The Political Theories Of Thomas Hobbes Leviathan

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In Leviathan, Hobbes constructs his political framework around a set of assumptions and beliefs regarding human nature when it is unrestrained by a sovereign and not within a societal framework, or “commonwealth”. Broadly, this theoretical state of being is called the “natural condition of mankind” or, a state of nature. Hobbes reaches the state of nature theory by methodically evaluating the core motivations and realities of human nature (as he sees them), as well as via evaluating newly discovered “savage people in many places of America.” As such, the state of nature, that is human nature, is the scaffolding from which the totality of his political theory is built upon, and with which he justifies the need for a Leviathan. Therefore, for…show more content…
Hobbes argues that men are created generally equal, and it is from this equality that flows distrust, as from equality in being “ariseth equality of hope in the attaining of ends. And therefore if any two men desire the same thing, which nevertheless they cannot both enjoy, they become enemies.” From distrust “there is no way for any man to secure himself, so reasonable, as anticipation” and thus flows the essential belief in a brutal state of nature, that is a state of war of all against all. Hobbes believes this state of war occurs not only during times of battle, but when “men live without a common power to keep them all in awe.” Hobbes believes that in this state of war, among other things, “there is no place for industry; because the fruit thereof is uncertain; and consequently no culture of the earth; no navigation, nor use of the commodities that may be imported by sea; no commodious building...” Hobbes then advances the framework by making the logical leap that in such a state, of war footing and actual war, “nothing can be unjust.” As “where there is no common power, there is no law: where no law, no injustice.” Finally, a state of nature results in a “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short” human existence, and it is from this ultimately greatest evil, that a Leviathan is thought to be justified within Hobbesian political theory, and men, equal and free…show more content…
It is exactly his unyielding systemization, methodological preparation and mechanization, which grant his arguments both their legitimacy, and imperfect accuracy. Under the his conception of the state of nature, Hobbesian political theory is not truly feasible, as a war footing does not have to be avoided at all costs, and may even be beneficial for

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