f e r i o r s with scorn or contempt.  Indeed those among  the more potent subjects who are s i n g l e d out f o r praise by Hobbes, are s i n g l e d out because o f t h e i r r o l e i n safeguarding the i n t e r e s t s of t h e i r s o c i a l i n f e r i o r s : The honour of great persons, i s t o be valued for t h e i r beneficence and the aids they give t o men o f i n f e r i o r rank, or not at a l l . (E.W.Ill, 333) This i s tantamount t o saying that only some among those who are r i c h and potent - and thereby the r e c i p i e n t s o f conventional honour - have anything about them which i s r e a l l y worthwhile.  We are safe  to conclude t h i s because Hobbes says f i r s t l y t h a t , " [ t j h e r e be some signs o f honour, both i n a t t r i b u t e s and a c t i o n s , that be n a t u r a l l y so;  as amongst a t t r i b u t e s ,  ( I b i d . , 349) and secondly either sensual and  ground  just,  liberal,  and the l i k e " ;  that the "greatest part o f mankind" are  down by need or driven by greed, or abandoned t o  pleasure,  thus those  good,  (ibid.,  331) L i b e r a l i t y  presupposes s u p e r f l u i t y ,  who conform to Hobbes' i d e a l are men o f substance  whose endeavours are framed i n part by the concerns o f others. Since Hobbes has c l e a r l y asserted that conventional honour i s a pure function o f the reception one's power r e c e i v e s , and that great but infamous acts can be sources  o f great honour, h i s own i d e a l o f  the q u a l i t i e s worthy o f the t i t l e o f n a t u r a l honour i s a c r i t i c a l  -191-  i d e a l : an i d e a l capable o f pointing to a lack of r e a l n o b i l i t y among the n o b i l i t y and others of great power. Magnanimity, considered  as a s t a t e of mind, i s p r i d e ; pride i n  our c a p a c i t i e s , where the evaluation of those c a p a c i t i e s i s c a r r i e d out  i n terms of  past a c t i o n s .  Hobbes states  unequivocally  that  pride i n t h i s sense i s d e s i r a b l e : Proper self-esteem...is not a perturbation, but a s t a t e of mind that ought to be. Those who estimate t h e i r worth c o r r e c t l y , do so on the basis of t h e i r past deeds. (DeH, 60-61)  But  of course Hobbes invokes the  image of the  mythical  p r e c i s e l y because he wishes to emphasize that c i v i l the  presence of  (E.W.Ill, 307)  coercive  c o n s t r a i n t s on  the  Leviathan  peace requires  "children of  There i s no c o n f l i c t here however, since  pride". Leviathan  i s not invoked to contain self-confidence or self-esteem, but rather to constrain those whose pride denies " c i v i l amity" to " a l l those, with whom the business of the world (ibid.,  702)  The  A r i s t o t l e , hold  problem  that they  others only to serve...".  is  "by  constrains us to converse...",  the  individuals  who,  following  nature are made worthy to command,  (E.W.II, 38)  Their superciliousness i s ,  as the opening argument of De Cive p o s i t s , one of the c h i e f reasons why  civility  f i r s t eleven  without coercion i s u n r e a l i z a b l e .  As a c o r r e c t i v e the  laws of nature i n De Cive e x t o l v i r t u e s which are  the  p o s i t i v e content of c i v i l character; they are also the properties of Hobbes' magnanimous In  De  Cive  man.  Hobbes  refers  "fundamental", (E.W.II, 16) and  to  the  first  law  of  nature  as  suggests that those laws of nature  -192-  which  follow  are  "derived"  from i t . ( i b i d . ,  17)  The  "first  and  fundamental law of nature" i s stated thus: [T]hat peace i s to be sought after,- where i t may be found; and where not, there to provide ourselves f o r helps'of war, ( i b i d . )  The d e r i v a t i v e laws s a i d to follow from t h i s fundamental one " d i r e c t the  ways e i t h e r to peace or self-defence." ( i b i d )  Looked at purely  as d i c t a t e s or d i r e c t i v e s , the laws of nature which follow the f i r s t might w e l l be taken as p a r t i c u l a r means f o r accomplishing what i s prescribed i n the double-barrelled f i r s t although Hobbes does c a l l  and fundamental law.  