Premium Essay

Hobbes vs Locke

In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By stefani93
Words 1452
Pages 6
The pure state of nature or "the natural condition of mankind" was deduced by the 17th century English philosopher Thomas Hobbes, in Leviathan. Hobbes argued that all humans are by nature equal in faculties of body and mind. From this equality and other causes in human nature, everyone is naturally willing to fight one another: so 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". In this state every person has a natural right or liberty to do anything one thinks necessary for preserving one's own life; and life is "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short" (Leviathan, Chapters XIII-XIV). In short Hobbes believes is self-preservation, even if something was someonelse's, if you felt the need for it you had the right to fight for it and claim it as your own. Hobbes described this natural condition with the Latin phrase bellum omnium contra omnes (meaning war of all against all), in his work De Cive. Within the state of nature there is neither private property nor injustice since there is no law, except for certain natural precepts discovered by reason ("laws of nature"): the first of which is "that every man ought to endeavor peace, as far as he has hope of obtaining it" (Leviathan, Ch. XIV); and the second is "that a man be willing, when others are so too, as far forth as for peace and defense of himself he shall think it necessary, to lay down this right to all things; and be contented with so much liberty against other men as he would allow other men against himself"(Leviathan, Ch XV). According to Hobbes the state of nature exists at all times among independent countries, over whom there is no law except for those same precepts or laws of nature (Leviathan, Chapters XIII, XXX end). His view of the state of nature helped to serve as a...

Similar Documents

Premium Essay

Hobbes vs Locke

...James Wells 12/11/14 Hobbes vs. Locke This paper will compare and contrast the views of Thomas Hobbes and John Locke expressed in Leviathan and Second Treatise of Government. The paper will show the basic differences between the two philosophers views, is Hobbes' distrust of the people and Locke's relatively greater trust of the people and distrust of the government's power and the likelihood of the abuse of that power.  Hobbes' view in Leviathan aims at ensuring civil order, which means for him the absolute power of the government, or the Leviathan, which power the people have given him through the social contract. Locke, on the other hand, keeps much more power in the hands of the people through the legislature, which means, in effect, majority rule. Locke was also deeply concerned with maintaining the rights of the people, especially the right to own property. Locke's political view produces a much more democratic system, while Hobbes' produces a much more authoritarian, if not totalitarian, system. Both Locke and Hobbes start their political analysis with reference to the state of nature. However, their definitions of this state of nature stand in stark contrast to one another. The differences on their perception of the state of nature correspond to the final conclusions of what is important in a civil society. The contrasting perceptions of the state of nature on the part of these two philosophers are crucial, because they use those perceptions as the foundations......

Words: 1828 - Pages: 8

Premium Essay

Locke/Hobbes vs. the United Nations

...Matt Smith Political Theory 2/7/02 Locke/Hobbes vs. the United Nations After WWII the world was in disarray after having witnessed the second global conflict. The countries of the world came together to form the United Nations, an organization comprised of the nations of the world in an attempt to deal with crisis and future events in a way that would deter the onset of another such conflict. Some believe that the United Nations should be a global governing body. Others may argue on the side of John Lock or Thomas Hobbes in saying the United Nations is a civic government for the nations of the world -- a Leviathan to ensure order and harmony between the states of the Earth. These people would be mistaken in their assumptions and interpretations of Locke and/or Hobbes’s thought. Both Locke and Hobbes would argue consistently that the United Nations would not work and does not make sense given the state of nature that man comes from. John Locke explained his theory of the state of nature in his Second Treatise on Government. According to Locke man exists in the state of nature as an individual coexisting peacefully with other human beings. The reason for this peaceful coexistence between people in the state of nature is because of a few simple rules. The first of these is the respect of people’s life, liberty, and property. A person’s life and liberty are forms of his property. If a person was to in some way take away another person’s property then......

