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From genus to species: the unravelling of Hobbesian glory

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Abstract:

The paper aims at providing an exhaustive analysis of the key concept of glory in Hobbes's works. It is argued that the meaning and role of glory are essentially the same in all Hobbes's writings. The paper claims that in Elements of Law, De Cive, Leviathan, De Homine, Behemoth and in the Correspondence the desire of glory and ambition are given by Hobbes a crucial role in the explanation of human conflict. The paper argues that the status of glory vis-a-vis other passions changes radically in Leviathan and De Homine: whereas in the earlier works glory was the ultimate motivation of most (if not all) individuals, i.e. the genus of all passions; in later works it becomes a species or instance of human passions. In Leviathan no concept is raised to the central position previously occupied by glory.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Dept. of Government, The University of Strathclyde, McCance Building, 16 Richmond Street, Glasgow, G1 1XQ. Email:g.slomp@strath.ac.uk

Publication date: 1998-04-01

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