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War by Other Means? Incentives for Power Seekers in Thomas Hobbes's Political Philosophy

  • Eva Odzuck

The problem of the power seeker is of crucial importance for Hobbes's political philosophy. While education might aid in changing the behavior of some people, Hobbes is clear that there are limits to the effectiveness of education and that incurable, unsocial power seekers will persist. In my analysis, I ask whether and, if so, how Hobbes can also get these incurable power seekers on board. The result of my findings that Hobbes provides a huge variety of treatments for power seekers, including incentives to betray and exploit their fellow citizens by employing a public gesture of civility, has implications for Hobbes research: it shows the complexity and costs of Hobbes's “solution” to the problem of war and corrects a widespread developmental hypothesis about the concept of honor in Hobbes's works. Thereby, it can also enrich a recent diagnosis about the decline of honor in modern societies.

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I am grateful to audiences in Baltimore, Erlangen, and Florence, to my anonymous reviewers and to Ruth Abbey, Yannis Evrigenis, Clemens Kauffmann, Sharon Lloyd, Sam Zeitlin, and Catherine Zuckert for providing helpful comments. Kinch Hoekstra's ongoing help allowed me to see how to build on and where to go beyond my previous reading of Hobbes, as indicated in n. 5.

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1 Hoekstra, Kinch, “The End of Philosophy: The Case of Hobbes,” Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, n.s., 106, no. 1 (June 2006): 32; Dietz, Mary G., Thomas Hobbes and Political Theory (Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1990), 7.

2 Gert, Bernard, Hobbes: Prince of Peace (Cambridge: Polity, 2010), ix. See also Thivet, Delphine, “Thomas Hobbes: A Philosopher of War or Peace?,” British Journal for the History of Philosophy 16, no. 4 (2008): 721.

3 Lloyd, S. A., Morality in the Philosophy of Thomas Hobbes: Cases in the Laws of Nature (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009); Frost, Samantha, Lessons from a Materialist Thinker: Hobbesian Reflections on Ethics and Politics (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2008); Hoekstra, Kinch, “Hobbesian Equality,” in Hobbes Today: Insights for the 21st Century, ed. Lloyd, S. A. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013), 76112.

4 Anderson, Jeremy, “The Role of Education in Political Stability,” Hobbes Studies 16, no. 1 (Jan. 2003): 95104; Abizadeh, Arash, “Hobbes on the Causes of War: A Disagreement Theory,” American Political Science Review 105, no. 2 (May 2011): 298315; Bejan, Teresa, “Teaching the Leviathan: Thomas Hobbes on Education,” Oxford Review of Education 36, no. 5 (Oct. 2010): 607–26; Holmes, Stephen, introduction to Behemoth, or The Long Parliament, by Hobbes, Thomas, ed. Tönnies, Ferdinand (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1990); Johnston, David, The Rhetoric of Leviathan: Thomas Hobbes and the Politics of Cultural Transformation (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1986); Lloyd, S. A., Ideals as Interests in Hobbes's Leviathan: The Power of Mind over Matter (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992) and Morality in the Philosophy of Thomas Hobbes.

5 First thoughts about the problem of the power seeker can be found in my book Thomas Hobbes’ körperbasierter Liberalismus: Eine kritische Analyse des “Leviathan” (Berlin: Duncker & Humblot, 2016). There, I explore the hypothesis that Hobbes might have intended to actively encourage the power seekers to exploit their fellow citizens. My point in this paper is to argue for the more balanced claim that Hobbes does provide a complex solution to the problem of the power seeker that goes beyond just stripping off the followers and includes a set of (sometimes surprising) strategies. By focusing on the power seekers, and on incentives for power seekers, this paper can also be seen as a case study and application of the Hobbes hermeneutics I have proposed in Odzuck, ‘I Confessed to Write Not All to All’: Diversified Communication in Thomas Hobbes's Political Philosophy,” Hobbes Studies 30, no. 2 (2017): 123–55.

