Carlo Altini

Hypothesis on political mechanism. Between Hobbes and Spinoza

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Hobbes; Spinoza; Political Mechanism; Sovereignty.

Through the definition and the elaboration of his political philosophy, Hobbes wishes to present himself as a relevant representative of the new mechanistic and deterministic science of the seventeenth century, by applying Galilei's method in politics and by refusing the Aristotelian metaphysic and natural philosophy as well. The aim of the present article is to challenge this claim combining two complementary survey paths: on the one hand, an analysis both of the image of the State-Leviathan and of the modality of the exercise of sovereignty; on the other hand, a comparison between the Hobbesian and the Spinozian natural right theory. In addition to a mechanistic image of the State-Leviathan as guarantee of security, protection, and well-being, it emerges a personalist image of the sovereign who exercises his absolute power by suspending the validity of positive laws. As a result, Hobbes's thought seems to be characterised by an original co-existence of decisionism and mechanism and his view of the natural right does not appear to be based on deterministic principles, but on a voluntarist and moral character condensed in his theory of passions.

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