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Fourth Musketeer of Social Contract theory

Devellennes, Charles (2013) Fourth Musketeer of Social Contract theory. History of Political Thought, 34 (3). pp. 459-478. ISSN 2051-2988. (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)

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. (Contact us about this Publication)
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Abstract

Holbach's famous materialistic and atheistic philosophy is less known for its political dimension. Yet the author proposed an original theory of the social contract in his works of the 1770s. This article details the main features of his political thought and of his social contract, notably his proposal of an 'Ethocracy' grounded in utility and justice. This Ethocracy paves the way for a pluralist republicanism that has original features in the history of ideas. Holbach was a reader of Hobbes and Locke and an acquaintance of Rousseau, and proposed various critiques of the political writings of these authors. Through five main critiques, this article further shows the value of Holbach's positive theory on key concepts such as the state of nature, sociability, property, the general will and equality. Lastly, Holbach's potential contribution to political theory is highlighted, showing how the largely forgotten author merits our attention today.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: J Political Science > JC Political theory
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Politics and International Relations
Depositing User: Charles Devellennes
Date Deposited: 03 Mar 2014 14:35 UTC
Last Modified: 29 May 2019 11:53 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/38399 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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