Hobbes V State of Nature

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s) : 292
  • Published : November 10, 2011
Open Document
Text Preview
Thomas Hobbes claims that in a state of nature, people are constantly fighting against each other, and the only way to overcome this is to form a commonwealth. He does this by going over the conditions that describe a state of nature, certain rights that all people have in nature, and the method for transferring these rights, by way of a pledge to a sovereign, whether it to the one person, or a group of people in order to achieve a state of peace. While Hobbes makes a very clear argument, it does contain some faults when examined. Hobbes addresses these issues and tries to convince the reader that a commonwealth is the only way a society will experience lasting peace. Firstly, Hobbes argues that when there is no government or civil authority in place, humans are living in a state of nature. This state is what Hobbes calls a war, “of every man against every other man” (Leviathan pg.106). Since there is no order in place, everybody can then claim anything they want for themselves. To Hobbes, this war is a result of three different causes. Hobbes claims that humans are, for the most part, physically equal. He acknowledges that some people are stronger than others are but we are all individuals, have basically the same mental reasoning, and are vulnerable. This means that a competition results among any person or group of people any time that they want something. For example, if I wish I had something that somebody else is in possession of already; and this person is bigger and stronger than me, I can get a few friends together and physically take whatever it is that I wanted. War also arises out of panic, or attacking somebody for fear that they are about to attack you; a pre-emptive strike. So, if I think that somebody wants to take something of mine, I may take something of theirs before they have a chance, and harm them for the purpose of protecting myself. The third cause of war is glory, or the desire to be feared and have a good reputation, to put fear into...
tracking img