Words: 1411 - Pages: 6

Free Essay


...Name: College: Campus/Time: Date: Speech Title: Optimism vs. Pessimism Introduction I. Introduction (Open with Impact): “An optimist may see a light where there is none, but why must a pessimist always run to blow it out?” stated famous French philosopher Rene Descartes. Descarte’s quote is an exceptional example of his influential work to two philosophers who defined optimism and pessimism. II. Focus on the Thesis Statement: Thomas Hobbes and John Locke were two leading political theorists throughout the seventeenth century who had two different perspectives on life. In Formulations website, Gordon Diem testifies Hobbes as the recognized author of "Leviathan," and Locke as the popular writer of "An Essay Concerning Human Understanding." III. Connect with the Audience: Everyone in the world has their own philosophies and outlooks on life; you might even have your own. IV. Preview of Main Points: a. Preview Point 1: Hobbe’s and Locke’s life before they became well known philosophers. b. Preview Point 2: Their opinions on the appearances of man. c. Preview Point 3: The natural characteristics people have within themselves. d. Preview Point 4: How all men are uniform in nature. Transition: I will begin by informing you about their opinions on the appearance of man. Body I. Main Point 1: A glimpse into the early life of certain individuals can momentously affect how one would evaluate the future and the people......

Words: 993 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

State of Nature

...and to provide for security of its people. In a state of anarchy, this protection and security would be non-existent. This would cause humans to have to provide their own security and protect their own property. The debate on how humans would act under these circumstances was greatly examined by 17th centuries philosophers Thomas Hobbes and John Locke, and 18th century philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Each philosopher has different views on how humans would behave in a state of nature. Thomas Hobbes in particular is the most accurate in his description of how humans would behave and interact with each other. Like Hobbes, I believe that humans are only out to maximize their self-interests and in a state of nature, they will do so by any means possible. In The Leviathan, Thomas Hobbes takes on a realist perspective as he describes how he believes humans will behave in a state of nature. He writes that in such circumstances, humans are only out to maximize their own self-interests (Leviathan, Shifdar). I also take this perspective believing that in a state of nature, the main goal of humans is to obtain and preserve power. Basing my beliefs after Hobbes, I believe that to obtain such power, humans will attempt to do so by any means. In a state of nature, the most common way people will obtain power is through the formation of alliances; which will lead to the formation of a small government. The main goal of these alliances, will be to obtain resources necessary for......

Words: 1078 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Economical Philosophy

...Yaw Ankobiah Essay Assignment 4/17/15 POLS 251 Professor Clarke Word Count: 1,597 The Ideals of Commerce of Aristotle vs. John Locke Aristotle and John Locke are two of the more prominent philosophers of their respective time periods when historically analyzing political philosophy. Each philosopher has many written sources of their beliefs and ideals, many of which go against the ‘norms’ of the societies of their time period. Second Treatise of Government, by John Locke, and Aristotle’s Politics, written by Aristotle, both outline each philosopher’s ideal political regime in which each political system described is tailored to each individual’s self-thinking. Past experiences as well as prior knowledge is used by both Aristotle and Locke to formulate their political regimes. When comparing the two previously mentioned books and analyzing the regimes proposed by both novels it is evident that both Aristotle and Locke differed in their respective evaluation of commercial or economic life. The biggest point of difference between the two had to do with humanity as Aristotle believed acquisition of necessities to be a natural process whereas Locke believed the onus was on human beings to go out and acquire which would naturally bring about commerce into existence. This essay will examine the reasons why they differed in this aspect of politics with further detail provided as well. When highlighting these reasons it will be very clear as to why their ideas of economic and......