But  the laws of nature "dictates of r i g h t  reason", ( i b i d . , 16-17) he also r e f e r s to the content of the derived laws o f nature as v i r t u e s and v i c e s : [R]eason i s s t i l l the same, and changeth not her end, which i s peace and defence, nor the means to a t t a i n them, to w i t , those v i r t u e s of the mind which we have declared above, and which cannot be abrogated by any custom or law whatsoever, ( i b i d . , 47) Furthermore, i t i s by reference to t h i s content that Hobbes gives one account of the o b l i g a t o r y nature of the laws: The laws o f nature are immutable and- e t e r n a l : what they f o r b i d , can never be l a w f u l ; what they command, can never be unlawful. For pride, i n g r a t i t u d e , breach of contracts (or i n j u r y ) , inhumanity, contumely, w i l l never be l a w f u l , nor the contrary v i r t u e s to these ever unlawful, as we take them for d i s p o s i t i o n s of the mind, that i s , as they are considered i n the court of conscience, where only they oblige and are laws, ( i b i d . 46)  Since  Hobbes  considers  "manners"  to  be  those  qualities  which  "concern...living together i n peace, and u n i t y " ,  (E.W.Ill, 85) i t  would  treatment of the  seem p l a u s i b l e  to look  upon h i s d e t a i l e d  rl93-.  derived  laws o f nature as an  extended  a n a l y s i s o f the character  t r a i t s he took to be most relevant to c i v i l Yet, nature  there i s one itself  courage  respect i n which  encapsulates a  exercise also  virtue,  seems to require  to seek  peace  life. the  namely  courage  fundamental  tractableness.  along both  magnanimity.  Its  when the circumstances are uncertain,  plays a prominent r o l e i n Hobbes  1  of  i t s pathways:  courage to defend oneself through combat or "helps of war". 16) Courageousness  law  and  (E.W.II,  f i r s t model o f  In h i s d i s c u s s i o n o f the r e l a t i o n s h i p between fear and  dishonour Hobbes r e f e r s to "the passion of courage or magnanimity" (E.L., 101) as that which kept some from wanton k i l l i n g . see any reason for b e l i e v i n g that  people  of  the  best  I cannot  that Hobbes ever abandoned the view  kind  would  be  courageous,  and  i t is  p r e c i s e l y h i s a l l e g i a n c e to what might properly be thought o f as the m a r t i a l aspect o f h i s model that gains expression i n the formulation of the f i r s t law. The grimmer, more m a r t i a l side to t h i s f i r s t law comes out very clearly  when  application  Hobbes  of  the  considers laws  of  the  role  nature.  of  What  conscience reciprocity  in  the  requires  depends on what others are doing, and Hobbes i s e x p l i c i t about our required behaviour i n the event that others are predatory: I f perhaps some, more humble than the r e s t , should exercise that equity and usefulness which reason d i c t a t e s , the others not p r a c t i s i n g the same, surely they would not follow reason i n so doing...the keepers of the law become a mere prey to the breakers of i t . (E.W.11,45)  There are those whose conception of n o b i l i t y of mind would embrace the  turning  of  the  other  cheek  in  this  situation.  Hobbes'  -194-  conception  of the magnanimous man  i s dismissive of abnegation  decent q u a l i t y , without i n any way  impugning i t s c i v i l  the propensity to allow to other men that i t i s necessary to  to l i f e ,  one's detriment,  betraying  q u a l i t i e s o f character are  steadfastness,  those  who  do  demand on the pretext  ( i b i d . , 39-40)  To be meek and humble  and  poorness of s p i r i t , and  i n the time of war."  emerging i n t h i s  courage, and  a l l things".  counterpart:  what we  " i s dejectedness  of one's s e l f ,  as a  (ibid.,  discussion of  might:  "doing  45n)  The  reciprocity  a l l things  Hobbes' paragon "plunders  a  against  plunderers."  (ibid). Hobbes' treatment tinge.  of revenge and c r u e l t y has an equally m a r t i a l  I t i s a v i r t u e , so  Hobbes says i n De  punishments or i n f l i c t damage only when we the  evil  past,  but  the  future  good".  