Analects of the Core: Hobbes on the Good

From Thomas Hobbes’s Leviathan:

Aristotle and other heathen philosophers define good and evil by the appetite of men; and well enough, as long as we consider them governed every one by his own law. For int eh condition of me that have no other law but their own appetites, there can be no general rule of good and evil actions. but in a commonwealth this measure is false. Not the appetite of private men, but the law, which is the will and appetite of the state, is the measure. And yet is this doctrine still practised, and men judge the goodness or wickedness of their own and of other men’s actions, and of the actions of the commonwealth itself, by their own passions, and no man calleth good or evil but that which is so in his eyes, without any regard at all to the public laws (except only monks and friars, that are bound by vow to that simple obedience to their superior to which every subject ought to think himself bound by the law of nature to the civil sovereign). And this private measure of good is a doctrine, not only vain, but also pernicious to the public state.

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