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Pyrrhonism in the Political Philosophy of Thomas Hobbes

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Abstract:

The importance of Pyrrhonism to Hobbes's political philosophy is much greater than has been recognized. He seems to have used Pyrrhonist arguments to support a doctrine of moral relativity, but he was not a sceptic in the Pyrrhonist sense. These arguments helped him to develop his teaching that there is no absolute good or evil; to minimise the purchase of natural law in the state of nature and its restrictions on the right of nature; virtually to collapse natural law into civil law; and to make the sovereign the political, moral and theological epicenter of his political system.

Keywords: Pyrrhonism; Thomas Hobbes; moral relativity; natural law; natural right

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09608788.2012.664021

Affiliations: Arlington,Virginia,

Publication date: March 1, 2012

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