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date: 18 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The family is ignored by many readers of Hobbes, but it plays a central role in Hobbes’s conception of the state and of human nature. This essay considers the various theories of whether the family exists in the state of nature, and in what form—patriarchal or not--and poses its own answer to the challenges posed by Hobbes’s ambiguous comments on women, children, the family, and the state.

Keywords: Hobbes, family, the state, human nature, state of nature, women, children, patriarchy

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