Single Idea 7409

[catalogued under 22. Metaethics / C. The Good / 1. Goodness / c. Right and good]

Full Idea

Hobbes (like Grotius) shifted from talking about 'the good', which had been the traditional subject for both ancient and Renaissance moralists, to talking instead about 'rights'.

Gist of Idea

Hobbes shifted from talk of 'the good' to talk of 'rights'


report of Thomas Hobbes (The Elements of Law [1640]) by Richard Tuck - Hobbes Ch.2

Book Reference

Tuck,Richard: 'Hobbes: a very short introduction' [OUP 2002], p.68

A Reaction

This is part of the crucial shift away from the Greek interest in excellence of character, towards the Enlightenment legalistic interest in right actions, as well as social rights. Bad move, well analysed by MacIntyre.