Liberty and Leviathan

32 Pages Posted: 5 Oct 2004  

Philip N. Pettit

Princeton University - Department of Political Science; Australian National University (ANU) - Research School of Social Sciences (RSSS)

Abstract

Hobbes persuaded later, if not immediate, successors that it is only the exercise of a power of interference that reduces people's freedom, not its (unexercised) existence - not even its existence in an arbitrary, unchecked form. And equally he persuaded them that the exercise of a power of interference always reduces freedom in the same way, whether it occur in a republican democracy, purportedly on a "non-arbitrary" basis, or under an dictatorial, arbitrary regime. But those propositions were defended in Hobbes's case on a very different basis from any that would have appealed to successors. That claim is documented on the basis of a distinction in Hobbes's work between freedom as non-commitment, of which freedom as non-obligation is the principal variety, and freedom as non-obstruction.

Suggested Citation

Pettit, Philip N., Liberty and Leviathan. Politics, Philosophy & Economics, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=600701

Philip N. Pettit (Contact Author)

Princeton University - Department of Political Science ( email )

Corwin Hall
Princeton, NJ 08544-1012
United States
609-258-4759 (Phone)
609-258-1110 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.princeton.edu/~ppettit/

Australian National University (ANU) - Research School of Social Sciences (RSSS) ( email )

Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 0200
Australia

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