Words: 1651 - Pages: 7

Premium Essay

A Review of Ethics Concepts & Theories

...A Review of Ethics Concepts & Theories Educational Objectives: 1. Explain the type of problem that is addressed by philosophers. 2. Explain how ethical norms help address ethical issues that arise in accountancy. 3. Contrast the views of Mills, Machiavelli and Kant. 4. Describe what is meant by a social contract. 5. Analyze a given situation and tell why it would be appropriate or inappropriate to lie. 6. Explain the views of Kierkegaard and contrast him from other existentialists. 7. Discuss the concept that ethics cannot be based on religion. 8. Explain the use of ethical reasoning and how it can be used in your professional life. Introduction The major ethical principles accepted in the western world follow guidelines and rules that must be universally applied in all situations. These ethical principles are established primarily on the basis of teachings set forth by philosophers throughout the ages, starting with the great Greek thinkers Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle. As you might expect, there have been many alterations 修改 to these moral principles throughout the years. What was considered ethically correct by some was rejected by others and replaced with their own concept of what constituted moral or ethical behavior. A Comment about Philosophy: Philosophy, unlike science, addresses issues that cannot be solved. In fact, some philosophers state that if a problem can be solved, philosophers will not......

Words: 2657 - Pages: 11

Free Essay


...Daimyo… Bushido The Closing of Japan Nobunaga vs. Hideyoshi Matthew Perry Chapter 11: London on September 2, 1666-the great fire destroyed it. Francis Bacon-leading advocate of the empirical method Inductive reasoning Empirical method Rene Descartes Deductive reasoning Deism Johannes Kepler-had made detailed records of the movements of the planets, substantiating Copernicus’s theory that the cosmos was heliocentric (sun-centered), not geocentric (earth-centered) Galileo Galilei-improved the design and magnification of the telescope Geocentric Heliocentric The law of falling bodies (gravity) Pope Urban VIII Giordano Bruno Isaac Newton-computed the law of universal gravitation in a precise mathematical equation, demonstrating that each and every object exerts an attraction to a greater or lesser degree on all other objects The Industrial Revolution Lunar Society-a group of prominent manufactures,inventors,and naturalists met in and around Birmingham each month on the night of the full moon to discuss,chemistry,,medicine,gases,electricity,and every subject that may contribute to the fruitful society. Thomas Hobbes-argued in Leviathan that the people needed to submit to the authority of a ruler to prevent anarchy. The social contract gives up individual sovereignty in exchange for protection from depravity. Absolutism Social contract John Locke-argued that a ruler has limited authority; if the ruler fails to protect the people’s rights, then the......

Words: 1147 - Pages: 5

Free Essay

Principales FilóSofos

...Platón - el bien del hombre y su felicidad se alcanza por la practoca de la virtud - quienes actuan mal lo hacen pensando que eligen bien, pero en realidad es por ignorancia= falta de virtud - virtud= conocimiento de la verdad, del BIEN - el ser humano debe trascender  la apriencia y buscar mas alla. - la virtud mas importante es la prudencia: la capacidad de reconocer a traves de la razon, lo que verdaderamente es bueno pra el hombre y los medios que dispone para alcanzarlo. - otras virtudes importantes para Platón:   *fortaleza: fuerza de voluntad para hacer la cosas *templanza: control de los intintos  *justicia: armonía y equilibrio de todas las otras virtudes - crítica a la teoría de Platón (por Aristóteles) *identificar "conocer" la virtud con ser "virtuoso". La ética no es saber lo que es el bien, si no hacernos buenos atraves de los hábitos *Justificar las vitudes a partir de realidades ideales *Las ideas no existen por si solas, sino en objetos concretos. Materia y forma. Aristóteles - Por naturaleza el hombre busca el bien: el objeto de nuestras aspiraciones, aquellos a los que todos tienden. - el problema es que aveces se elige lo que parece bueno y no lo que realmente es bueno - A diferencia de Platón, Aristóteles cree que no hay un bien en sí mismo, "ideal". Mas bien cree que hay muchos tipos de bien. - Los bienes se eligen, siempre se eligen con vista a un fin último. - El fin último que buscan todos es la "FELICIDAD". - La felicidad no......

