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Unformatted text preview: Hobbes: Leviathan Lecture notes 09/18/06 I. The Laws of Nature A. Hobbes says that they are easy to follow (p. 100) but also that they are contrary to man's natural action (p. 106). 1. This is quite a conundrum. Men want to live and they want to live comfortably, but their passions move them away from peaceful existence. 2. This is not a contradiction. Perhaps Hobbes is saying that our passions simply conflict with our interests. a. We react emotionally when we should react in a way that will grant us peace. Temptations for power or gain or whatever may lead us astray, and will ultimately lead to long-term loss B. However, we can fix this problem by making sure our interests overrule our passions. The way to this is through the Leviathan. 1. Some would say that other animals get along just fine, so why can't humans? Hobbes gives six reasons: a. Men are always in competition for honor and glory. b. For animals, the common good ad the private good are one in the same; this is not necessarily true for humans. c. Animals lack reason and therefore do no criticize their administrators; men, however, have an issue with pride and ego. d. Animals don't speak, but people do; word can anger people. e. Men try to control actions of those governing the commonwealth while animals do not. f. Animals to agree to their societies naturally and people only agree to their society artificially(that is to say, through a covenant). II. Hobbes takes the idea of the “covenant” form the Bible because he knows he is talking to a religious group of people. A. Hobbes distinguishes between a covenant and a contract: 1. Just as the idea of the covenant in the Bible is enduring, it is just as so in society. A covenant includes a future promise....
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- Spring '08
- Political Philosophy, a. Hobbes