CRM 1301: History of Criminological Thought
Thomas Hobbes: The State of nature and the Basis of Society
* Thomas Hobbes ‘‘Leviathan’’ or The Matter, Form and Power of a Common-Wealth, Ecclesiastical and civil (1651) Context of Hobbes study:
* Conflict between monarch and parliament
Hobbes believed that the civil peace was a very fragile thing, and that chaos could and did break through the veneer of civilization. Hobbes wanted to scientifically (through reasoning or reckoning using a method purged from ambiguity) study human relations.
Conditions: What is the State of nature?
A fictitious scenario where all are equal in mind and body (Differences exist but are not significant). Virtual equality brings hope that things can be done as everybody is equal both in means and capacity (HOPE).
There are two opposing desires in human nature:
This is the principal reason equality is not a good thing in a State of Nature as man is bound to clash.
Laws of nature
Laws of nature exist in a State of Nature. For Hobbes, true values were based on the need for self-preservation. Thus, he defined a law of nature as ‘‘a precept, or general rule, found out by reason, by which a man is forbidden to do ,that, which is destructive of his life, or taketh away the means of preserving the same; and to omit,that, by which he thinketh it may be best preserved. ‘’ (clash of interests +scarcity= problem)
Existed before man. We can discover the laws of nature with reason (i.e. ability to think for ourselves). The laws are immutable and eternal.
‘‘That every man ought to endeavor to peace, as far as he has hope of obtaining it and when he cannot obtain it, that he may seek and use, all helps, and advantages of war.’’
The use of the word ought, it is a command or prescription. It is a statement of the rationality of people.
SECOND LAW OF NATURE: Push for peace
‘’That a man be willing, when others are so too as far forth, as for peace, and defence of himself, he shall think it necessary, to lay down this right to all thing, and he contented with so much liberty against other men, as he would allow other men against himself. ‘’ *
Sacrifices, Give up something up for peace. Everybody needs to give up something. Equality of giving something up brings content. *
The manner we give it up : renouncing our rights or transferring our right to complete power. (Hobbes calls it a contract) Socisl contract, for the benefit of myself and society let us give up an amount of power for the greater good.
THE LAWS OF NATURE IN SUM: ‘’Do not that to another, which thou wouldest not have done to thy selfe’’. (brings religion back into reason or science)
The State of War and the Lack of a Common Authority
‘‘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.’’
What Hobbes means by a sense of Awe:
Sense of fear (create fearful subjects to ensure that they follow suit, follow the rules) *
Respect( Complete authority – Machiavelli agrees)
Force is imperative
‘‘Covenants, without the sword, are but words and of no strength to secure a man at all.’’
State of nature/ State of war (NOT THE SAME but can evolve into one another)
‘‘Force and fraud are in war (state of nature), the two cardinal virtues.’’
Life during a state of nature or state of war: ‘‘the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short.’’
How to go from a state of War to a state of Peace?
Basically, what gets us in trouble will get us out, man’s ability to reason. * -------------------------------------------------
Hobbes – crime and punishment
* Sin exists and comes from a state of nature but there is no crime * Crime is tied to civil society and laws
* Without laws there is no such thing as crime
* In a...
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