Single Idea 20566

[catalogued under 24. Political Theory / B. Nature of a State / 2. State Legitimacy / a. Sovereignty]

Full Idea

While Hobbes had held that the people were the final source of political authority, he had argued that in entering the social contract they gave up their sovereignty by transferring all power to an absolute ruler.

Gist of Idea

Hobbes says the people voluntarily give up their sovereignty, in a contract with a ruler


report of Thomas Hobbes (Leviathan [1651]) by Johanna Oksala - Political Philosophy: all that matters Ch.5

Book Reference

Oksala,Johanna: 'Political Philosophy' [Hodder and Stoughton 2013], p.62

A Reaction

Later the idea of 'inalienable' rights crept in. If you volunteer for exploitation or slavery, that still doesn't justify them. Sadism is presumably not justified by masochism.

Related Idea

Idea 20567 Rousseau insists that popular sovereignty needs a means of expressing consent [Rousseau, by Oksala]