Full Text

monarchy, aristocracy, and democracy


Subject Philosophy

People Hobbes, Thomas

Key-Topics democracy, monarchy

DOI: 10.1111/b.9780631192626.2005.x


Extract

Following Aristotle, Hobbes holds that there are exactly three kinds of government. A people may be governed by one person or more than one; if more than one, then either by part of the people or by all of the people. Monarchy is government by one person; aristocracy is government by part of the people; democracy is government by all of the people. Other apparent names for governments are misleading. Tyranny is not different from monarchy. The word “tyranny” is simply used for a monarchy that is not liked. Similarly, “oligarchy” is used for an aristocracy that is not liked, and “anarchy” is used for a democracy that is not liked ( L 19.1–2, 46.35, “Review and Conclusion” 9; DC 7.2; EL 2.1.3). Other misleading terms are “elective kingdoms” and “limited monarchy.” A government that elects a so-called king is in fact usually a democracy and the elected official is a minister of the democracy. The phrase “limited monarchy” is a contradiction in terms since sovereignty must be unlimited or absolute. ( See sovereign. ) A so-called “limited monarch” is a minister of whoever in fact has the sovereign power, and this may be either an aristocracy or a democracy ( L 19.10, 19.12; DC 7.4; EL 2.2.9). In The Elements of Law and De Cive , Hobbes claims that aristocracy and monarchy are necessarily preceded by democracy. His argument is that aristocracy and monarchy originally require ... log in or subscribe to read full text

Log In

You are not currently logged-in to Blackwell Reference Online

If your institution has a subscription, you can log in here:

 

     Forgotten your password?

Find out how to subscribe.

Your library does not have access to this title. Please contact your librarian to arrange access.


[ access key 0 : accessibility information including access key list ] [ access key 1 : home page ] [ access key 2 : skip navigation ] [ access key 6 : help ] [ access key 9 : contact us ] [ access key 0 : accessibility statement ]

Blackwell Publishing Home Page

Blackwell Reference Online ® is a Blackwell Publishing Inc. registered trademark
Technology partner: Semantico Ltd.

Blackwell Publishing and its licensors hold the copyright in all material held in Blackwell Reference Online. No material may be resold or published elsewhere without Blackwell Publishing's written consent, save as authorised by a licence with Blackwell Publishing or to the extent required by the applicable law.

Back to Top