6 “And from this diffidence of one another, there is no way for any man to secure himselfe, so reasonable, as Anticipation; that is, by force, or wiles, to master the persons of all men he can, so long, till he see no other power great enough to endanger him … . And by consequence, such augmentation of dominion over men, being necessary to a mans conservation, it ought to be allowed him” (L 13, 190, 12–23). References to Hobbes's writings are given as follows: to Elements of Law (The Elements of Law Natural and Politic, ed. Tönnies, Ferdinard, 2nd ed. [London: Frank Cass, 1969]) as (EL chapter, paragraph, page); to De Cive (On the Citizen, ed. Tuck, Richard [Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998]) as (DCv chapter, paragraph, page); to De Corpore (in The English Works of Thomas Hobbes of Malmesbury, ed. Molesworth, William, vol. 1 [London: John Bohn, 1839]) as (DCor chapter, paragraph, page); to the English Leviathan (Leviathan Volume 2 and 3: The English and Latin Texts (i and ii), ed. Malcolm, Noel [Oxford: Clarendon, 2012]) as (L chapter, page, line); to the Latin Leviathan as (LL chapter, page, line).

7 L 18, 196, 23–28.

8 Bagby, Laurie M. Johnson, Thomas Hobbes: Turning Point for Honor (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2009); Hampton, Jean, Hobbes and the Social Contract Tradition (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1986); Tricaud, François, “Hobbes's Conception of the State of Nature from 1640 to 1651: Evolution and Ambiguities,” in Perspectives on Thomas Hobbes, ed. Rogers, G. A. John and Ryan, Alan (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988), 107–24.

9 Bagby, Thomas Hobbes; Mansfield, Harvey C., Manliness (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2006).

10 See Odzuck, “‘I Confessed to Write Not All to All.’”

11 Compare L 11, 152, 11–14.

12 See EL I, 10.2–3, 49–50: “men whose ends are some sensual delight; and generally are addicted to ease, food, onerations and exonerations of the body … less consider the way either to knowledge or to other power; in which two consisteth all the excellency of power cognitive. And this is it which men call dulness; and proceedeth from the appetite of sensual or bodily delight.” Compare also L 8, 110, 22–29: “The Passions that most of all cause the differences of Wit, are principally, the more or lesse Desire of Power, of Riches, of Knowledge, and of Honour. All which may be reduced to the first, that is Desire of Power. For Riches, Knowledge and Honour are but severall sorts of Power. And therefore, a man who has no great Passion for any of these things … cannot possibly have either a great Fancy, or much Judgment.”

13 While, of course, any of the aforementioned passions can occur in any person, in principle, Hobbes seems to assume that—owing to nature and nurture—some passions will dominate in some people, and thus establishes a dividing line between the dull part of the population and the intelligent power seekers with strong passions. Consider again EL I, 10.23, 49–50 and L 8, 110, 22–31.

14 Compare DCv I, 4, 26.

15 Compare Krom, Michael P., The Limits of Reason in Hobbes's Commonwealth (London: Continuum, 2011), 78; Slomp, Gabriella, “Glory, Vainglory, and Pride,” in The Bloomsbury Companion to Hobbes, ed. Lloyd, S. A. (London: Bloomsbury, 2013), 132; and Cooper, Julie E., “Vainglory, Modesty, and Political Agency in the Political Theory of Hobbes,” Review of Politics 72, no. 2 (June 2010): 241. Hampton, Jean, “Hobbesian Reflections on Glory as a Cause of Conflict,” in The Causes of Quarrel: Essays on Peace, War, and Thomas Hobbes, ed. Caws, Peter (Boston: Beacon, 1989), 78, declares that in her earlier works on Hobbes she “downplay[ed] the impact of glory-pursuit on warfare on Hobbes's behalf” and thus acknowledges the existence of the problem in her later works.

16 Compare Strauss, Leo, The Political Philosophy of Hobbes: Its Basis and Its Genesis, trans. Sinclair, Elsa M. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1952), 15: “And as reason itself is powerless, man would not be minded to think of the preservation of life as the primary and most urgent good, if the passion of fear of death did not compel him to do so.”

