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26.08.2017 · Thomas Hobbes wrote Leviathan as a testament on how to run a country

Abraham Arellanes04/03/13PHIL 2306Essay # 4Thomas Hobbes I have to say that throughout this quarter this class was by far the most intellectually stimulating, mentally challenging, and had the heaviest reading load of all my classes. However, out of all the books, the speeches, the excerpts, and historical pieces and documents we have read, one reading in particular comes to mind when I’m asked which one will stay with me the longest. Thomas Hobbes’ Leviathan will probably…

In his seminal text, Leviathan, the philosopher Thomas Hobbes offers what was then a radically novel conception of the origins of civil government. Hobbes’ ideas of the commonwealth are predicated upon his views of human nature and the state of mankind without government, and so he establishes his position on these concepts before addressing the commonwealth’s creation. First Hobbes writes of the natural condition of human beings, which he believes is inherently troublesome; the state of…

Abraham Arellanes04/03/13PHIL 2306Essay # 4Thomas Hobbes I have to say that throughout this quarter this class was by far the most intellectually stimulating, mentally challenging, and had the heaviest reading load of all my classes. However, out of all the books, the speeches, the excerpts, and historical pieces and documents we have read, one reading in particular comes to mind when I’m asked which one will stay with me the longest. Thomas Hobbes’ Leviathan will probably…

A summary of Leviathan, Parts III and IV: “Of a Christian Commonwealth” and “Of the Kingdom of Darkness” in 's Thomas Hobbes (1588–1679)

Why should peaceful cooperation be impossible without an overarching authority? Hobbes provides a series of powerful arguments that suggest it is extremely unlikely that human beings will live in security and peaceful cooperation without government. (, the thesis that we should live without government, of course disputes these arguments.) His most basic argument is threefold. (Leviathan, xiii.3-9) (i) He thinks we will compete, violently compete, to secure the basic necessities of life and perhaps to make other material gains. (ii) He argues that we will challenge others and fight out of fear ("diffidence"), so as to ensure our personal safety. (iii) And he believes that we will seek reputation ("glory"), both for its own sake and for its protective effects (for example, so that others will be afraid to challenge us).

In fact, it is very comparable to Machiavelli and his works

Thus, as long as human beings have not successfully arranged some form of government, they live in Hobbes's state of nature. Such a condition might occur at the "beginning of time" (see Hobbes’s comments on Cain and Abel, Leviathan, xiii.11, Latin version only), or in "primitive" societies (Hobbes thought the American Indians lived in such a condition). But the real point for Hobbes is that a state of nature could just as well occur in seventeenth century England, should the King's authority be successfully undermined. It could occur tomorrow in every modern society, for example, if the police and army suddenly refused to do their jobs on behalf of government. Unless some effective authority stepped into the King's place (or the place of army and police and government), Hobbes argues the result is doomed to be deeply awful, nothing less than a state of war.

Leviathan literature essays are academic essays for citation

Leviathan is primarily a treatise on the philosophy of politics. It also contains important discussions—some brief, some extended—on metaphysics, epistemology, psychology, language, ethics, and religion. In this work, Thomas Hobbes develops his views from a metaphysics of materialism and a mechanical analogy in which everything is a particle or set of particles moving in accordance with laws. Though he was at one time secretary to English philosopher and essayist Francis Bacon, his inspiration came from Galileo, the Italian mathematician and physicist. Hobbes was unusual in being an early empiricist who recognized the importance of mathematics.

The state of nature is "natural" in one specific sense only. For Hobbes political authority is artificial: in the "natural" condition human beings lack government, which is an authority created by men. What is Hobbes's reasoning here? He claims that the only authority that naturally exists among human beings is that of a mother over her child, because the child is so very much weaker than the mother (and indebted to her for its survival). Among adult human beings this is invariably not the case. Hobbes concedes an obvious objection, admitting that some of us are much stronger than others. And although he's very sarcastic about the idea that some are wiser than others, he doesn't have much difficulty with the idea that some are fools and others are dangerously cunning. Nonetheless, it's almost invariably true that every human being is capable of killing any other. Even the strongest must sleep; even the weakest might persuade others to help him kill another. (Leviathan, xiii.1-2) Because adults are "equal" in this capacity to threaten one another’s lives, Hobbes claims there is no natural source of authority to order their lives together. (He is strongly opposing arguments that established monarchs have a natural or God-given right to rule over us.)

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The all-important task of showing that there are not two different kingdoms and at the same time showing that the theorems of the first two parts of Leviathan are in fact laws, and as such binding obligations, are Hobbes’s main points in discussing the nature of a Christian commonwealth. The essential mark of a Christian is obedience to God’s law. God’s authority as lawgiver derives from his power. His laws, which are the natural laws, are promulgated by natural reason, revelation, and prophecy. In the first two parts of Leviathan, knowledge of natural laws and their implications have been found out by reason. Laws are, therefore, only conditional theorems. To be shown to be unconditional laws, they must be...


In working out the details of the second and third laws of nature, Hobbes maintains that to achieve peace, contentment, and security it is necessary that men agree with one another to confer their power upon a man or group of men of whose acts each man, even a member of a dissenting minority, will regard himself the original author:This is the Generation of that great LEVIATHAN or rather (to speak more reverently) of that Mortal God, to which we owe under the Immortal God our peace and Defence.In fact, if we want to crack open Hobbes's sovereign, to be able to lay down concrete ideas about its nature and limits, we must begin with the question of judgment. For Hobbes, dividing capacities to judge between different bodies is tantamount to letting the state of nature straight back in. "For what is it to divide the power of a commonwealth, but to dissolve it; for powers divided mutually destroy each other." (Leviathan, xxix.12; cf De Cive, xii.5) Beyond the example of England in the 1640s, Hobbes hardly bothers to argue the point, although it is crucial to his entire theory. Always in his mind is the Civil War that arose when Parliament claimed the right to judge rules of taxation, and thereby prevented the King from ruling and making war as he saw fit, and when churches and religious sects claimed prerogatives that went against the King's decisions.