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2016, vol. 50, iss. 4, pp. 473-489
Civil war and the state of nature in Hobbes
Institute of Social Sciences, Belgrade, Serbia
Structural, Social and Historical Changes in Serbian Society in the Context of European Integrations and Globalisation (MESTD - 179039)

The paper deals with one of the important questions of Hobbes's philosophy, the relationship between his theoretical model of the state of nature and the historical phenomenon of civil war, which profoundly marked Hobbes's life as well as his thought. Civil war doesn't appear explicitly as an example of the state of nature in Hobbes's works prior to Leviathan (such as The Elements of Law or De cive). However, the way in which Hobbes describes the consequences of civil war, which tears apart the fabric of civil society - most often in the context of his criticism of the separation of powers doctrine - closely resembles a relapse into what he calls the state of nature or war of everybody against everybody. The final part of the article argues that civil war is the best paradigm of the state of nature in Leviathan by way of comparative analysis with two other examples thereof Hobbes gives in this book (the condition of the 'savage people' of America and the relations between sovereign states). This part of the text also provides an answer to the objection that civil war fails to correspond to the atomistic state of nature because it involves different sorts of coalitions between individuals. According to Hobbes, the temporary character of such alliances and the lack of moral obligations between persons that compose them, make them fundamentally as individualistic as the state of nature itself.
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article language: Serbian
document type: Original Scientific Paper
DOI: 10.5937/socpreg1604473M
published in SCIndeks: 16/03/2017
Creative Commons License 4.0

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