•  16
    Hobbesian Sovereignty and the Rights of Subjects
    Hobbes Studies 32 (2): 209-230. 2019.
    Hobbes, in his political writing, is generally understood to be arguing for absolutism. I argue that despite apparently supporting absolutism, Hobbes, in Leviathan, also undermines that absolutism in at least two and possibly three ways. First, he makes sovereignty conditional upon the sovereign’s ability to ensure the safety of the people. Second and crucially, he argues that subjects have inalienable rights, rights that are held even against the sovereign. When the subjects’ preservation is th…Read more
  • Hobbes's Theory of Rights
    Dissertation, City University of New York. 1998.
    Hobbes--champion of absolutism, arch-royalist, supporter of Charles I, relentless egoist. What could he have to tell us about the natural rights of individuals? Not much, would be considered a fair reply by most and yet it is argued in this thesis that Hobbes actually holds a strong theory of natural rights. It is argued that, contrary to the interpretations of most modern Hobbes scholars, Hobbes gives primacy to the rights of the subjects rather than to the right of the sovereign to rule. The s…Read more
  •  52
    Hobbes on Equality: Context, Rhetoric, Argument
    Hobbes Studies 25 (2): 166-187. 2012.
    It is often argued that Hobbes’s arguments for natural and political equality are used instrumentally. This paper does not argue against the instrumental arguments but seeks to broaden the discussion; to analyse aspects of Hobbes’s arguments and comments on equality that are often ignored. In the context of the anti-egalitarian arguments of leading contemporary royalist commentators, Hobbes’s arguments and remarks are strikingly egalitarian. The paper argues, first, that there is an ideological …Read more
  •  6
    'There are no substantive rights for subjects in Hobbes's political theory, only bare freedoms without correlated duties to protect them'. This orthodoxy of Hobbes scholarship and its Hohfeldian assumptions are challenged by Curran who develops an argument that Hobbes provides claim rights for subjects against each other and (indirect) protection of the right to self-preservation by sovereign duties. The underlying theory, she argues, is not a theory of natural rights but rather, a modern, secul…Read more
  •  57
    Blinded by the Light of Hohfeld: Hobbes's Notion of Liberty
    Jurisprudence 1 (1): 85-104. 2010.
    Recent work in Hobbes scholarship has raised again the subject of Hobbes's notion of liberty. In this paper, I examine Hobbes's use of the notion of liberty, particularly in his theory of rights. I argue that in describing the rights that individuals hold, Hobbes is employing "liberty" to cover more than the famously restrictive definition of the "absence of external impediments" and that this broader understanding of liberty should not be put down to simple inconsistency on Hobbes's part. In th…Read more
  •  139
    Hobbes's theory of rights – a modern interest theory
    The Journal of Ethics 6 (1): 63-86. 2002.
    The received view in Thomas Hobbes scholarship is that theindividual rights described by Hobbes in his political writings andspecifically in Leviathan are simple freedoms or libertyrights, that is, rights that are not correlated with duties orobligations on the part of others. In other words, it is usually arguedthat there are no claim rights for individuals in Hobbes''s politicaltheory. This paper argues, against that view, that Hobbes does describeclaim rights, that they come into being when i…Read more
  •  4
    Jurisprudence Revisited
    Jurisprudence 6 (2): 416-420. 2015.
  •  37
    In this paper I argue that we should look to Hobbes rather than to Locke as providing a philosophical forerunner of modern and current rights theories and further, that Hobbes’s theory has relevance to and ‘speaks to’ current philosophical and jurisprudential analysis of the foundations of rights, in a way that Locke’s theory cannot. First, I summarise the argument that Hobbes does have a substantive theory of individual rights. Second, I argue that the project undertaken by A. J. Simmons, to ‘r…Read more
  •  78
    A very peculiar royalist. Hobbes in the context of his political contemporaries
    British Journal for the History of Philosophy 10 (2). 2002.
    (2002). A VERY PECULIAR ROYALIST. HOBBES IN THE CONTEXT OF HIS POLITICAL CONTEMPORARIES. British Journal for the History of Philosophy: Vol. 10, No. 2, pp. 167-208. doi: 10.1080/096087800210122455