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Liberty, Law and Leviathan. Of Being Free from Impediments by Artifice

Halldenius, Lena LU (2012) In Theoria 59(131). p.1-20
Abstract
The argument in this paper is that Hobbes’ theory of freedom in Leviathan allows for four ways of being free to act – corporal freedom by nature, freedom from obligation by nature, the freedom to disobey, and the freedom of no-rule – each corresponding to a particular absence, some of which make sense only in the civil state. Contrary to what some have claimed, this complexity does not commit Hobbes to an unarticulated definition of freedom in tension with the only one that he explicitly offers, which is that freedom consists of nothing other than the absence of external impediments of motion. To be free from obligation is to be free from impediments. As a political subject in the state, the power that is blocked or compelled by law is a... (More)
The argument in this paper is that Hobbes’ theory of freedom in Leviathan allows for four ways of being free to act – corporal freedom by nature, freedom from obligation by nature, the freedom to disobey, and the freedom of no-rule – each corresponding to a particular absence, some of which make sense only in the civil state. Contrary to what some have claimed, this complexity does not commit Hobbes to an unarticulated definition of freedom in tension with the only one that he explicitly offers, which is that freedom consists of nothing other than the absence of external impediments of motion. To be free from obligation is to be free from impediments. As a political subject in the state, the power that is blocked or compelled by law is a person’s power to perform artificial acts as her will directs. Laws and prior commitments are external impediments that block or compel making an artificial, institution dependent act either impossible or unavoidable. The bonds of law bind artificially yet corporally given that the power that makes them is, quite literally, an external body that moves at will. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Hobbes, liberty, law, Leviathan, artifice, obligation, impediment, act, institution
in
Theoria
volume
59
issue
131
pages
1 - 20
publisher
Thales
ISSN
0040-5825
DOI
10.3167/th.2012.5913102
project
Liberty, Law and Leviathan
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
bca05da6-0d72-41ff-9871-ebda5b6d234e (old id 2219804)
date added to LUP
2011-11-30 14:51:36
date last changed
2016-04-16 06:54:25
@misc{bca05da6-0d72-41ff-9871-ebda5b6d234e,
  abstract     = {The argument in this paper is that Hobbes’ theory of freedom in Leviathan allows for four ways of being free to act – corporal freedom by nature, freedom from obligation by nature, the freedom to disobey, and the freedom of no-rule – each corresponding to a particular absence, some of which make sense only in the civil state. Contrary to what some have claimed, this complexity does not commit Hobbes to an unarticulated definition of freedom in tension with the only one that he explicitly offers, which is that freedom consists of nothing other than the absence of external impediments of motion. To be free from obligation is to be free from impediments. As a political subject in the state, the power that is blocked or compelled by law is a person’s power to perform artificial acts as her will directs. Laws and prior commitments are external impediments that block or compel making an artificial, institution dependent act either impossible or unavoidable. The bonds of law bind artificially yet corporally given that the power that makes them is, quite literally, an external body that moves at will.},
  author       = {Halldenius, Lena},
  issn         = {0040-5825},
  keyword      = {Hobbes,liberty,law,Leviathan,artifice,obligation,impediment,act,institution},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {131},
  pages        = {1--20},
  publisher    = {ARRAY(0x9691e18)},
  series       = {Theoria},
  title        = {Liberty, Law and Leviathan. Of Being Free from Impediments by Artifice},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.3167/th.2012.5913102},
  volume       = {59},
  year         = {2012},
}