more from David Hume

Single Idea 21096

[catalogued under 25. Society / B. The State / 1. Purpose of a State]

Full Idea

Man is engaged to establish political society in order to administer justice, without which there could be no peace among them, nor safety, nor mutual intercourse. ...Government has no other purpose but the distribution of justice.

Gist of Idea

The only purpose of government is to administer justice, which brings security


David Hume (Of the Origin of Government [1750], p.28)

Book Reference

Hume,David: 'Selected Essays' [OUP 1996], p.28

A Reaction

The need for a society in order to ensure mutual intercourse sounds like Hobbes, and a pessimism about trust. By 'justice' he means the administration of law.