Thomas Hobbes Influence On The Leviathan

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On the day the Spanish Armada set sail to attack England Thomas Hobbes was born. His mother, after hearing the news, went into premature labor prompting Hobbes to say of his birth “fear and I were born twins together”. Needless to say fear was a major part of Hobbes’ life. Given the historical context and circumstances of his life, it is understandable that fear highly influenced his philosophical and moral ideologies. In Hobbes’ most notable work The Levithan the emotion of fear is seen throughout. It serves as the basis for his theories on the social contract between people and the State. In this paper I will explain how fear has influenced Hobbes’ work and the weakness of his argument in favor of a Leviathan. Solitary, poor, nasty, brutish,…show more content…
There is no room for revolt and the sovereign is absolute so that there are no fractures or splitting within the government or state. This is dangerous because if the government turns out to be or becomes corrupt, there is no way to fight this corruption. In the Leviathan, no matter the case people must submit to the State. If they do not abide, they risk harsh punishment. It is Hobbes’ belief that the State’s responsibility is to ensure peace and to protect its citizens and that it will follow through with that whether its power is attained through force, which he calls a “Common-wealth by Acquisition”, or by by agreement, which he calls a “Common-wealth by Institution”. This is at odds with Hobbes’ general pessimistic view as believing the sovereign power will act out of the best interest of the people, in the sense that it will protect their lives and ensure the people’s survival without any oversight, is naive and optimistic. If Hobbes’ view is that humans act only out of survival, self-interest, and need for more power, it should follow that the individual leading the common-wealth would do the same and corruption would ensue. So although one may protected from the violence of his neighbor, there is no guarantee that he is protected from the
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