Croatian Journal of Philosophy

Volume 10, Issue 2, 2010

Jasper Doomen
Pages 157-172

A Systematic Interpretation of Hobbes’s Practical Philosophy

Hobbes’s political philosophy departs from a number of premises that are supposed to be self-evident, supplemented by various observations from experience. These statements are examined critically and in their interrelatedness in order to find out to what extent Hobbes provides a convincing system of thought. The importance of the basis of man’s actions, his self-interest, is inquired, since it serves as the basis of his practical philosophy. After this, Hobbes’s views on ‘moral’ notions are expounded. As it turns out, Hobbes maintains a number of concepts that have such a connotation, but interprets these in a specific way. The article is concluded with a modest systematic reconstruction of Hobbes’s main thoughts in practical philosophy.