17 Lloyd, Morality in the Philosophy of Thomas Hobbes, 332: “Traditional interpretations assume that all socially disruptive behaviors and attitudes are to be handled in the same way: Threaten to punish them … . Hobbes offers an entirely different solution … : Educate people in the truth.”

18 Compare Lloyd, Morality in the Philosophy of Thomas Hobbes, 343: “True doctrines, Hobbes maintains, cannot be contrary to the basic human interests in peace, preservation, flourishing, and piety, and all truths hang together in a perfectly coherent way.” Compare Hoekstra, “End of Philosophy,” 32: “Hobbes's eirenic project, this suggests, is independent of, and perhaps even in tension with, a philosophy with truth as its primary aim.” Compare also McClure, Christopher Scott, “War, Madness, and Death: The Paradox of Honor in Hobbes's Leviathan,” Journal of Politics 76, no. 1 (Jan. 2014): 123, who claims that Hobbes's theory “rests on an intentional incoherence.”

19 Slomp, Gabriella, “Hobbes on Glory and Civil Strife,” in The Cambridge Companion to Hobbes's “Leviathan,” ed. Springborg, Patricia (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007), 193–94. Since Hobbes discusses universities explicitly as probable tools for indoctrination, allows the sovereign to limit the freedom of research and permits him to determine what political doctrines are sound, I am not convinced that the recommendation to teach the Leviathan (instead of Aristotle) should be taken as a promotion of “rational discourse.” Compare Bejan, “Teaching the Leviathan,” 616. Slomp, Gabriella, Thomas Hobbes and the Political Philosophy of Glory (Houndmills: Macmillan, 2000), 112–17, formulates a much more balanced claim about the role of reason and passion in rhetoric and teaching.

20 A similar account can be found in Cooper, “Vainglory, Modesty, and Political Agency,” whose claim is that Hobbes planned to educate power seekers in the virtue of moderation, and also in Strong, Tracy B., “Glory and the Law in Hobbes,” European Journal of Political Theory 16, no. 1 (Jan. 2017): 6176. More balanced is Hoekstra's claim that education might work at least for stripping off the followers from unsociable power seekers (Hoekstra, Kinch, “Hobbes and the Foole,” Political Theory 25, no. 5 [Oct. 1997]: 627–28). See section 3.3.

21 In “All the Mind's Pleasure: Glory, Self-Admiration, and Moral Motivation in De Cive and Leviathan” (to appear in Cambridge Critical Guide to “De Cive,” ed. Robin Douglass and Johan Olsthoorn), Lloyd offers a more fully developed approach to education that considers the crucial role of the unsocial passions (their limitations and potential) for education. While in Morality in the Philosophy of Thomas Hobbes Lloyd focused more on the “widespread” and “powerful” “desire to justify oneself” (249), it is interesting to see her approach develop in the direction of other (more?) powerful passions with more disruptive potential. Although our two basic claims—“power of mind over matter” (Lloyd) and “power of passions over reason” (the position taken here)—have different points of departure, I have learned in important and good conversations with S. A. Lloyd and from her latest paper that they are not (at least in every detail) mutually exclusive, but can be developed in very similar directions.

22 Slomp, “Hobbes on Glory and Civil Strife,” 194.

23 See Hoekstra, “End of Philosophy,” 57, and Odzuck, “‘I Confessed to Write Not All to All.’” Compare also Evrigenis, Ioannis D., Images of Anarchy: The Rhetoric and Science in Hobbes's State of Nature (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014), 16, 21, and Lloyd, Ideals as Interests, 227. For me, in contrast and addition to Hoekstra, Evrigenis, and Lloyd, the focus is on the diversity and heterogeneity of passions.

