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From Chaos to Contractarianism: Hobbes, Pojman, and the Case for World Government

1 June 2008


In this paper, I argue that Louis Pojman fails to justify his conception of a moderate cosmopolitan world government. I illustrate this by highlighting the fact that Pojman fails to articulate adequate justifications for his Principle of Humanity (POH) and Principle of Equality (POE). This is problematic because the POH and POE ground his conception of human rights, which, in turn, grounds his conception of a moderate cosmopolitan world government. Hence, since he fails to justify the POH and the POE, I conclude that his conception of a cosmopolitan world government ultimately fails. But, before I launch this attack on Pojman, I offer substantial philosophical analyses of Hobbes’s arguments for the state of nature, human rights, and the establishment of the commonwealth. I do so because Hobbes provides the philosophical basis for Pojman’s philosophy of world government. I show that by understanding the philosophical problems inherent in Hobbes we gain better understanding of the philosophical problems at the basis of Pojman.


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