Hobbes-Locke Final

Hobbes-Locke Final - February 12, 2008 Belligerent and...

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February 12 , 2008 Matt Brickell Belligerent and Nonviolent Influenced by different backgrounds, and differing conditions in the times when they lived and wrote, Hobbes and Locke created divergent portrayals of humans in the state of nature. Hobbes conceived of an inherently competitive and violent state of nature for man and woman while Locke believed that reasonable men and women lived more peacefully in their natural state. Because the forms of government that they endorsed were fitted to these alternate conceptions of human nature, they reached very different conclusions between he government and the individual. In the Leviathan , Thomas Hobbes asserts that desires drive human nature . He claims that all men and women are created equal , not in every attribute, but in such a way that one with strength has lesser intelligence and one who is weak has greater intellect . As they strive to satisfy their desires, a struggle for power ensues among these well matched human beings in the state of nature. This conflict is not brief since its source is “a perpetual and restless desire of power…that ceases only in death”(Hobbes , p .161). Faced with constant competition humans act only in their own self-interest in order to survive. Their disregard for others creates “a condition of war of every one against everyone; in which case every one is governed by his own reason; and there is nothing he can make use of , that may not be a help…in preserving his life”(Hobbes, p .189). When individuals govern themselves without limits imposed by the state, the result will be actions only in their self-interest , whih is far reaching considering that Hobbes believes “every man has a right to everything; even to another’s body” (Hobbes, p. 189) . Only a
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strong government will be able to maintain peace. Since , in Hobbes’ opinion, human nature is motivated by self-interest and self- preservation , with the natural consequence of this being a constant state of war, civil society arises as a requirement for survival . Without it, life would be “nasty , poor, brutish , and short”(Hobbes, p .120).
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This note was uploaded on 04/17/2008 for the course HUMA 11600 taught by Professor Vessey during the Spring '08 term at UChicago.

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Hobbes-Locke Final - February 12, 2008 Belligerent and...

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