24 Compare Lloyd, Morality in the Philosophy of Thomas Hobbes, 332. Bejan, “Teaching the Leviathan,” 623n11, convincingly criticizes a too sharp distinction between education and coercion as “overdrawn.” See also Anderson, “Role of Education,” 203.

25 Compare Johnston, Rhetoric of Leviathan; Lloyd, Ideals as Interests; Abizadeh, “Hobbes on the Causes of War.”

26 Slomp, “Hobbes on Glory and Civil Strife,” 194.

27 Ibid., 195.

28 For this idea of channelling the desires, compare Krom, Limits of Reason in Hobbes's Commonwealth, 96. Abizadeh holds that the sovereign can both channel and shape the subject's passions (“Hobbes on the Causes of War,” 299–300). But he concentrates on education and the priority of the shaping-solution and thus abstracts from the problem of stubborn, unchangeable passions: “Leviathan solves the problem of war above all by a state-sponsored ideological program” (300).

29 Hobbes claims, “Beasts also Deliberate” (L 6, 92, 8–9).

30 L 5, 74, 1–15.

31 Compare Adrian Blau's proposal to describe reason as the “counselor of the passions” in Reason, Deliberation and the Passions,” in The Oxford Handbook of Hobbes, ed. Martinich, A. P. and Hoekstra, Kinch (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016), 195220. It should be mentioned that Blau questions the suitability (or at least limits the range) of his analogy himself at the end of his article: “So, reason can counsel the passions, but it rarely does” (216).

32 Compare Hobbes's notion of natural honor in L 10, 140, 1–6, which I will discuss later.

33 One of the most distinguished analyses of different types of characters (fools, hypocrites, zealots, and dupes) that are especially challenging for political education can be found in Lloyd, Morality in the Philosophy of Thomas Hobbes, 295–355. However, Lloyd does not focus on the problem of stable, unchangeable passions. While she offers intriguing hypotheses about how different characters threaten social stability (fools, for example, “are easily talked into rebellion by others”: 325), she claims that Hobbes was an educational optimist also with respect to these characters: “How are such folk to be made better moral judges? … : Educate people in the truth” (332). Slomp, on the other hand, takes Hobbes at his word when he describes the “insocial power seeker” as “intractable,” concludes that those “cannot be taught,” and concentrates on the power seeker that can be educated (“Hobbes on Glory and Civil Strife,” 193). McClure, in comparison, draws a highly optimistic image that does not consider the potential problems of bellicose people that cannot be tamed for society: “Hobbes … is clearly confident that … individuals who are naturally disposed to courageous actions can be tamed through education” (“War, Madness, and Death,” 122).

34 Abizadeh, “Hobbes on the Causes of War,” 312.

35 This distinction might be related to the one between power seekers and dull people from Leviathan 8, 110, 22–31.

36 In the Latin Leviathan, Hobbes further qualifies this claim by stating that even the common people's minds are not like clean paper (LL 47, 1127, 11–13). One might speculate that he indicates here the necessity of teaching materialism before successfully appealing to the fear of death. Afterwards, appeals to the fear of death might work—at least for most people. Others, including the unsocial power seekers, might find different incentives, described below in section 3.3.

37 Hoekstra, “Hobbes and the Foole,” and “Hobbesian Equality,” 111 (“Substantial equal treatment need not be based on the truth of or sincere beliefs in equal worth or equal capacities”); Frost, Samantha, “Faking It: Hobbes's Thinking Bodies and the Ethics of Dissimulation,” Political Theory 29, no. 1 (Feb. 2001): 46 (“A contrived or even feigned self-presentation has the effect of constituting an environment in which peace is apparently possible”).

38 See Hoekstra, “Hobbes and the Foole,” 627–28, who argues that Hobbes's solution consists in altering the payoff scale and in stripping off the followers from the power seekers.

39 Frost focuses on the irenic results of faking peace and reads Hobbes's theory as an ethical theory. See Frost, “Faking It,” 42. My emphasis here is to clarify the incentives for faking one's intentions and the role of the economic realm to create and stabilize peace.