Cive, to carry  out  d i r e c t "our eye not at (E.W.11,37)  To  damage  g r a t u i t o u s l y , that i s , without l i k e l i h o o d of future good, i s " c a l l e d cruelty",  (ibid.,38)  terms of  i t s propensity  forced  The  to explain the  especially  in  appear to be  those  viciousness of c r u e l t y i s explained to  compound enmity, but  utterly  when Hobbes i s  r e l a t i o n s h i p between c r u e l t y and  s i t u a t i o n s where permissive  -  the  the  right  restraint  in  of  honour  nature  -  would  against c r u e l t y  e x i s t s as the operation of self-consciousness: "that bewrayeth the conscience  of one's own  magnanimous man honour, based  weakness". (E.L.,101)  What could keep the  from wanton forms of damage i s concern with in this  instance  on  interpret  c r u e l t y as  fear-generated.  justified  fear of t h e i r regeneration  exercise i n dominance - woe  his  belief  Destroying i s one  that  others  enemies  t h i n g ; doing  to the vanquished - i s another.  his will  through i t as  an  Killing  -195-  some that are u n l i k e l y dangers i s pusillanimous and base, and i s , i n terms of Hobbes' understanding of psychic s t r u c t u r e , a demonstration of dependence: that you are i n some way safety.  Being  beholden  in  any  way  dependent on them f o r your is  inimical  s e l f - r e l i a n c e that marks Hobbes' noble man,  to  the  proud  and the mark i t leaves  him with i s c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of the autonomy so j e a l o u s l y guarded  by  those petty lords who were prominent among the German conquerors of an e a r l i e r period. (E.W..III, 81-83, 340 and VI, 259-60) Commentators have not taken much note of Hobbes' references to the  past.  Where they  have i t has  usually  further g r i s t to the s t a t e of nature m i l l : Europe i n the d i s t a n t past. Hobbes  feared the  been seen  as  merely  America here and now  and  But i f I am correct i n the b e l i e f that  fragmenting  effect  of  aristocratic  dissidence  because i t threatened to return h i s nation to an e a r l i e r stage of i t s development (more powerful nobles and a l e s s powerful monarchy), then the image of the German l o r d s associated merely f o r conquest i s more s i g n i f i c a n t .  Hobbes, l i k e  Hooker, understood  commonwealth as the united w i l l s  the c i v i t a s  or  of a multitude " i n one  person",  (E.W.Ill, 158) and emphatically not the mere concurrence  of w i l l s  that  might  conquests.  well  be  true  of  a  group  of  tribes  in  search  of  Hooker noted t h a t , "a multitude should...concurre i n the 42  doing of one  thing  (for t h i s  is civilly  to l i v e ) " ,  and Hobbes'  endeavour i s to defend a model of i n d i v i s i b l e sovereignty completely at odds with the s p i r i t of the German t r i b e s , (see E.W.  VI, 259)  Turning back to the v i r t u e s i n De Cive, gratitude i s described in  terms  that i l l u s t r a t e  l i f e : the court.  an  important  The t h i r d law s t a t e s :  dimension  of  aristocratic  -196-  [T]hat- you s u f f e r not him to be worse f o r you,- who, out - of the confidence he had i n you, f i r s t d i d you a good t u r n ; - or that you accept not a gift-, but with a mind - to endeavour that- the giver s h a l l have- no j u s t occasion -to repent him -of h i s g i f t . (E.W.11,35)  This precept, l i k e most of those that Hobbes o f f e r s , i s urged on us in its  order to avoid the consequences attendant on the f l o u r i s h i n g of e v i l counterpart.  aught  of mutual  I f i n g r a t i t u d e r e i g n s , then "there would  assistance  among them, nor  gaining grace and favour." ( i b i d . )  any  be  commencement of  In a s o c i e t y where success and  s o c i a l prominence were c r u c i a l l y dependent on the good o f f i c e s others who  might  intercede on one's behalf, anything which had  p o t e n t i a l to h a l t the flow o f influence was favour  were  bestowed  by  social  dangerous.  