Both Thomas Hobbes and John Locke argue that prior to formed societies, the meaning of the state of nature was important to grasp. Hobbes argues that the state of nature is a 'war of all against all'. He maintains therefore, that societies are formed in order to protect themselves against each other because in a state of nature, all is chaos…
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The egoism in man, is a presupposition of Hobbes which leads him to the description of nature as a constant power struggle. In a natural state, that is, in a physical state, men are generally equal in strength, mental capacity and experience (Solomon, Ed, 1992, p. 178). He asserts that everyone has a natural and equal right to everything. However, if man was without government the conflict from desire would lead to a state of war of every man against every man: Hereby it is manifest, that during the time men live without a common Power to keep them all in awe, they are in that condition which called Warre; and such a warre, as is of every man, against every man(Solomon, Ed, 1992, p. 179). Fortunately, however, Hobbes argues that "passion" in the form of a "fear of death", and the desire to live a long and peaceful life, has allowed man to use "reason" in order to form laws which combined, provide the basis or foundation of a civil society, allowing man, therefore, to escape the state of nature-- the universal "strife": “The Passions that encline men to Peace, are Feare of Death ... and Reason suggesteth convenient articles of Peace, upon which men may be drawn to agreement.(Solomon, Ed, 1992, p. 180) It is at this point, that the political philosophy of Hobbes can now be understood, given that the foundations have been established, namely, that if the end of man is security, then the state itself is necessary. In particular, for the purposes of securing peace, Hobbes argues that of the three forms of government, monarchy, aristocracy, and democracy, monarchy is the most effective at realizing this end of a peaceful society. In keeping with the notion that the state itself, is a like a human body-- or, one might refer to the state in this sense, as the political body. Monarchy is like the mind of a body, which rationally maintains the desires in a sense of harmony. The desires, in terms of the analogy of the state with the body, amount to the people who the monarch is sovereign over. Hobbes argues that for the purposes of peace, monarchy is necessary. The interests of the monarchy and his subjects, Hobbes argues are exactly alike, thus, what is good for the monarchy (the mind), is also good for the people (the body), given that they are all connected with the aim of self-maintenance: “It is manifest, that men who are in absolute liberty, may, if they please, give Authority to One man, to represent them everyone.” (Solomon, Ed, 1992, p. 184) Thus, if the Monarch is rich and secure, so too is the people, given that his wealth is derived from theirs. Further, there will be no argument and disagreement in making decisions, and that decisions will stand more firm. As an analogy again, with the body, one could see for example, that when someone is confused or in a state of inner turmoil mentally, often the body suffers as a result. If there is only one decision maker, namely, the monarch, then there is no suffering amidst the body as a whole. In terms of fear then, which was raised earlier in the context of Hobbes view of human nature, or his psychology, Hobbes argues that rather than fearing the sovereign which is reasonable and the regulator of the passions-- the body should
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In addition, Africa seems to be in a constant state of turmoil going from one bad government to another. Then, there are tensions in Afghanistan and in Asia, with China being more assertive. In the background is the constant threat of terrorism. The adage that ‘everything changes to remain the same’ could certainly be true in the current state of international affair, as the same themes have been present for millennium-power, instability and the ‘appropriate’ action.
The analysis will be presented in a comparison format which will enhance the differing viewpoints of Hobbes and Locke regarding subject matter. Human Nature: It should be noted that all the social theorists of natural law have come up with the statement that the nature of humans is animal-like.
He explained that when all men lived without a strong power, they was in the state of war, and "such a war as is of every man against every man" (Hobbes, Chapter XIII). Hobbes therefore supposed that a general inclination of all mankind, a perpetual and restless desire of power after power.
In the First Part: Of Man, Hobbes' philosophy is built in the manner of a geometrical proof. He observes that the universe is a "plenum" filled with material bodies. The innate condition of mankind and the state of nature here is essentially brutal and it is a "war of every man against every man," (Hobbes, 79) in which one continually seeks to annihilate the other.
Indeed, it would hardly be an exaggeration were one to claim that the one's theory is the antithesis of the other's. The aforementioned is evidenced in the fact that both had very different notions of human nature and, accordingly, of the rationale behind the entry of citizens into a social contract, the implications of the said contracts and the rights of the populace versus the limits of government.
Despite certain similarities that were largely due to similar historic and intellectual context of the Enlightenment, the philosophers maintained dramatic differences in their views on social structure, political organization and the nature of human being.
Their arguments were influenced by their historical experiences. They were both social contract theorists and natural law theorists but beyond this, their views differed on the state of nature, the social contract, and the system of
he social contract treatise to reach the surprising conclusion that people have to surrender to the power and authority of a supreme and powerful ruler. His conclusion was reached due to his idea that a state of war is the state of nature. He thought there has to be a supreme
The author of this paper explains that Hobbes and Locke have contributed significantly to the field of political science. Both theorists tend to have similar views with regard to where power emanates in the society. They both support the constitution or popular contract as an avenue where the people give the power to rule.
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