40 L 15, 234, 1–5

41 Compare Frost, “Faking It,” 39.

42 Compare ibid., 40: “Even if one thinks one's interlocutor a cad, an idiot, or an insufferable bore, for the sake of peace, one must keep one's scorn to oneself and feign, at the very least, a modicum of respect.” See also Hoekstra, “Hobbesian Equality.”

43 One might object that it is wrong to describe Hobbes's natural law teaching as focused on outward behavior because Hobbes claims that there is also an obligation “in foro interno.” The intelligent power seeker, however, could reply in the following manner: The in foro principle (L 15, 240, 12–14) is formulated in such an impersonal, abstract way that it allows, in principle, to fulfill “the desire,” that the laws of nature “should take place” by the desire that others (the dull fellow citizens) follow the laws of nature. Also, the advantage of expressed desires is, that they can be faked, too, as Hobbes warns the reader several times: “The formes of Speech … as I love, I feare, I joy, I deliberate, I will … I say, are expressions, or voluntary significations of our Passions: but certain signes they be not; because they may be used arbitrarily, whether they that use them, have such Passions or not” (L 6, 94, 1–23). See also Hobbes's discussion of dissembling, lying, and counterfeiting in L, Introduction, 18, 23–28.

44 This list might not be exhaustive.

45 Compare L 10, 138, 22–34. See esp. L 10, 138, 29–31: “So that of Civill Honour, the Fountain is in the Person of the Common-wealth and dependeth on the Will of the Soveraigne; and is therefore temporary.”

46 “Nor does it alter the case of Honour, whether an action (so it be great and difficult, and consequently a signe of much power,) be just or unjust: for Honour consisteth onely in the opinion of Power” (L 10, 142, 7–9).

47 “Worthinesse … consisteth in a particular power, or ability for that, whereof he is said to be worthy: which … is usually named Fitnesse, or Aptitude. For he is Worthiest to be a Commander, to be a Judge, or to have any other charge, that is best fitted, with the qualities required to the well discharging of it; and Worthiest of Riches, that has the qualities most requisite for the well using of them” (L 10, 148, 10–17).

48 In Trust in Thomas Hobbes's Political Philosophy,” in Trust and Happiness in the History of Political Thought, ed. Kontler, Laszlo and Somos, Mark (Leiden: Brill, 2017), 132, I show that Hobbes describes “trust”—a necessary ingredient of mutual covenants—as an epistemologically low-ranked passion, a passion for people who do not know, but simply believe in the good intention of their fellows (see L 5, 66, 32–35 and L 12, 176, 22–25).

49 Compare Hobbes's claim that fear and liberty are consistent: “And even in Commonwealths, if I be forced to redeem my selfe from a Theefe by promising him mony, I am bound to pay it” (L 14, 212, 24–26). See also L 21, 326, 1–4: “Feare, and Liberty are consistent; as when a man throweth his goods into the Sea for feare the ship could sink, he doth it neverthelesse very willingly … : It is therefore the action, of one that was free.”

50 I therefore do not agree with Hont that “there is no place for an economy in [Hobbes's] politics in any important sense” (Hont, Istvan, Jealousy of Trade: International Competition and the Nation-State in Historical Perspective [Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2005], 2). For further discussion and actualization of Hobbes's economic principles, see Neil McArthur, “Thrown amongst Many: Hobbes on Taxation and Fiscal Policy,” in Lloyd, Hobbes Today, 188–89, and Narveson, Jan, “Hobbes and the Welfare State,” in Hobbesian Applied Philosophy, ed. Courtland, Shane (New York: Routledge, 2017), 231. Compare the more critical and balanced view of Sreedhar, Susanne, “Duties of Subjects and Sovereigns,” in The Bloomsbury Companion to Hobbes, ed. Lloyd, S. A. (London: Bloomsbury, 2013), 166–67.

