We are almost tempted to say that Hobbes is absolutist despite or in contradiction with his individualism ; one should say on the contrary that Hobbes is absolutist because he is rigorously individualist. (Pierre Manent in An Intellectual History of Liberalism) Is this correct? If so how would you explain this apparent paradox?
On one hand, it is correct to argue that Hobbes is an absolutist. This can be seen in his arguments regarding power. Hobbes claims that, in most countries, people are obsessed with power. He goes ahead and adds that he was once a power analyst and that people should understand, as well as control power, instead of being controlled by the power. People should learn how to harness power as Hobbes himself did (Macpherson, 1988). He went ahead to expose power lineaments systematically, more than anyone had done since Machiavelli. Hobbes has also explored the issue of the equality of natural rights as related to humans. He also links the issues with the theory of power and the theory of right. In this case, his major concern was peace; he gave little thought to war that has been occurring between nations (Macpherson). Hobbes also based his arguments on human nature. In his arguments, he claimed that human nature is comprised of two parts and these are passion and reason. He emphasizes on the human equality idea in nature’s state for rhetorical questions (Martinich).
Contrary to the argument that Hobbes was less concerned with wars, he also appeared overridden by the civil war. In his argument, the utility of political and moral philosophy needed to be estimated. This was because of the many opportunities that people are aware of, as well as the calamities that get people without their prior knowledge. Hobbes believes that all such calamities that are otherwise avoidable by human beings emanate from war (Macpherson, pg 9). He also argues that causes of war are almost similar as presented...
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