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RICHARD HOOKER AS POLITICAL NATURALIST
journal contributionposted on 2023-02-21, 02:57 authored by Simon KennedySimon Kennedy
AbstractRichard Hooker's understanding of political society has engendered significant debate. Does he hold that society is natural, in keeping with his commitment to aspects of Aristotelianism? Or does he believe that society is conventional, leading somehow to a social contractarian conception of society? My contention is that he is a political naturalist, though his naturalism is tempered by his Augustinian theological anthropology. Hooker emphasizes human sin in his account of the nature and purpose of civil government, and gives humankind agency in the establishment of society. But, ultimately, he considers political life to be natural to the human condition. In this way, Hooker navigates avia mediabetween Aristotelian naturalism and conventionalism.