Is it correct to regard the doctrine of the laws of nature as a doctrine of virtue roughly comparable to Aristotle's? Hobbes 's legalistic language obscures, but does not rule out, similarities. Sometimes he makes it seem as if virtue consisted in unconditional obedience by the will to divine decrees or commandments, a way of putting things that seems far removed from Aristotle's talk of forming the right habits and developing the right dispositions in order to make the right choices. O n the other hand, there are passages in Leviathan and elsewhere that make it clear that 'law of nature' is in more than one way a figure of speech, and that it is not to be interpreted strictly. Usually these passages call attention to a difference between a rationally-discovered precept, which is not really a law, and the command of someone who has the right to have his will done, which is a law (cf. e.g. L, ch. 15, E III 147). But there are also places where Hobbes says that by 'laws of nature' he means certain dispositions. Thus, in chapter 26 of Leviathan he says that 'the laws of nature, which consist in equity, justice, gratitude, and other moral virtues on these depending, in the condition of mere nature, . . . are not really laws, but qualities that dispose men to peace and obedience' (E III 253). Hobbes seems to think that these qualities are put in men by God, and that considerations about war make men conscious of what