Wednesday, May 29, 2019
Society and Government Essay -- Philosophy, Hobbes, Locke
Thomas Hobbes Leviathan and John Lockes Two Treatises of Government swallow produced two definitive and vastly different theories of government. Though both philosophers seem to be embedded in the concept of a natural law, why do Hobbes and Locke seem to come to two opposing conclusions about society and government? The answer lies in critical distinctions between their interpretations on the state of nature, including their conjectures on human race nature, their perceptions of freedom and equality, and their ultimate reasoning for civil society. Human nature is an integral part of the state of nature theory. Hobbes theorizes that human nature is flawed, with men being by nature selfish and hedonistic of the voluntary acts of every man, the object is some Good to himselfe (Hobbes, 1996, p. 93). This suggests that in a natural state, humans are only guided by their own needs and wants. As a result, Hobbes believes that the only law that governs the state of nature is maintenan ce of self-preservation. This gives rise to a clashing of desires, which compels man to undermine all concern for others and put oneself above all else. The extent to which man is able to undermine others for the sake of self-benefit is also limitless according to Hobbes in this law of disposition for where no covenant hath preceded, there hath nor Right been transferred and every man had right to everything and consequently, no action can be Unjust (Hobbes, 1996, p. 100). There is a overhear Hobbesian view of morality that begins to take form. Good and evil seem to be relative to Hobbes. Because of this, each individual in the state of nature has varying perceptions of morality, which lots conflict, creating disagreement that only incites violence. This pr... ...have consent in order to act. This essentially gives sovereign power to the people. This philosophy is also consistent with Lockes favor for a republican structure of government.The apparent difference seen between the political theories of Hobbes and Locke can be attributed to their differing views on the state of nature. The development of mankind as a selfish being living in a state of war and violently attempting to obtain equality naturally lead Hobbes to conclude that an authoritative power is needed to saturate order to chaos. On the other side of the spectrum, Lock molds the state of nature to be a state of peace, and attributing men to Reasonable creatures and consequently creates a exercise government where the people hold sovereign power. Essentially, these theories seem are a result of a pessimistic and optimistic framing of nature and humanity.