superiors on  those  Grace below,  mediated by those i n the middle, those whose power was what i t could get one access t o . brings  this  of  point out admirably:  a and  but  valued f o r  Bacon's comment on Fulke G r e v i l l e " S i r Fulke G r e v i l  had  much and  p r i v a t e access to Queen E l i z a b e t h , which he used honourably, and d i d many men  43 good."  Lawrence Stone  i s an  excellent  guide  to  the  s o c i a l context assumed by Hobbes' account o f gratitude as a v i r t u e : Attendance at court was more than a duty and a pleasure: i t was a l s o a necessity. So wide a range of g i f t s and favours flowed from the Prince that i t was e s s e n t i a l for every nobleman to have some influence at Court, which with the decline of the overmighty subject developed i n t o the unique market-place for the d i s t r i b u t i o n of an enormous range of o f f i c e s , favours, and t i t l e s . 4 4  Hobbes expected the growth of i n g r a t i t u d e to have roughly the same e f f e c t on l i f e at Court that c i v i l war had on the enjoyment of the f r u i t s of knowledge.  -197-  Hobbes' magnanimous man  bears h i s own  element of which i s comparative; r e l a t i o n to those of others. has  survey, an i n e r a d i c a b l e  he understands h i s excellences i n  However, w i t h i n an honour c u l t u r e that  contention as an i n t r i n s i c part, insolence and  contempt may  be  used as d e l i b e r a t e s t r a t e g i e s to d e f l a t e the honour of others. men  who  scorn  f e e l themselves superior must be schooled i n public l i f e .  mentioned, by  This  magnanimity  i s partly  being  to avoid showing  accomplished,  defined  as  as  already  a propensity  those of i n f e r i o r s t a t u s , not to r e v i l e them.  So,  to  help  At t h i s point of h i s  a n a l y s i s of the laws of nature Hobbes i s c l e a r l y being c r i t i c a l the r e i g n i n g model of honour which drives men lives  (that  (E.W.11,38)  I  say  not,  The  men  he  their  is  peace)  familiar  to "rather lose t h e i r  than  with  of  suffer  kill  each  slander". other  "for  t r i f l e s , as a word, a s m i l e , a d i f f e r e n t opinion, and any other sign of  undervalue."  England had  no  (E.W.111,112)  Most  men  in  seventeenth-century  honour to l o s e , so the i n j u n c t i o n against what he  c a l l s the v i c e of contumeliousness i s a Hobbesian counsel insolence and  p r i c k l y pride among the n o b i l i t y .  argument i m p l i e s , i s i n c o n s i s t e n t with jeering  at  one's  inferiors.  against  True n o b i l i t y , h i s  disparaging, r i d i c u l i n g  Witness  his  comment  on  or  "present  gallantry": Fine c l o t h e s , great feathers, c i v i l i t y towards men that w i l l not swallow i n j u r i e s , and i n j u r y towards them that w i l l , i s the present g a l l a n t r y . (E.W. VI, 211)  Finally, "usefulness", himself  there or,  is  stated  a as  u s e f u l unto others".  virtue a  which  precept,  (E.W.11,36)  Hobbes "that The  refers  every  to  man  importance of  as  render this  -198-  q u a l i t y i n making my case i s that i t once again draws our a t t e n t i o n to  that segment of the n o b i l i t y whose wealth and p o s i t i o n allow them  ease, but whose pretensions them unable  to  confront  to power, and  civil  argues i s needed for peace.  strangers Such men  whose arrogance, i n the  will,  way  render  that  Hobbes  while p e r f e c t l y w e l l  supplied with preservation's needs, "contend on the other side f o r superfluities", contending", "inhumanity" complex  of  while  (ibid)  on  them  Hobbes  "alone  noted  there  that  lay  Cicero  no  necessity  called  this  of  vice  ( i b i d . ) and i t f i g u r e s i n Hobbes' thought as part of a dispositions  making  it  difficult  for  a  man  to  "accommodate himself to o t h e r s " ( i b i d ) ; i n t h i s instance because he i s i n d i f f e r e n t to the needs of others, and i n other instances where he i s e i t h e r too proud to allow e q u a l i t y or too greedy t o .  (E.W.II,  39-40) These are not a l l of the v i r t u e s and v i c e s that Hobbes t r e a t s as  part of h i s account of  the  laws of nature;  quite a  few  are  devoted to the properties of a good a r b i t r a t o r or judge.  However,  from those we have looked at two  things at l e a s t emerge.  Firstly,  some of the v i r t u e s more t y p i c a l of the  chivalric  Hobbes accepted  past, encapsulated Secondly, he  i n the idea that magnanimity was  clearly  disliked  much of  the  conception had on the tenor of s o c i a l l i f e . his  impact that the  older  Hence the other h a l f of  mixed-conception i s supplied by q u a l i t i e s that are c i v i l i a n :  v i r t u e s of a c i t i z e n who business  of  the  magnanimous man but  courageousness.  i f so,  world  the  can i n t e r a c t peacefully with those whom the brings  him  into  contact  with.  Hobbes'  i s perhaps an odd amalgam of two l i n e s of i n f l u e n c e ;  that  might  show  us  something  important  about  the  -199-  h i s t o r i c a l stance that Hobbes adopts.  In t h i s aspect o f h i s thought  - the c r e a t i o n of a model o f a r i s t o c r a t i c neither  thoroughly  position  is  archaic,  nor  transitional.  i s he  Hobbes  character  thoroughly  was  both  - Hobbes i s modern.  His  philosopher  and  h i s t o r i a n , but these r o l e s tend to intermingle when he considers the nature  o f the n o b i l i t y .  At both the personal  l e v e l , where Hobbes  was t u t o r and counsel to two o f the Earls o f Devonshire, and at the level  of theory,  aristocracy patron this  Hobbes  under the Stuarts  1  analysis  parallels  of the p l i g h t o f the that  of h i s friend  the Duke of Newcastle, the degree of Hobbes social  suggests, their  where  c l a s s seems p r o f o u n d .  concern with  Yet the remedies that Hobbes  and i n p a r t i c u l a r h i s model o f noble character,  features  pre-feudal nobility  45  1  past.  from  Hobbes  1  constant  His f i n a l observation  were working with  and  conceptions  reference  derive  to a feudal  and  would seem to be that the of character  that  derived  from the warrior c u l t u r e o f the o l d Germans, and that the r o l e o f an aristocracy  w i t h i n a monarchy was  poorly  grasped by the Stuarts.  There were o f course other s i g n i f i c a n t forces a t work, as Stone has demonstrated, but these two were predominant i n Hobbes' a n a l y s i s .  -200-  NOTES Notes f o r the Introduction. 1.  These words come from a l e t t e r that Hobbes, then at Chatsworth and no doubt engaged i n w r i t i n g The Elements o f Law, wrote to h i s l a t e s t charge, William Cavendish, 3rd E a r l of Devonshire. Cavendish would have been 21 and had presumably stayed i n P a r i s a f t e r Hobbes returned i n 1637. The l e t t e r i s r e p r i n t e d i n Miriam Reik's The Golden- Lands of- Thomas Hobbes, ( D e t r o i t , 1977), pp. 197-8.  Notes for Chapter 1  1.  Quentin Skinner, "Conquest and Consent: Thomas Hobbes and the Engagement Controversy" i n G.E. Aylmer (ed.), The Interregnum: The Quest f o r Settlement 1646-1660 (London, 1972), p. 98. This book also has a bibliography that d e t a i l s a l l o f the Skinner a r t i c l e s on Hobbes.  2.  Quentin Skinner, "Hobbes's Leviathan", The H i s t o r i c a l Journal , VII, 2 (1964), pp. 321-333, but e s p e c i a l l y pp. 324-5. In h i s "Ideological Context o f Hobbes's P o l i t i c a l Thought", The H i s t o r i c a l Journal, X I , 3 (1966), Skinner claims that "Although the Patriarchal discussion of man's nature was c h a r a c t e r i s t i c a l l y i n s c r i p t u r a l terms, there was a curious p a r a l l e l even here between t h e i r invocation o f f a l l e n man and Hobbes's assumption o f innate wickedness as a p o l i t i c a l premiss." (p. 300).  3.  See E.W. I l l , 710 and E.L., x v - x v i .  4.  The suggestion was made by Peter Remnant i n correspondence.  5.  For Hobbes's own account o f The Elements o f Law i n manuscript form see E.W. IV, 414; f o r Robertson's account of the p u b l i c a t i o n / p r i n t i n g o f De Cive see h i s Hobbes (London, 1886), pp. 50-58.  