51 Sreedhar, “Duties of Subjects and Sovereigns,” 166–67, has argued convincingly that this argument is flawed in the sense that the rich certainly do have a greater benefit than the poor from that taxation policy, because they “just are safer than the poor …. Not only do they enjoy more protection from the police, but they also have access to better defense in court.”

52 In addition to physical force, one could think about implicit threats, inequalities of power, and conditions of urgency that could be used lucratively by power seekers to profit from the misfortune, dullness, or inferiority in power of their fellow citizens. See also Hobbes's claim that fear and liberty are consistent in n. 49.

53 I am grateful to Catherine Zuckert for highlighting that perspective. In this respect, I agree with Macpherson, who claims that Hobbesian people support a sovereign in order to permit themselves to go on invading each other” (Macpherson, C. B., The Political Theory of Possessive Individualism: Hobbes to Locke [Oxford: Clarendon, 1962], 100). Macpherson, however, did not draw the conclusion that the power seeker reckons on the dullness of his fellow citizens.

54 Compare Odzuck, “Trust in Thomas Hobbes's Political Philosophy,” 139. For the perspective of greatness and effectiveness, compare again L 10, 142, 4–6.

55 Compare Hoekstra, “Hobbes and the Foole,” 631: “A Silent Foole can sometimes reasonably expect to gain from breaking a covenant. The Explicit Foole, however, cannot even reasonably expect an overall gain from his actions.”

56 We can find a similar ambiguity that might encourage power seekers in Hobbes's description of reasonable distrust of one's intellectual capacities. On the one hand, Hobbes clearly warns that ambitious people overestimate their intellectual abilities and recommends thinking twice before making the first strike (L 11, 154, 23–25). On the other hand, Hobbes dismisses reluctance, caution, or too much reflection as dishonorable and as a sign of pusillanimity (L 10, 140, 11–17). Compare also L 11, 156, 12–17.

57 McClure, “War, Madness, and Death,” 123. The concentration of more recent Hobbes research on the sovereignty-by-institution narrative and the disregard of the sovereignty-by-acquisition narrative might be a part of the reason why this ambiguity is still underexplored.

58 That Hobbes himself is fully aware of that double morality and some resulting problems for law-obedience can be seen in Leviathan 27, 474, 27–476, 10: “For example, the Law condemneth Duells; the punishment is made capitall: On the contrary part, he that refuseth Duell, is subject to contempt and scorne, without remedy; and sometimes by the Soveraign himselfe thought unworthy to have any charge, or preferment in Warre: If thereupon he accept Duell, considering all men lawfully endeavor to obtain the good opinion of them that have the Sovereign Power, he ought not in reason to be rigorously punished.”

59 McClure, “War, Madness, and Death,” 123: “Through education, then, the individual can come to see violence in the service of honor within the commonwealth as irrational, and potentially insane, but risking his life in war as a potential source of everlasting fame for which it is worth dying.”

60 “Nor does it alter the case of Honour, whether an action (so it be great and difficult, and consequently a signe of much power,) be just or unjust … . Also amongst men, till there were constituted great Common-wealths, it was thought no dishonor to be a Pyrate, or a High-way Theefe; but rather a lawfull Trade, not onely amongst the Greeks, but also amongst all other Nations; as is manifest by the Histories of antient time” (L 10, 142, 7–20, emphasis mine). Compare L 17, 254: “And in all Places, where men have lived by small Families, to robbe and spoyle one another, has been a Trade, and so farre from being reputed against the Law of Nature, that the greater spoyles they gained, the greater was their honour; and men observed no other Lawes therein, but the Lawes of Honour” (emphasis mine).

61 Compare DCor 3, 8, 36: “For speech has something in it like to a spider's web, (as it was said of old of Solon's laws) for by contexture of words tender and delicate wits are ensnared and stopped; but strong wits break easily through them.”

62 Compare DCv 8, 10, 105: “Right over non-rational animals is acquired in the same way as over the persons of men, that is, by natural strength and powers.”

