An Analysis Of The Leviathan By Thomas Hobbes

Topics: Political philosophy, State of nature, Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan / Pages: 5 (2012 words) / Published: Mar 18th, 2016
The Leviathan In “The Leviathan,” Thomas Hobbes develops the concept of liberty by using mechanistic philosophy. The Leviathan is a symbolic artificial person created when power is combined into one body that enacts a sovereign to represent a common will (Hobbes, 222). Offering a principle based on science, he stresses “natural order” through the unison of body and mind as one functioning unit. In the state of nature, Hobbes defines liberty as the absence of external impediments. Without impediments, every man essentially has a right to everything. This natural equality of man means that everybody has an equal claim on things: “From this equality of ability, ariseth equality of hope in the attaining of our ends” (207). With this equality of ability comes no limitation, which is not necessarily a good thing. It prolongs a state of war and enhances the desire for the security of a commonwealth. In order to form a commonwealth based on the principles of liberty and freedom, Hobbes argues for the essential attributes of self-preservation- the right of nature, the 1st law of nature- the duty to seek peace and the 2nd law of nature- the duty to seek peace through contract. The explication of Hobbes’ argument will be followed by my evaluation of Hobbes’ concept of freedom.
Due to natural differences between men, the state of nature with no limitations on freedom is inevitably flawed. “For such is the nature of men, that howsoever they may acknowledge many others to be more witty, or more eloquent, or more learned; yet they will hardly believe there be many so wise as themselves; for they see their own wit at hand and other men’s at a distance” (207). Humans, inherently selfish and self-concerned, utilize their absolute liberty within the original state of nature to their own benefit: “And from hence it comes to pass, that where an invader hath no more to fear, than another man’s single power; if one plant, sow, build, or possess a convenient seat, others may probably be

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