Leviathon notes

Leviathon notes - Thomas Hobbes The sovereign owes his...

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Thomas Hobbes The state is the product of a covenant or a compact/contract between individuals The sovereign owes his authority to the will or the consent of those he governs. The sovereign is authorized only to protect the interests of the governed by maintaining civil peace and security Hobbes was a product of his time In Hobbes time, the modern system of European states was just beginning to emerge After the end of the 30 years war English Civil War Execution of Charles I Hobbes Left England to live in France during the Civil War Returned after the war Hobbes vs. Aristotle Leviathan offers a comprehensive alternative to Aristotle’s politics Aristotle’s argument being that all action is goal directed All actions are aimed at making something better or preventing it from becoming worse For Aristotle, Humans have a goal or a telos To live a life in community with others for the sake of human flourishing Aristotle argues that man is a political animal prone to self political rule Hobbes believed that the overriding human fact or motivation of human beings is largely negative.
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Not the desire to do something good, but the desire to avoid something evil For Hobbes, we enter into society not to fulfill or perfect our rational nature, but rather to avoid the greatest evil, namely death or fear of death at the hands of others. Politics for Hobbes is not about choosing better or worse, but rather, it is about choosing life or death Chaos, death, and war serve as the norm for human nature Hobbes argues against direct rule of the people Instead, the sovereign serves as the artificially reconstructed will of the people in the person of their representative (The Sovereign) Opening Chapters present a kind of ‘political physics’ Human beings are reduced to body The Body is further reduced to matter and motion Human beings can be reduced to their movable parts, much like a machine Quotes: “What is life, but a motion of the limbs?” “What is the heart, but a spring, or reason but a means of calculating pleasures and pains?” Gives a materialistic and nonteleological physics of human nature Hobbes’ central question in Leviathan: What makes authority possible? What is the source of authority? What renders it legitimate?
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The “State of Nature” The state of nature is not a state of grace from which we have fallen, as in the biblical account of Eden Nor is the state of nature is not a political condition as maintained by Aristotle The State of Nature for Hobbes is a condition of conflict and war. By a ‘state of war’ he means a condition where there is no recognized authority to
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Leviathon notes - Thomas Hobbes The sovereign owes his...

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