The Criticism Of Thomas Hobbes Leviathan

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THOMAS HOBBES AND THE SOVEREIGN’S POWER In this essay, focusing on Thomas Hobbes’s book ‘’Leviathan’’, mainly on the chapters 13 and 14, I’m going to analyse the fact that Hobbes gives the sovereign an absolute power authorizing it to provide the society with security essential to their liberty. Thomas Hobbes is certainly one of the most controversial and frequently contested political philosophers of modern times; he left a significant mark on modern understanding of human nature, political theories and the issues of systems of governance. His work has been at the centre of many discussions among political philosophers; I will refer to some of the twentieth century political theorists and their critiques to confront Hobbes view of the absolute…show more content…
He assumes that the primary disposition of human nature is towards the achieving of people’s egoistic needs, towards self-satisfaction; the natural man, is mainly concentrated on his self, the purpose of his actions is only to realise his needs. This exemplifies what another political theorist, Kleinerman calls, “the novelty of Hobbes’s individualism” . He explains that societies idealised by Hobbes are based on the individual human being with his needs and desires, rather than a group of people. Hobbes even states that “so long as a man is in the condition of mere nature (…) private appetite is the measure of good and evil” , clearly giving much importance to the…show more content…
The individuals eventually realise the futility of living in the state of nature and inevitably attempt to organise a society in which the sovereign, in order to secure peace and safe living, has absolute powers. Even if the sovereign, to maintain the welfare of people and their safety, sometimes requires various restrictions of their civil liberties, the individuals know that without being assured a safe and prosperous living they might not be able to experience those liberties at all. Here Hobbes idea of an absolute power emerges to be logical. Nonetheless, as Van Mill stated in his article frequently cited in this essay: “political power is necessary but because of this it is also necessarily dangerous”
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