Ideas from 'Of the Origin of Government' by David Hume [1750], by Theme Structure

[found in 'Selected Essays' by Hume,David [OUP 1996,978-0-19-954030-3]].

green numbers give full details    |     back to texts     |     unexpand this idea

25. Society / B. The State / 1. Purpose of a State
The only purpose of government is to administer justice, which brings security
                        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.
                        From: David Hume (Of the Origin of Government [1750], 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.