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Unpublished Paper
Thomas Hobbes's "A Discourse of Laws"
  • Noel B Reynolds, Brigham Young University - Provo

The recent discovery that an anonymously published 1620 essay was an early writing of Thomas Hobbes invites investigation of his early thinking. Hobbes relied on mostly classical sources to advance a basically conventionalist theory of law and to anticipate twentieth century analyses of the principles of rule of law such as those made famous by F. A. Hayek and Michael Oakeshott.

  • rule of law,
  • Thomas Hobbes,
  • legal theory,
  • constitutionalism,
  • natural law,
  • legal positivism,
  • covenant,
  • convention
Publication Date
September 1, 1994
An earlier version of this paper was presented September 1, 1994, at the American Political Science Association annual meeting in New York City.
Citation Information
Noel B Reynolds. "Thomas Hobbes's "A Discourse of Laws"" (1994)
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