Practical Reason, Mechanics and Jurisprudence in Hobbes' Rule of Law: the Legalisation of Politics

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    Abstract

    In this essay I draw attention to Hobbes’s notion of practical reason and its relationship to his ideas of the political. The great theoretician of the rule of law, Thomas Hobbes, continues to have an influence in present conceptions of law and politics. His political theory of a system of government in which law rules is to a great extent founded on a peculiar concept of practical reason. The latter is a complex notion, having origin in the mechanistic conceptions of nature arising in the seventeenth century. It has to be traced back to political tendencies in favour of individualism. A critical analysis of Hobbes’ rule of law and of his concept of practical reason sheds light on the task of understanding current international order. I will outline first a short description of Hobbes’s political system of the rule of law. A critical analysis of his notion of practical reason follows.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalTidskrift utgiven av Juridiska föreningen i Finland
    Volume147
    Issue number1
    Pages (from-to)113-121
    Number of pages9
    ISSN0040-6953
    Publication statusPublished - 30 Jan 2011
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

    Fields of Science

    • 513 Law
    • 611 Philosophy

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