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Tracy B. Strong “Contingency and the limits of contract”

September 1, 2013 Leave a comment

Strong, Tracy B. 2010. Contingency and the limits of contract. – Bang, Henrik P. (ed). Governance as Social and Political Communication. Manchester; New York: Manchester University Press, 180-199.

Hobbes. The reason that one cannot complain against the sovereign is that the sovereign represents one’s own will as one would understand it except for the fact that we deny ourselves knowledge of ourselves. […] The sovereign is, so to speak a me that I have constructed and whose actions are mine, for I am their sole owner. […] Although that which is owned are those of my actions that I would sooner give up in most circumstances […], I am bound to those actions in an irredeemable manner. That which represents me is thus, for Hobbes, a me over which I can have no control, because control is contradictory to the terms of representation. (182)

Contingency is whatever it is that keeps me from being assured that the present must be like the future. (186)

The aim in Rawls and Hobbes is to establish principles that may not be rationally disputed by those who subject themselves to them, nor indeed would it be rational not to subject oneself to them. […] The purpose of the social contract as a mode of thought is to establish a line which marks an inside and an outside, and marks them in such a way that refusal of them is denial of one’s self. (186)

Hobbes. The I that I would deny is in effect to be placed in charge of the I that denies. (187)

He [the Frenchman of J.-L. Nancy] can allow that the others have qualities (their cuisine or their musice, say) but what he cannot allow is for them to see themselves as he sees them. For then he would see himself as they see him. His power consists in requiring that the others have no existence for him except as he allows it. (195)