Vol. 4 (2019)

Droit naturel et droit à la vie. Beccaria lecteur de Hobbes

Philippe Audegean
Université Nice Sophia Antipolis
Published May 27, 2019
How to Cite
Audegean, P. (2019). Droit naturel et droit à la vie. Beccaria lecteur de Hobbes. Diciottesimo Secolo, 4, 33-45. https://doi.org/10.13128/ds-25436


Although in the section A chi legge he suggested otherwise, Beccaria owes much to Hobbes. This is evinced by three theses advanced in Dei delitti e delle pene: human beings are by nature unsociable; there is no natural law prior to the establishment of the civil society; natural rights derive from our inborn tendency to self-preservation. From these assumptions, however, Beccaria draws three conclusions that contradict Hobbes: even the most fundamental rights, being guaranteed only by the civil law, are in fact created by it; sovereignty, which is intrinsically limited, is legitimate only insofar as it acknowledges the right to live; the death penalty is illegitimate because it brings men back to the state of permanent war they meant to overcome.