Thomas Hobbes And The Theory Of A Civil Society

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Thomas Hobbes was an English philosopher best known for his work on the theory of the social contract. The social contract relates to the question of the origin and legitimacy of political power. The Leviathan was published in 1651 and is one of the earliest and most important work contributing to the theory of the social contract. In the Leviathan Hobbes argues for a civil society, a commonwealth in which men should live under the rule of an all-powerful sovereign. Is Hobbes’ Commonwealth more than a reign of terror? I will argue that while presenting the characteristics of an absolute rule Hobbes’ commonwealth goes further than that. The social Contract theory is designed to create a civil society which creates a supreme authority to take man out of the state of nature. Hobbes’ state of nature is an imagined state depicted as a state in which men lived prior to the establishment of the civil society through the social contract. The state of nature can be describes as a state without any structure or laws. Hobbes’ states that men in the state of nature are equal in faculty of body and mind which leads them to have the same desires and therefore, become enemies. The state of nature is a state composed of greedy men only caring about their desires and most of all their own safety and survival. Men’s behavior in the state of nature is centered on three pillars: competition (to satisfy his desires no matter what it takes), diffidence (ensure his own safety) and glory
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