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Type: Conference paper
Title: Dominion and generation: Hobbes on conjugal and domestic relations
Author: Corcoran, P.
Citation: Proceedings of Australasian Political Studies Association Conference, 25-27 September, 2006: pp.1-18
Publisher: University of Newcastle
Publisher Place: www
Issue Date: 2006
Conference Name: Australasian Political Studies Association Conference (2006 : Newcastle, New South Wales)
Editor: Jose, D.
Tate, D.
Goldsmith, D.
Statement of
Paul Corcoran
Abstract: Thomas Hobbes wrote in detail about conjugal relations, the family and parental power. His strong argument for human equality, combined with equally robust views on submission as the basis of authority, has stimulated considerable debate by feminist theorists concerning Hobbes’s position on patriarchal power. This paper examines how Hobbes cuts across the linguistically dense concepts of domestic space and conjugal relations to eliminate or redefine conventional moral and religious understandings of marriage. Reproduction, parental authority over children and kinship are shown to be critical to Hobbes’s thinking. The productive and representational status of the family as a natural, private system is central to his theory of how and why public political authority is established. Rival feminist interpretations of Hobbes provide a contemporary context for a detailed re-examination of Hobbes’s Elements of Law, De Cive and Leviathan. A comparison with ancient and traditional ideas of the family’s structure and moral purpose expressed a generation earlier by Johannes Althusius reveals Hobbes’s bold departures from that tradition.
Appears in Collections:Aurora harvest 6
Politics publications

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