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Prehistoric Myths in Modern Political Philosophy$
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Karl Widerquist and Grant S. McCall

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780748678662

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748678662.001.0001

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Introduction

Introduction

Chapter:
(p.1) Chapter 1 Introduction
Source:
Prehistoric Myths in Modern Political Philosophy
Author(s):

Karl Widerquist

Grant S. McCall

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9780748678662.003.0001

This chapter defines “the Hobbesian hypothesis” as the claim that the Lockean proviso is fulfilled: everyone benefits from the state and/or the property rights system. The chapter previews the book’s arguments, including these five: 1. Although previously unnamed, this hypothesis has been used in many prominent political theories for at least 350 years. 2. This hypothesis is an empirical claim about all stateless peoples. 3. Despite equivocation, social contract justifications of the state and natural rights justifications of property use this hypothesis as a fundamental premise. 4. Most philosophers who rely on it have asked readers to assume it is true without offering evidence. 5. It is false.

Keywords:   State of nature, Social contract (theory), Lockean proviso, Hobbesian hypothesis, Property (property rights theory), Thomas Hobbes, Contractarian (-ism), Libertarian (-ism), Statelessness (stateless people)

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