6.  See S t i r l i n g Lamprecht's Introduction to h i s e d i t i o n of Hobbes's De Cive (New York, 1949), p. x v i i i .  7.  Anthony Quinton, The P o l i t i c s of Imperfection (London, 1978), p. 32.  8.  See e s p e c i a l l y E.W. I l l , 308.  -201-  9.  Quentin Skinner, "Thomas Hobbes and h i s D i s c i p l e s i n France and England", Comparative - Studies i n Society and H i s t o r y, V I I I , (1965-1966), p. 154.  10. i b i d . , p. 163. 11. Skinner i s of course aware of t h i s and does mention e a r l y reactions to De Cive, or at l e a s t who read i t . See I b i d . , p. 167. 12. i b i d . , p. 163-4. 13. In H i s t o r i c a l Manuscripts Commission, 13th • Report-, Appendix; P a r t - I I , The Manuscript of His Grace the Duke o f Portland; 2:126. 14. From the Latin Verse Autobiography (L.W.I., Ixxxv-xciv) as t r a n s l a t e d by Benjamin Farrington, R a t i o n a l i s t Annual (1958) p. 26. 15. Quoted from John Bowie's Hobbes - and His C r i t i c s : A Study i n Seventeenth Century C o n s t i t u t i o n a l i s m (London, 1951), p. 71. 16. See Skinner's "Conquest and Consent..." o p . c i t , pp. 94-98. 17. For d e t a i l s o f t h i s debate see V i c t o r H a r r i s , A l l Coherence Gone (Chicago, 1949). 18. See Bowie, Hobbes and His C r i t i c s . . . , o p . c i t . , pp. 77 and 79i 19. P l a t o , The- Republic (London, 1955), e s p e c i a l l y the f i r s t two sections of Bk. I I (354-367), pp. 87-99 of the Penguin e d i t i o n . 20. See Bowie, Hobbes and His C r i t i c s . . . , o p . c i t . , p. 80. 21. i b i d . , p. 121. 22. i b i d . , p. 194. 23. Aubrey reports that " I have heard him say that A r i s t o t l e was the worst Teacher that ever was, the worst P o l i t i c i a n and Ethick - a Country-fellow that could l i v e i n the world would be as good: but h i s Rhetorique and Discourse - on Animals was r a r e . " Brief Lives (Penguin e d i t i o n of 1976), p. 318. 24. Dennett of course d i d not introduce hard w i r i n g as a term of a r t , but he does use i t with respect to t r o p i s t i c behaviour i n creatures l i k e the Sphex wasp. See Brainstorms (Sussex, 1979), p. 76-77. 25. John Eachard, Mr. Hobbes's State of Nature Considered (London, 1672), p. 7.  -202-  26. i b i d . , pp. 12 and 60-61. 27. This i s the substance of Hobbes's " r u l e , by which the laws of nature may be e a s i l y examined." (E.W. I l l , 144) 28. In Benjamin 1751).  Whichcote, Works, V o l . , I l l , Sect, i v (Aberdeen,  29. John Passmore, Ralph Cudworth (Cambridge, 1950), p. 11. 30. Ralph Cudworth, True (London, 1845), p. 496.  I n t e l l e c t u a l - System  o f • the  Universe  31. Anthony, E a r l of Shaftesbury, C h a r a c t e r i s t i c s (London, 1900). The - Inquiry from which I quote was f i r s t published i n 1699, and l a t e r included i n the 1711 e d i t i o n of the former work. 32. G.C. Robertson, Hobbes (Edinburgh, 1886), p. 135-6. 33. Ferdinand Tonnies, Community and Society (New York, p. 134. The f i r s t German e d i t i o n appeared i n 1887.  1963),  34. L e s l i e Stephen, Hobbes (Ann Arbor, 1961), p. 23. 35. i b i d . , pp. 141-2. 36. i b i d . For the essay i n which Stephen does o f f e r more discussion of materialism, see "What i s Materialism?" i n An Agnostic's Apology London, 1893). Notes f o r Chapter 2 1.  David P. Gauthier, The Logic of Leviathan (Oxford, 1969), p. 98.  2.  David P. Gauthier, "Thomas Hobbes: Moral Theorist", The Journal of-Philosophy, LXXVI, No. 10, October 1979, pp. 547-59, p. 548.  2a. i b i d . , p. 547. 2b. i b i d . , p. 548. 3.  David P. Gauthier, P r a c t i c a l Reasoning (Oxford, 1963), p. 85.  4.  i b i d i , p. 189.  5.  i b i d . , p. 90.  6.  David P. Gauthier, "Morality and Advantage", Review, LXXVI, October 1967, pp. 460-475, p. 471.  Philosophical  -2037.  David P. Gauthier, "Reason and Maximization", Canadian Journal of Philosophy, V o l . 4, 1975, pp. 411-33, p. 424.  8.  i b i d l , p. 431.  9.  D.P.  Gauthier, The Logic of Leviathan, op. c i t , p. v i .  10. i b i d . 