Words: 719 - Pages: 3

Free Essay


...Age of Reason WH 2 Unit II Scientific Knowledge (epistemology) – Past philosophers, tradition, Church authorities Early cosmology (See attached) – See attached – Heliocentric – Geocentric Scientific Method – Integrating observations – Limitations (Why, moral, limited by sin) Big Names (Astronomy) – Nicolaus Copernicus (1473-1543) – Heliocentricism (what's the big deal?) – Johannes Kepler (1571-1630) – Eliptical orbits – Galileo Galilei (1564-1642) – Worked with new instruments – pendulums & telescopes – Isaac Newton (1642-1727) – Everything – Newton's Rules (see attached) In your book – Chemistry – Medicine 1 Age of Reason WH 2 Unit II 2 Age of Reason WH 2 Unit II Use of Reason (look it up) • Solves all problems (look at Kant “What is Enlightenment) • Provided new approaches to learning • Rationalism Two major schools of thought (at the time) • Inductive ◦ Roger Bacon • Deductive ◦ Rene Descartes 3 Age of Reason WH 2 Unit II Kinds of philosophies • Dualism ◦ Mind and Body are different ◦ Binary oppositions- Two fundamental principals for everything ▪ Not monism • Pantheism ◦ Promoted by Spinoza ▪ 'Deus sive Natura' (God or Nature) We are part of Nature as a whole whose order we follow... A substance cannot be produced from anything else : it will therefore be its own cause, that is, its essence necessarily involves existence, or......

Words: 387 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Pols 1336 Notes

...political values in general and the role of the government in particular * Ideology provides a framework for thinking about politics and policy preferences Ideologies * Modern liberalism is associated with ideas of liberty and political equality: * Tend to favor chance in social, political and economic realms to better protect individuals and produce equality What is the constitution? * Fundamental principles of a government and the basic structures and procedures Two US Constitutions * Articles of confederation ( 1781-1789) * Constitution of the united states (1789-present) Events leading up to the US constitution * By the 18th century, two-tier system of governance had evolved – local colonial assemblies vs Parliament in Britain * Britain’s involvement in the seven years’ war cost money that they tried to recoup from the colonies * Sugar act (1764) * Stamp act (1765) * Colonists responded with...

Words: 2355 - Pages: 10

Free Essay

Concepts and Theories in Politics

...Concepts and Theories in Politics Welcome to Introduction to Politics! This lecture will supplement what you will hear in class. I’m going to discuss some important methodological and substantive issues having to do with political science, including the role of concepts and theories, human nature and politics, and ideologies. If you need more background, I suggest taking a look at Sheldon Wolin, Politics and Vision; C.B. Macpherson, The Real World of Democracy; or Robert Dahl, A Preface to Democratic Theory.   To begin with, in some ways it is a misnomer to speak of political “science.” One crucial difference between political science and the natural sciences is that in the latter there is normally only one dominant paradigm at a time, while in the former there are what might be called competing paradigms. As T.S. Kuhn establishes in The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, there was a paradigm shift from the Ptolemaic to the Copernican universe; in other words, from the idea that the Earth is the center of the universe we move to the idea that the Earth in fact goes around the sun, a radical conception when it was first put forward in 16th-century Europe but one that is now universally accepted. In the social sciences, however, there is no overriding consensus on how to analyze reality (or even on what counts as reality). In political science, for example, three major views may be distinguished on power and authority in the United States: (a) the pluralist model, in which...

Words: 1536 - Pages: 7

Free Essay

Poli Sci 100

...and longer essay questions.  Please note that some of the concepts listed under lectures are also covered in the readings, sometimes in more than one chapter.    Lec. 1-2 What is Politics?    Concepts from the Lecture: Politics ‘Polis’ Plato Machiavelli Modern Age Thomas Hobbes Leviathan   Concepts from the Texts: ‘Simile of the Cave’ ‘fortuna’ philosopher-king Behavioural Approach Class Analysis Elite theory Pluralism Institutionalism ‘Power to’ vs. ‘Power over’    Lec. 3 What is the State? Concepts from the Lecture: Treaty of Westphalia Social Contract Legal-institutionalism Branches of State Levels of State Elitism Pluralism   Additional Concepts from the Texts: Night Watchman State Neo-liberal state Welfare State Liberal Democracy    Lec. 4 The State: Power, Authority, and Sovereignty   Concepts  from the Lectures and Readings: Power Authority Sovereignty Weber’s Typology of Authority Concepts from Readings: See Lec. 3 concepts   Lec. 5 Political Ideologies: Liberalism   Concepts from the Lecture Ideology Left vs. Right ideologies John Locke/ Two Treatises of Government J.S. Mill/ On Liberty Tenets of Liberalism Welfare Liberalism vs. Libertarianism   Concepts from Readings The Republic State of nature Tyranny of the majority Harm Principle ‘Politics as a Vocation’ Equality Rights    Lec. 6 Republicanism, Conservatism and Socialism    Concepts from the Lecture Republicanism Roman ‘Res......

