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Hobbes, Schmitt, and the mythological legitimization of sovereignty


Hobbes, Schmitt, and the mythological legitimization of sovereignty

O'Brien, Michael (2010) Hobbes, Schmitt, and the mythological legitimization of sovereignty. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

Text (application/pdf)
MR71071.pdf - Accepted Version


This thesis explores the role of political mythology in grounding the legitimacy of sovereign authority, specifically in popular democratic states. It begins with Hobbes, taking the political theology of Leviathan as foundational to modem Western theories of sovereign authority and popular identity, also investigating his justifications for a sovereign control over public confession. The thesis proceeds in the second chapter to a study of Carl Schmitt's critique of political theology and of the extra-legal and extra-rational foundation of political legitimacy. Schmitt's assessment of contemporary theories of political myth is addressed as well. Against the historical background of the development of political theology and mythology, it is argued in the final chapter that the identities of populace with people, of people with sovereign, and of peoples and sovereigns with themselves across time, necessarily involves mythological fictions. The use of such myth-making to legitimize sovereign authority and justify its use is then applied to the particular case of caring for future generations, by a mythological overcoming of presentist democratic mandates.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Philosophy
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:O'Brien, Michael
Pagination:iii, 82 leaves ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Thesis Supervisor(s):Fritsc, M
ID Code:979371
Deposited By: Concordia University Library
Deposited On:09 Dec 2014 17:58
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:49
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