11. i b i d . pp. 12. D.P.  1-26.  Gauthier, The Logic of Leviathan, op. c i t . p.5.  13. i b i d . , p. 6. 14. i b i d . 15. i b i d . 16. i b i d . , p. 7. 17. i b i d . ,  p.8.  18. i b i d . 19. i b i d . , p. 45. 20. i b i d . , p. 61. 21. i b i d . , p. 45. 22. See 8 above. 23. K.R. Minogue, "Hobbes and the Just Man" i n Hobbes and- Rousseau: A C o l l e c t i o n of- C r i t i c a l Essays edited by M. Cranston and R.S. Peters (New York, 1972), pp. 66-84. See p.82. 24. Leo Strauss, The P o l i t i c a l Philosophy of Hobbes: I t s Basis I t s Genesis (Chicago, 1963), p. 24 and 25 for the next. 25. "Hobbes and the Just Man",  op.cit.,  and  p.78.  26. Quoted from the V i t a Johannis- ep. Teruanensis by Marc Bloch i n h i s Feudal Society (Chicago, 1974) pp. 300-301.  Notes for Chapter - 3 1.  F.S. McNeilly, "Egoism i n Hobbes", The P h i l o s o p h i c a l Quarterly, V o l . 16, No. 64 ( J u l y , 1966), pp. 193-206, p. 193.  -204-  2.  Bernard Gert's paper, "Hobbes, Mechanism, and Egoism" appeared i n The - P h i l o s o p h i c a l - Quarterly, V o l . 15, No. 61 (October, 1965), pp. 341-349.  3.  F.S. McNeilly, o p . c i t . , pp. 200-201.  4.  H i s t o r i c a l Manuscript Commission^ 13th Report, Appendix, Part I I , The Manuscripts of His Grace the Duke of Portland, 2: 126.  5.  A r i s t o t l e , De Anima (translated by J.A. Smith) i n The- Basic Works of A r i s t o t l e , edited by Richard McKeon (New York, 1941), p. 537. The l i n e reference i s 403a 29f.  6.  R.I. Aaron, "A P o s s i b l e Early Draft of Hobbes' De Mind, Vols. 52-3 (1944-5), pp. 342-355.  7.  H i s t o r i c a l Manuscript Commission e t c . , 2: 124.  8.  i b i d . , 2: 126.  9.  For Hobbes' l e t t e r i b i d . , 2: 128. For Brandt's conjecture see h i s Thomas Hobbes' Mechanical Conception o f Nature (Copenhagen, 1928), p. 391.  Corpore",  10. H i s t o r i c a l Manuscript Commission e t c . , 2: 128. 11. i b i d . , 2: 130. 12. This l e t t e r , among others, i s to be found i n E.G. Jacoby's e d i t i o n o f , Studien zur Philosophie und ;Gesellschaftslehre i n 17-Jahrhundert ( S t u t t g a r t , 1974), p. 147. 13. See A.I. Sabra, Theories o f Light from Descartes - to- Newton (London, 1967), e s p e c i a l l y chs. 1-3; Richard W e s t f a l l , Force i n Newton's Physics (New York, 1971), ch. 2; Alan Shapiro, "Light, Pressure, and R e c t i l i n e a r Propagation: Descartes' C e l e s t i a l Optics and Newton's h y d r o s t a t i c s " , i n Studies i n the History and Philosophy of Science, V o l . 5 (1974), pp. 239-296. 14. Descartes, Discourse on Meteorology, t r a n s l a t e d By p. 34.  Method, Optics; Geometry, and Paul Olscamp (Indianapolis, 1965),  15. i b i d . , p. 65. 16. Descartes - P h i l o s o p h i c a l L e t t e r s , t r a n s l a t e d and edited by Kenny (Oxford, 1970), pp. 18-19.  A.  17. Descartes, Discourse on Method e t c . , p. 36. 18. From Oeuvres de Descartes, V o l . 1, p. 194; the t r a n s l a t i o n i s that of Alan Shapiro at page 242 of h i s a r t i c l e c i t e d i n note 13 above.  -205-  19. Descartes, Discourse - on - Method  e t c . , p. 67.  20. i b i d . 21'. i b i d . , p. 68. 22. i b i d . 23. i b i d . 24. i b i d . 25. i b i d . , p. 69. 26. i b i d . 27. i b i d . , p.70. 28. i b i d . 29. Qeuvres de Descartes, V o l . 1, pp. 542-543. 30. F. Brandt, o p . c i t . 31. i b i d . 32. For t h i s l e t t e r see Hobbes' Latin Works, V o l . V, pp. 294-298. The t r a n s l a t i o n was made by Peter Remnant. 33. From Max Kohler, "Studien zur Naturphilosophie des Th. Hobbes", Archiv fur Geschichte- der- Philosophie, V o l . 16 (1903), pp. 59-96; quote comes from page 72. 34. Descartes, Discourse on Method e t c . , p. 70. 35. L.W.V, 295. Remnant.  Once  again,  the t r a n s l a t i o n  i s that  of Peter  Notes f o r Chapter-4 1.  D.D. Raphael, Hobbes: Morals and P o l i t i c s (London, 1977). f i r s t passage appears on page 30, the second on page 26.  2.  T.A. Spragens, p. 189.  3.  D.P. Gauthier, The Logic o f Leviathan (Oxford, 1969), p.7.  4.  Homer, The I l i a d , t r a n s l a t e d p. 81.  