POL 118 M/W
1/25/12Exegesis of Hobbes Ch. 5: assignment #1 Thomas Hobbes was an Englishman who wrote the Leviathan during the English Civil War in the 17th century. Naturally Hobbes spends chapter five, and most of the Leviathan describing how to avoid internal conflict. Hobbes argues that by using logical reasoning and eliminating disagreement a state can avoid internal conflict. Hobbes begins chapter five with a definition for reason and the operations that are involved. Hobbes continues his explanation of reason by describing the proper use of reasoning and how absurdity arises. He elaborates on errors and absurdities, explicitly their causes. Hobbes ends chapter five with his description of the connection between reason and science.
Hobbes describes reason as the summation of information, or the analyzing of the repercussions of the actions to which we are reasoning for or against. Particularly, the consequences others will pay in one’s attainment of their goal. Hobbes describes operations used by mathematicians: addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division; Logicians use the same operations but with words. Politicians use these same operations to delegate duties among men. Hobbes elaborates, “In sum whatsoever the matter, a place for addition and subtraction, there is also a place for reason; and where these have no place, there reason has nothing at all to do”(32). Addition and subtraction are not caged in mathematics; these operations are also the foundation of reason.
Hobbes then explains that reason does not exist without fault. Even the most capable, attentive, practiced men can reach false conclusions. Just as mathematicians can make mistakes in their calculations, no mans reason is certain even if approved by many. Hobbes states that reason can be driven by ulterior motives. Men create reasoning that will help to push their agenda and reach their intended goal. Hobbes...