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Sovereignty as a Vocation in Hobbes's Leviathan

New foundations, Statecraft, and Virtue

318 pages
Amsterdam University Press
This book argues that the fundamental foundation of Hobbes’s political philosophy in Leviathan is wise, generous, loving, sincere, just, and valiant—in sum, magnanimous—statecraft, whereby sovereigns aim to realize natural justice, manifest as eminent and other-regarding virtue. It proposes that concerns over the virtues of the natural person bearing the office of the sovereign suffuse Hobbes’s political philosophy, defining both his theory of new foundations and his critiques of law and obligation. These aspects of Hobbes’s thought are new to Leviathan, as they respond to limitations in his early works in political theory, Elements and De Cive—limitations made apparent by the civil wars and the regicide of Charles I. Though new, this book argues that they tap into ancient political and philosophical ideas, foremostly the variously celebrated, mystified, and maligned figure of the orator founder.
Author Bio
Matthew Hoye is Associate Professor of Global Justice at the Institute of Security and Global Affairs at Leiden University. A political theorist by training, Hoye has a background in the history of ideas and philosophy. He obtained his PhD from the New School for Social Research in 2013 and was a visiting fellow at the Center for Reformation and Renaissance Studies in Toronto and at Queen Mary, University of London. More recently, he has worked at Maastricht University and Vrije University, Amsterdam.