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Political Phil FINAL

Political Phil FINAL - Hobbes chaos rational individualism...

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Hobbes – chaos, rational, individualism, natural law, leviathan State of Nature A state of man before government was created, during this time men lived without political and social institutions in a natural society To Hobbes, political community/institutions is not natural o Rather a solid, secluded life devoid of political and social institutions Offers that there was a time without government as a hypothetical place, as an argument o To understand origins of government, its functions (201) What its like in a state of nature (state of war) o Men are not social, utterly egoistic and competitive, each seeks to get what they can get, a sense they can do anything that serves their interest (221, 208) o Continual fear; No civil order, chaos; No law, no justice Image of human nature sounds like Augustine… however the notion of sin is totally absent o None of Augustine’s Christian pessimism Central psychological assumption of Hobbes o Natural man is constantly fearful of one another o That they will be victimized by man o Fear of sudden and violent death preoccupies all (bottom of 208, 209) In the state of nature, men are all equal to one another (masterless men) From the psychological premise, Hobbes builds that prudential men realize that only a strong central power whose will is law and obeyed… will appease the obsessive fear of death Hobbes saw individuals constantly in motion o Natural society is a constant collision of egoistic men in motion o Liberty is understood as the absence of external impediments… external impediments of motions Reason & Natural Law Moved by fear of death to exercise reason 3 Principles of Natural Law o Every man seeks peace; every man is content with his place in relation to others; every man keeps his promise Natural Law is learned through experience, not a transcendent truth Social Contract Led by reason to leave the SON and to contract with one another a covenant to live in peace and security (mere life) Just/Unjust is not realized in a transcendent realm, rather it is what the government decides is right/wrong Man submits his will, gives up his freedom to the Leviathan Justification of gov lies in an original act of consent Leviathan’s Power Creation of Leviathan irrevocable, this new authority cannot be resisted
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To resist would threaten to bring chaos, fear, misery, and the state of war again Locke – rational, civility, individualism, property, limited government, liberalism Individualism Rational men are in the state of nature It is the individual who is responsible for their self-realization Not a state of war, a much more benign place because people know the teachings of law to respect other people’s rights as it is in their humanity o Rational people tend to be respectful of one another’s rights In the state of nature, any man can enforce these natural rights Focus on individual freedoms, freedom consists in not being interfered with Property Rights
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