The Philosophical Implications of Hobbes’s State of Nature

  • Jean Mathiot
Part of the Archives Internationales D’histoire des Idées/International Archives of the History of Ideas book series (ARCH, volume 111)


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.


Political Philosophy Ontological Conception Political Body Substantial Unity Ontological Interpretation 
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Copyright information

© Martinus Nijhoff Publishers (Kluwer Academic Publishers), Dordrecht 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jean Mathiot
    • 1
  1. 1.Université de ProvenceFrance

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