Thomas Hobbes Human Freedom Analysis

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On first reading, Hobbes seems to provide a succinct and coherent concept of freedom and human freedom. He tells the reader that individuals are free to the extent they are unhindered by external impediments. However, Hobbes differs on his thoughts on liberty in the state of nature and liberty when living under the sovereign. The freedom agents have in the state of nature is the reason why subjects must ultimately renounce their right to a commonwealth and form civil government. Additionally, this formation of civil government creates the need for political obedience from the subjects. Hobbes displays the transformation from the unlimited human freedom individuals possess in the state of nature to the much more limited freedom under the sovereign,…show more content…
Hobbes perpetually declares the problems of too much liberty in the hands of the individuals without government. He writes, “But a man may here object that the condition of subjects is very miserable, as being obnoxious to the lusts and other irregular passions of him or them that have so unlimited a power in their hands” (p. 117, [20]). This “unlimited power” causes a “dissolute condition of master less men, without subjection to laws and a coercive power to tie their hands from rapine and revenge” (p. 117, [20]). Humans as Hobbes discerns them are prideful egotists, power-seekers, competitive, and fear sudden death; thus, they need an external judge to mitigate the chaos they cause from these traits. This commonwealth will curtail some liberties of the men, but provide them safety from their neighbor. All things considered, Hobbes’ judgements make civil government and the submission of will inevitable. Hobbes withdraws from ancient political philosophy by abandoning virtue as the object of government of government, favoring freedom instead. This notion of freedom makes a significant alteration as humans enter into civil society, which forms new obligations for individuals. As human freedom is curtailed and obligations mount higher and higher, one questions just how pleasant Hobbes’ government would
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