On benevolence and love of others
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Hobbes is famous for his insights into the impact of man’s fear, glory and greed on war and peace, not for his views on the bearing of men’s benevolence on the commonwealth. Are Hobbesian people even capable of love of others? In the literature, we find two main answers: one view is that Hobbes ruled out the possibility of disinterested benevolence among men; the other is that Hobbes considered actions driven by genuine benevolence possible but uncommon. After reviewing in broad outlines the two above positions, this chapter seeks to demonstrate the claim that Hobbes did not consider relevant to establish if men are capable of genuine benevolence or not, because he maintained that benevolent men can be as inept as egoists in differentiating apparent and real good for themselves and their loved ones and the effect of misguided altruism on the commonwealth is as damaging as the effect of ill-advised egoism.
Slomp , G 2019 , On benevolence and love of others . in S A Lloyd (ed.) , Interpreting Hobbes's political philosophy . Cambridge University Press , pp. 106-123 . https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108234870.007
Interpreting Hobbes's political philosophy
Copyright © 2019, Cambridge University Press. This work has been made available online in accordance with the publisher’s policies. This is the author created accepted version manuscript following peer review and as such may differ slightly from the final published version. The final published version of this work is available at https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108234870.007