phl6 - sovereign is to do whatever necessary for the...

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-1 6. Pick two views of political philosophy we have studied, and in each sketch how a more general view of nature or reality leads to a political theory. Which view is stronger, and why? In nature Hobbes notes that men are essentially equal in ability but that this inevitably leads to an equality of hope in attaining their ends. However, men can become enemies when they both desire the same thing. Hobbes argues that men will attack others for gain, safety, and reputation in nature. In nature man is constantly at war with one another. Thus, the basic social contract of the commonwealth must put power in the hands of one sovereign authority with power to punish those who break the contract. In turn, men are impelled to keep their contracts by fear which helps the commonwealth to function. The
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Unformatted text preview: sovereign is to do whatever necessary for the defense of the commonwealth and the people cede their personal rights to the sovereign for this purpose. In contrast, Aristotle argues that we are naturally social organisms and seek to live with one another and prosper. He notes that humans are the only organisms which can talk and reason. We can use this to communicate the beneficial and harmful things in society (just and unjust). This suggests that our function is to work toward a just society. Aristotle argues that you’re not fully human if you’re not in a polis . Just as a hand is not able to survive without being attached to a functioning body, so too an individual cannot survive without being attached to a society....
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This note was uploaded on 04/04/2008 for the course PHL 318K taught by Professor Forget during the Spring '08 term at University of Texas.

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