The Uses of Insincerity: Thomas Hobbes's Theory of Law and Society
John M. Kang
St. Thomas University School of Law
Law & Literature, Vol. 15, pp. 371-93, 2003
Unlike some contemporaries who favor a sincere embrace of people's equal worth, Thomas Hobbes saw the political uses for insincerity in culturally diverse societies teeming with contentious and distrustful characters. In fact, insincerity for Hobbes was as vital to the welfare of civil society as his more familiar account of authorization. In this essay, I explore a relatively neglected aspect of Hobbes' theory by working up an account of his arguments about insincerity in law and social norms, and then use it to revisit our contemporary situation of racial conflict and mistrust.
Keywords: Insincerity, Hobbes, Race, EqualityAccepted Paper Series
Date posted: May 3, 2004
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