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date: 16 September 2019

Abstract and Keywords

In addition to the three causes of war mentioned by Hobbes in chapter 13 of Leviathan, he adds stubbornness, unsociability, and arrogance in chapter 15. Since it is impracticable to eliminate these unsociable forms of behavior as illegal, Hobbes considers the recommendation of Italian Renaissance writers on “civil conversation” that such behavior can be inhibited by mocking or ridiculing it. However, he urges that “no man reproach, revile, deride, or any otherwise declare his hatred, contempt, or disesteem of any other” because such behavior causes quarrels and war. While this reasoning is prudential, he also gives a moralistic reason. Scornful laughter is a sign of cowardice and consequently dishonorable. As for dealing with unsociable people, Hobbes’s suggestion is that the sociable must tolerate them, and toleration requires self-control.

Keywords: Hobbes, arrogance, civil conversation, sociability, unsociability, self-control, tolerance

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