Hobbes vs. Aristotle vs. Locke

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Question 1: In his book, Leviathan, Thomas Hobbes provided a very radical, innovative, and contradictory answer to what he believed to be the origin and purpose of the state. He argues that the State exists because of a social contract with its people. The passage reads, “hereby it is manifest that during the time men live without a common power to keep them all in awe, they are in that condition which is called war; and such a war as is of every man against every man.” As mentioned in this statement, the social contract rests on the belief that the natural state of men is war and that they are inherently selfish and violent. As a result of this violent state in the nature of people, Hobbes explained that a State that possessed absolute authority is essential in order to help the people of the state protect themselves from each other.

Hobbes stated, “the only way to erect such a common power, [. . . ], is to confer all their power and strength upon one man, or upon one assembly of men, that may reduce all their wills, by plurality of voices, unto one will.” As this quote explains, the purpose of state is to create a common law that will to help the people of the state protect themselves from each other. This is because as mentioned earlier, the state of nature for human beings is constant war, with death being the fear of every person and the pursuit of peace the ultimate goal of life. As a result, the common law is the means to this end and therefore all citizens are willing to give their inherent right to themselves to one man or assembly of men in order to secure peace and to avoid violent death. In the absolute monarchy that Hobbes proposes in this book, he does not recognize any limitations to the State and offers no options to appeal to the monarch. Question 2: Based on my reading of the Politics, Aristotle would have mostly disagreed with Hobbes. For example, whereas Hobbes proposed an absolute monarchy, Aristotle proposed a mixed government,...
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