63 L 26, 438, 36–37.

64 LL 27, 461, 18: “Iudices & Testes corrumpuntur à Divitiis.”

65 Compare L 27, 462, 13–16.

66 Compare LL 27, 463, n.34, trans. Malcolm: “But those who are without wealth, or authority, or public favour, have no hope of impunity, except in concealment, or in opportunities of flight.”

67 Compare L, Introduction, 18, 23–28 and L 6, 94, 19–21.

68 Compare again L 10, 140, 18–20.

69 Compare Hoekstra, “Hobbesian Equality,” 110: “Moreover, he depicts the state of nature to convince them that such superiority as they may have will be better recognized and rewarded within commonwealth: natural superiority can hardly reach full flower in the natural condition.”

70 See Macpherson, Political Theory of Possessive Individualism, 100: “They can, therefore, support those rules, and the power necessary to enforce them, without stultifying themselves.”

71 Frost, Lessons from a Materialist Thinker, 171–72.

72 Compare Lloyd, Ideals as Interests, 2, and Morality in the Philosophy of Thomas Hobbes, 408–9.

73 Hoekstra, “Hobbesian Equality,” 77, 110–11.

74 Bagby, Thomas Hobbes, 7, claims that in Hobbes's mature political philosophy, “honor is exposed as entirely unnatural and thus irrational.” This claim obviously abstracts from Hobbes's definition of a natural “worthinesse” in chapter 10 and his description of great (but potentially unjust) actions that are honorable by nature. While Bagby concedes that the concept of honor persists even in Hobbes's later works, she reassures herself that for quantitative reasons, one might conclude that the deconstruction of honor is Hobbes's real position (ibid., 5). For a similar developmental hypothesis, compare also Hampton, Hobbes and the Social Contract Tradition, 74, and Tricaud, “Hobbes's Conception of the State of Nature,” 120–22.

75 L 14, 200, 1–3; L 13, 196, 13–14.

76 Consider again Macpherson's claim that Hobbesian individuals “go on invading each other” in economics (Political Theory of Possessive Individualism, 100). Hobbes shows awareness of the problem of stability but not of the problem of quality: he discusses the problem that extreme differences in wealth, extreme poverty, and different treatment of citizens might provoke war, and thus could affect the stability of civic peace e.g. when he recommends that the sovereign treat not only “the great citizens” but also “the ordinary people” with respect, because otherwise, the ordinary people might rebel: “The sedition of the so-called ‘Beggars’ in Holland should be a warning of how dangerous to the commonwealth it is to despise the ordinary people” (L 30, 536, n. 76). Critics doubt that this is the right reason to promote equality: “Arguably, therefore, he promotes equality and social welfare for the ‘wrong’ reasons, seeing them only as instrumentally valuable for the maintenance of peace and stability, and not at all as intrinsically valuable” (Sreedhar, “Duties of Subjects and Sovereigns,” 169).

77 Compare the title of Bagby's book Thomas Hobbes: Turning Point for Honor. See also Mansfield, Manliness, 166, 173.

78 Compare Krause's claim that liberalism and democracy are in need of a special, modified kind of honor that is available (Sharon R. Krause, Liberalism with Honor [Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2002], xii).

79 In the late eighties, Jean Hampton chose an interesting example of television culture as a starting point for her analysis of the Hobbesian concept of honor, which could be seen as another indication for our hypothesis that the concept of honor did not decline, but persists in distinctive ways that should be the focus of future research (“Hobbesian Reflections,” 81).

80 I agree on this point with Abizadeh, “Hobbes on the Causes of War,” 305–6.

81 See L 13, 190, 26. See also Krause, Liberalism with Honor, x.

I am grateful to audiences in Baltimore, Erlangen, and Florence, to my anonymous reviewers and to Ruth Abbey, Yannis Evrigenis, Clemens Kauffmann, Sharon Lloyd, Sam Zeitlin, and Catherine Zuckert for providing helpful comments. Kinch Hoekstra's ongoing help allowed me to see how to build on and where to go beyond my previous reading of Hobbes, as indicated in n. 5.

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