Hobbes Reading 2

Hobbes Reading 2 - Lecture 09/14/06: Thomas Hobbes and...

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Lecture 09/14/06: Thomas Hobbes and Leviathan I. Hobbes' “State of Nature” A. It is a situation in which people live without a political society where people look out only for themselves. B. The State of Nature is linked to Hobbes' views on human nature 1. In the state of nature, there are no institutions or structures to change how people act. Therefore, man exists in his natural state. This is what Hobbes wants to look at: bare human nature. 2. Human nature is an endless quest of desire. (Chp. 11, p. 57) Man wants to be happy; the only difference between men is their process to achieve happiness. a. To get what we want (happiness), we will need power. (p. 58) The quest for power, therefore, is endless, because we can never be certain that we have more than anybody else. 3. People are also competitive. Not only do we want to do well, we want to do better than everyone else. C. For all of these reasons and desires, we will be in an endless cycle for more and more. 1. Hobbes also says that we are fearful. a. This is why we have religion. 2. We are also vain (p. 75) and those who do not believe in equality only believe so because they are vain. D. Three principle causes of quarrel: Competition, diffidence, glory (p. 76) 1. In the state of nature, the features of human nature propel us to fight with one another. There is no one that we can trust. (p. 76, para. 9) 2. In the state of nature, our rights are limitless; there is not morality or justice. a. For Hobbes, it is enough that the state of nature be hypothetical; we can imagine it. In fact, when people ignore the authority over them, they fall into civil war (p. 77) b. It's enough for his argument that he makes the state of nature plausible if we lose our government. As long as it is a plausible idea or condition that we can fall into at any time, it has the motivating power he desires it to have.
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This note was uploaded on 01/20/2012 for the course POLI 271 taught by Professor Staff during the Spring '08 term at UNC.

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Hobbes Reading 2 - Lecture 09/14/06: Thomas Hobbes and...

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