The Philosophical Implications of Hobbes’s State of Nature
No one supposes that Hobbes finally settled the modern meaning of the concept of State of Nature. Grotius, though eminently innovative in conceptions of the Right of Nature, did not use it. But Hobbes’s concept soon gained a retrospective authority, appearing as it does in Barbeyrac’s commentaries on Grotius’s Droit de la Guerre et de la Paix where it is used as a self-evident tool of interpretation. Such a retrospective interpretation is significant; for the great success of a philosophical concept may often be grounded on misunderstandings, unless it does nothing other than produce them while falling off into triviality.
KeywordsPolitical Philosophy Ontological Conception Political Body Substantial Unity Ontological Interpretation
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