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Unformatted text preview: Thomas Hobbes - Fear and Philosophy Hobbes a background Lived 1588-1679 Considered himself a timid, frail man Educated at Oxford Lifelong relationship with the Cavendish family Exposed to Euclids writings at age 40 Traveled Europe and met with individuals including Galileo and Descartes Quiet scholarly life upset by the political crises surrounding him Political Context Thirty Years War fought over religion and territory Civil War in England Issue of Religious Freedom Issue of unwritten English Constitution / Sovereignty Position of the middle class in a society structured on feudalism Violence and loss of life and property is the basis for Hobbes state of nature Hobbes Method Scientific approach Life is matter in motion Laws of motion can describe social behavior Does not believe that things such as the soul, truth or virtue exist Creates a construct of the state of nature something that never actually existed here on earth Human Nature All men are equal in that they can kill each other (physical equality) People are selfish People are relatively equal in terms of intelligence People naturally endeavor to destroy or subdue one another Man fears being deprived of his life, liberty and/or fruits of his productivity Human Nature cont. Three primary sources of quarrel Competition for gain Diffidence for safety Glory for reputation Life in the state of nature is solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short...
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- Winter '08