32 Pages Posted: 5 Oct 2004
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: Suggested Citation
Pettit, Philip N., Liberty and Leviathan. Politics, Philosophy & Economics, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=600701