Analysis on Hobbe's Leviathan

Topics: Thomas Hobbes, Political philosophy, State of nature Pages: 2 (465 words) Published: December 17, 2012
Analysis on: Leviathan
The Leviathan is the political philosophical work of Thomas Hobbes. It states that people are naturally concerned with themselves and with attaining power. While there are laws of nature that can help people live in harmony, there is no natural enforcer for them. Therefore, those that choose to follow the laws risk being violated or abused by people that do not follow the rules. The only way people can live peacefully together and avoid complete chaos in nature is to voluntarily give up part of their freedom and live under the power of a sovereign, or leader, in a commonwealth. Hobbes explains the mental and social processes people go through when choosing a sovereign ruler and the additional benefits gained by signing away part of their freedom. I find that it might be rather difficult for the people “under the violence of the state of nature” to arrive at the decision to have a specific leader. Given the dire conditions of that natural state, is it really possible for them to choose a leader without resorting to more violence because each still desires to preserve themselves? Hobbes addresses this issue when he discusses that yes, humans are selfish and seek power, but they still fear for their lives and that this fear overcomes their lust for power, possibly enabling them to tie down their chaotic state long enough to come to a consensus on a leader. However, is “fear of a violent death” a necessary condition for the people to make this sovereign choice? I think there must be other factors that enable men to put aside their natural selves, not just fear. Is it possible Hobbes makes this point because he himself was a quite fearful man? Another part of Hobbes Leviathan that can be considered a fallacy is his theory that “all knowledge comes from sense” and that all our experiences are how we come to know of things. This is confusing because if this were true it would eliminate the idea and the use of imagination. Hobbes believes that the...
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