The Uses of Insincerity: Thomas Hobbes's Theory of Law and Society

Law & Literature, Vol. 15, pp. 371-93, 2003

Posted: 3 May 2004  

John M. Kang

St. Thomas University School of Law

Abstract

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, Equality

Suggested Citation

Kang, John M., The Uses of Insincerity: Thomas Hobbes's Theory of Law and Society. Law & Literature, Vol. 15, pp. 371-93, 2003. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=535063

John M. Kang (Contact Author)

St. Thomas University School of Law ( email )

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Miami Gardens, FL 33054
United States
305.474.2460 (Phone)
305.623.2397 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://sites.google.com/site/johnmkang/

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