What about the critics' other claim, that since Hobbes never allows a conflict between moral obligation and self-interest, he deprives himself of any concept of moral obligation? Consider the first part of this claim, that Hobbes never allows a conflict between morality and self-interest. If what this means is that Hobbes never allows a case in which discharging a moral obligation costs one something, then it is false. Discharging one's obligation to keep the peace, for example, can involve suffering not only 'words of disgrace and some little injuries' (L, ch. 27, E III 286), but also outright intimidation (L, ch. 27, E III 285). So fulfilling one's moral obligations can cost one something. What, then, becomes of the claim that Hobbes does not allow for the possibility of a conflict between morality and self-interest? If it means that Hobbes arranges things in his theory so that from a rational agent's point of view there is always more to be got out of discharging one's moral obligations than out of not doing so, then it is a correct reading of Hobbes . It is also a plausible reading of other philosophers (notably Plato in reply to Thrasymachus) who no-one would dream of claiming had deprived themselves of a concept of moral obligation or moral motivation. I think that in order to arrive at a formulation that fits some of his text and gives him a case to answer concerning the conflict between moral obligation and self-interest, Hobbes 's rational self-interest has got to be collapsed into selfishness. But when this is done, the text suffers distortion. What gives content to rational self-interest in the text is the good of self-preservation, or self-defence, or survival, which it is in general not selfish to promote. So the line of criticism we are considering seems to fizzle out.