Document Type


Faculty Advisor

Director: Dr. Aaron Szymkowiak; Readers: Dr. Timothy Quinn, Dr. Steven Frankel; Course Director: Dr. Shannon Hogue




This paper will focus on international commerce. How should the state reconcile its own interests with international obligations? Two philosophers, Emer de Vattel of Switzerland and Thomas Hobbes of England provide two possible solutions. These two philosophers, though both belonging to the enlightenment era of western philosophy, write at opposite ends of the movement – Hobbes at its inception, and Vattel at its conclusion. Whereas the latter would be far more amenable to free trade and open borders, the former would be more skeptical and more willing to limit trade for the sake of the commonwealth. This paper will work to examine each philosopher; in regards to Hobbes, a genealogical approach shall be taken – working from the sociability of man, to the creation of the polity, and finally to the international realm and commerce. In regards to Vattel, his concept of cosmopolis and moral agency – both of which inform his international policy – will be examined. Finally, this paper will conclude with an analysis of each philosopher in relation to each other

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Included in

Classics Commons