Words: 886 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Why Was Socrates Regarded as a Man of Virtue?

...Why was Socrates regarded as a man of virtue? Why was Socrates regarded as a man of virtue? Socrates: Man of Virtue (470-399 B.C.E.) Socrates proposed the theory of value in which there are two sorts of good: virtue and happiness. Both are unconditional goods. But happiness is a "self-generated" good in that it "derives its value strictly from its inherent properties;" whereas virtue is an "other-generated" good in that it derives its value from happiness, precisely from its conduciveness to happiness. Virtue is an instinct in all humanity which can be aroused through self-examination. This universal truth is accessible to everyone who thinks and question. Socrates assumes that any person with whom he talks has the resource to answer his question correctly, that is, that no specialist knowledge is required. Socrates thought that knowledge is virtue, and virtue leads to happiness. It makes sense to think that moral people know what morality is. If you know right from wrong, then you might be able to choose to do what you know to be right. It also makes some sense to suspect that our beliefs about right and wrong influence our decisions. If we believe its right to help a drowning child, then it would be fairly shocking to decide not to do so—and it would less surprising when we decide to help the child. It is quite a shocking statement to say that virtue always leads to happiness. Criminals commit crimes that hurt others to help themselves. To think that their crimes......

Words: 7161 - Pages: 29

Premium Essay

We Did It Wow

...Ethics week 2 Team E Week 3 Issue: Team presentation Should tolerance of homosexuality be taught in our schools without parent consent? Does this violate the fundament social responsibility of parents? Week 5 issue: Why should illegal immigrants be entitled to free education, heath care services, food stamps and an assortment of other social service benefits? Does it make sense to reward those who break the law? Individual assignment 1. 5 primary barriers and obstacles that cause us to breach our moral & ethical values 2. How do they cause you to breach your moral and ethical values - Things that cause us to do the wrong things (temptations) ex: how does self interest cause us to do the wrong things 3. What needs be done to over come those obstacles 4. Do this for each of the primary barriers Week 3 presentation: 10 points 1. Provide background on issue- extent of it taught in schools MARCELA Ex: polls, legislature, historical value 2. ID and discuss all arguments on either side of the question (broad implications of this issue) Do schools have the rights where do their rights begin and end JAMES What are the rights of the parents where do their rights begin and end JOE 3. Team conclusion- 4. Justify conclusion, why was one side more compelling than the other MIKE 20 min presentation * Construction (4 out of 10 points) * accuracy * COPY OF PPP 3 slides to each page NOTES Metaethics: understanding where do our...

Words: 1126 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Pols 102

...resources. Gov. is inflexible, which leads to destruction of government. Authoritarianism: They don’t control everything, just enough. There isn’t a utopian vision. They control the military and the police. Only what they need to control. China is a midway point between Totalitarianism and Authoritarianism. Constitutionalism: A limited form of government. Powers are usually spelled out in a constitution that the government is obligated to follow. They are either being a democracy/monarchy. U.S is a democracy and England is a monarch. Hobbes: Claimed that we lived in a state of nature and not a good place to be. He believed were evil/selfish. God doesn’t play a role. “Bottom up dynamic” Locke: Agrees with Hobbes, but lived life better. People were inherently good, not evil. No protection of our property, and this is why we made the social contract. Believes we only gave up a little bit of our freedom, doesn’t believe it’s all or nothing, like Hobbes believed. Believes the social contract entails that we only gave up...

Words: 1972 - Pages: 8