Counsel, command and crisis

Paul, Joanne (2015) Counsel, command and crisis. Hobbes Studies, 28 (2). pp. 103-131. ISSN 0921-5891

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Abstract

Although the distinction between counsel and command in Hobbes’s works, especially Leviathan, has been often acknowledged, it has been little studied. This article provides background and analysis of this critical distinction by placing it in conversation with the works of Henry Parker and in the context of the English Civil War, especially as regards the discussion of prudence, interests and crisis. In so doing, three conclusions can be drawn. First, it becomes clear that for both Parker and Hobbes, counsel serves as a foundation to their arguments about the placement and function of sovereignty. Second, in grounding their arguments about sovereignty in the discourse of counsel, both authors – intentionally or unintentionally – undermine the previously critical discourse of counsel. Finally, we see that especially Hobbes’s engagement with and overthrow of the discourse of counsel profoundly alters of the terms and focus of modern political debate, moving from a ‘monarchy of counsel’ to a discussion of political sovereignty.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of History, Art History and Philosophy > History
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DA History of Great Britain > DA020 England > DA129 By period > DA300 Modern, 1485- > DA400 Civil War and Commonwealth, 1642-1660
J Political Science > JC Political theory. The state. Theories of the state > JC131 Modern state > JC151 By period. 17th century. General works
Depositing User: Joanne Paul
Date Deposited: 11 Oct 2016 10:57
Last Modified: 08 Mar 2017 04:43
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/63461

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