Thomas Hobbes Self Preservation Analysis

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Commonwealth for Self-Preservation In Leviathan, Thomas Hobbes forefronts the fundamental problem of human nature as war. Through examining sense, the fundamental building block of human consciousness, he argues that humans experience sense differently because they have different bodies. Since sense structures man’s motivational framework and behavior, differing sensory experiences mean people have no common understanding of what is desirable beyond self-preservation, which Hobbes equates to preservation of nature. War naturally arises when people are not in alignment because there are conflicting methods to attain conflicting goals in a world with finite resources. War is contrary to man’s most fundamental passion of self-preservation, so…show more content…
Hobbes equates preservation of nature with preservation of life. He argues that since nature is always right, it follows that life is always right. Thus, humanity’s most fundamental telos is to live. In the context of passions, he elaborates, “The passions that induce men to peace are fear of death, desire of such things are necessary to commodious living, and a hope by the industry to obtain them” (78). Notably, man is induced to peace through appetite (desire and hope) and aversion (fear), which suggests a particularly strong motivation to act for self-preservation. Appealing in a similar way to appetite and aversion, if the sovereign has the strength to control preservation of life, they access both an individual’s appetite for life and their aversion to death. Then, they would be able to shape the individual’s will and actions, allowing for a unified and peaceful…show more content…
Hobbes explains, “The final cause, end, or design of men (who naturally love liberty and dominion over others) in the introduction of that restraint upon themselves in which we see them live in commonwealths is the foresight of their on preservation...getting themselves out from that miserable condition of war, which is necessarily consequent...to the natural passions of men” (106). The commonwealth arises out of passion and reason. Once man identifies self-preservation as important through passion, reason guides him to the action of “restraint” to achieve it. Even though man is able to agree to restrain themselves for the sake of self-preservation, such a trade is motivated selfishly through fear. Hobbes says, “And the same are the bonds by which men are bound and obliged, bonds that have their strength not from their own nature...but from fear of some evil consequences upon the rupture” (81). People are motivated to preserve bonds through passion for life, aversion to hurt, and reasoning the consequences of a broken bond. Through recognizing that bonds are purely symbolic, it becomes apparent that the sovereign must always stand for strength and authority in order to rule successfully. Man is then willing to restrain his appetite for the sake of

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