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The state of nature is one of Thomas Hobbes’s most powerful and enduring theoretical legacies. It has been recognized as a forerunner of rational choice theory and has been revived recently by moral philosophers in a purely ahistorical form. Perhaps it has had its greatest impact on

In: Hobbes Studies

1 Introduction When the state of nature is conceived as the absence of the state and/or of a liberal property regime, it refers to a real situation. Many peoples have lived outside of sovereign states and/or without liberal ownership rights that state-of-nature stories about property rights

In: The State of Nature: Histories of an Idea

Introduction Though a close cognate, the environment has very little role to play in most accounts of the state of nature. Concerns of human-induced environmental degradation were unknown when its most notable versions were propounded by the philosophers and legal theorists of the seventeenth and eighteenth

In: The State of Nature: Histories of an Idea

practice. 4 This complex relationship can be seen in the extensive use that classical political economists made of seventeenth-century political theory, particularly the concept of the “state of nature.” While the use of the “state of nature” in political, legal, constitutional, and other discourses is

In: The State of Nature: Histories of an Idea

, the idea of peculium constitutes a powerful social motive behind the creation of society and property rights. In fact, it provides us with a unified legal framework to think about ‘otherness in the state of nature’, as a way to genealogically imagine how property rights can be originated. To this