The  Politics  of Motion  (Lexington  The  KY, 1973),  by R. Lattimore, (Chicago,  1971),  -2-06-  5.  Anthony a Wood, Athenae Oxonienses (Oxford, 1680), p. 482.  6.  See I. D ' I s r a e l i , L i t e r a r y M i s c e l l a n i e s (London, 1840), p. 309.  7.  See Hobbes' l e t t e r o f 1638 to the young 3rd E a r l of Devonshire, reprinted i n M. Reik, The Golden - Lands- of Thomas Hobbes ( D e t r o i t , 1977), pp. 197-198.  Notes for Chapter 5  1.  R.G. Collingwood, The - New p a r t i c u l a r Part I I I .  Leviathan  (New  York,  1971).  In  2.  CB. Macpherson, The Political Theory - of Possessive Individualism: Hobbes to Locke (Oxford, 1962), p. 47.  3.  ibid.  4.  i b i d . , p. 13.  5.  i b i d . , p. 26.  6.  i b i d . , p. 13.  7.  ibid.  8.  i b i d . , pp. 16-17.  9.  Keith Thomas, "The Social Origins of Hobbes's P o l i t i c a l Thought", i n Hobbes Studies, edited by K.C Brown, (Cambridge, MA, 1965), pp. 186-236. ThTs quotation i s from pp. 186-7.  10. i b i d . , p.189. 11. i b i d . , p.  187.  12. i b i d . , p.  190.  13. i b i d . , p.  199.  14. i b i d . , p.  192.  15i  ibid.  16. Montaigne, Essays I , 31, p. 217 i n Donald Frame's t r a n s l a t i o n (Stanford, 1957). The essay i n question i s e n t i t l e d "On Presumption". 17. i b i d . , pp.  202-3.  -207-  18. L. Stone, The 1974).  C r i s i s o f the Aristocracy  1558-1641  (New  York,  19. John Selden, Table Talk (London, 1887), p. 40. 20. F. Bacon, Essays (New York, no date), p. 422. 21. I t was not missed by Richard Tuck however, and chapter 6 of h i s Natural Rights Theories;•- - Their Origin - and - Development (Cambridge, 1979) discusses the question i n d e t a i l . 22. The period i n question was between 1610 and 1628. 23. Quoted by Lawrence Stone, o p . c i t . , p. 174. 1  24. Details o f Hobbes involvement are to be found i n Noel Malcolm's "Hobbes, Sandys, and the V i r g i n i a Company", The H i s t o r i c a l Journal, 24, 2 (1981), 297-321. 25. Quoted by Mervyn James i n h i s English P o l i t i c s and the Concept of Honour 1485-1642, Past and Present Supplement T, (Oxford 1978), p. 5. 26. Quoted by Lawrence Stone, o p . c i t . , p. 350. 27. From James Cleland, Propaideia, or the I n s t i t u t i o n o f a Young Noble Man, quoted by Mervyn James, o p . c i t . , p. 4. 28. Mervyn James, o p . c i t . 29. A r i s t o t l e , Metaphysics, 1018b 22f. 30. Christopher Kirwan, i n h i s notes to A r i s t o t l e ' s Books Gamma; Delta, and Epsilon (Oxford, 1970).  Metaphysics,  31. See i n p a r t i c u l a r Vernon Snow's "Essex and the A r i s t o c r a t i c Opposition to the Early Stuarts", Journal of Modern H i s t o r y , 32 (1960), 224-233. 32. Cassio: "Reputation, reputation, r e p u t a t i o n ! 0, I Have l o s t my r e p u t a t i o n ! I have l o s t the immortal part of myself, and what remains i s b e s t i a l . " (Othello 2.3. 257-259). 33. Bacon, o p . c i t . , p. 219. 34. Du Vair's d e f i n i t i o n i s quoted by C B . Watson i n Shakespeare and the Renaissance Concept o f Honour (Princeton, 1960), p. 386. 35. Montaigne, op. c i t . , volume 2, p. 203. 36. For d e t a i l s o f those who put t h i s case see James o p . c i t .  -208-  37. C.L. Barber, The Idea o f Honour i n the English Drama,T591-1700, Gothenberg: Gothenberg Studies i n English VI, 1957; pp. 271-2. 38. See Snow o p . c i t . 39! Quoted by Snow, op. c i t . , p. 227. 40. Watson, o p . c i t . , p. 418. 41. See Samuel Rutherford, T r i a l s 1654), p. 102.  and  Triumphs  42. Richard Hooker, E c c l e s i a s t i c a l P o l i t i e  of- Faith  (London,  1,15.  43. Bacon, o p . c i t . , p. 408. 44. Stone, o p . c i t . , p. 191. 45. A good source of information about Newcastle and h i s views i s Geoffrey Trease, P o r t r a i t o f a Cavalier: William Cavendish, F i r s t Duke of Newcastle (London, 1979).  -209-  BIBLIOGRAPHY 1  Aaron, R.I., "A Possible Early Draft of Hobbes De Corpore", Mind, Vols. 52-53 (1944-5), pp. 342-356. Appelbaum, W., "Boyle and Hobbes: A Reconsideration", Journal of the History o f Ideas, 25 1 (Jan-March, 1964), 117-119. 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