AbstractIn this ground breaking book Curran seeks to reveal Hobbes’ contribution to the theory of individual rights and to the history of the concept of individual rights. Beginning by examining Hobbes’s pronouncements on rights in the context of the writing of his contemporaries – both royalist and parliamentarian, she goes on to Hobbes’s arguments for the universal inalienability of crucial rights to self-preservation and self-defence echo those of the radical parliamentarian Levellers. And yet in the intervening centuries Hobbes’s political theory has come to be seen as lacking any substantive rights for subjects. Curran develops an argument that in Leviathan, Hobbes does describe genuine political rights for subjects and he provides for their protection by the duties of others. She also argues that the Hohfeldian analysis, that dominates current discussions of rights, has contributed to a distorted reading of Hobbesian rights. In asking what sort of theory of rights underlies Hobbes’s descriptions, she argues that it is not a theory of natural rights tied to the premises of natural law but is instead a modern, secular, interest theory.
Curran, Eleanor (2007) Reclaiming the Rights of the Hobbesian Subject. Palgrave Macmillan Publishers, Hampshire, UK, 244 pp. ISBN 978-0-230-00149-7. (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)