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1

where does Leviathan/The Sovereign come from?

An agreement whereby everyone gathers together
"reduce all their Wills, by plurality of voices, unto one Will.”

2

1) Instituting the Sovereign

(1) We give up the Right of Governing ourselves
We renounce our Right to do anything that we judge to be conducive to preserving ourselves.
In other words, we give up an unlimited Right of Nature.
We do not, however, give up the Right of Self-Defence

3

Instituting the Sovereign

(2) Hobbes claims that we authorise the Sovereign.
Hobbes distinguishes between actors and authors of actions: the actor is the person who performs the action, the author is the one who ‘claims ownership of it’
The Sovereign is the actor, but we are the author of their actions

4

Instituting the Sovereign

The Sovereign is an artificial entity.
So, Sovereignty is an artificial status conferred on some set of people.
It will, however, be identical with some natural entities as well, e.g., an individual person (monarchy), an assembly of people (oligarchy), or the whole populace (democracy)
It is created by agreement with each other, not the Sovereign

5

Sovereign power: what is the effect of everyone agreeing In this way?

The Sovereign, thus created – by dint of combining everyone’s individual power – has overwhelming force at their disposal.
Crucial: with the Sovereign around, abiding by covenants would not be contrary to the right of self-defence

6

Sovereignty and Covenants: How does this work?

The State of Nature and the problem with covenants:
Relying upon others to keep their part of the covenant could be against your self-preservation

7

Why obey the Sovereign?

The Sovereign’s power is SO GREAT that resistance will be catastrophic.
Obedience to the Sovereign therefore becomes the first and most important principle to follow from our fundamental commitment to self-preservation

8

What is the Game theory example?

“If you confess (implicating your partner) and they don’t confess then you’ll be released and they’ll get 10 years. If you both confess then you will each get 7 years. If neither of you confess, you’ll each get 1 year for horse-theft.”

9

Why should we obey the Sovereign?

Answer 1: We are the author of the Sovereign’s actions, and what we do to ourselves is never just cause for complaint.
Answer 2: Due to the implications of the Sovereign’s overwhelming power for our self-preservation.

10

Do we obey if the laws of nature conflict with obedience?

Not obeying the Sovereign would be contrary to the Self-Preservation/Right of Self-Defence.
So the Laws of Nature bind only internally in this case.
Obedience always wins in case of conflict.

11

Hobbes’ Leviathan

Hobbes' Leviathan, the Sovereign, is an artificial entity
e.g., Known by all to be overwhelmingly powerful
it is in virtue of these properties of the Sovereign/Leviathan that
we can depend on others to uphold their side of covenants.
violence caused by conflict of judgment ends