Thomas Hobbes Leviathan

Essay by jmoneylawUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, December 2006

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A Hobbesian view of man

Thomas Hobbes' might be read as the father of modern day conservativeism. Hobbes was one of the most influential political philosophers, providing both support of a strong central government and justification of government. Hobbes describes human interactions as a mechanical interaction of cause and effect, the idea that anything can be reduced to material bodies in motion. Which more or less leads to humans being nothing more than machines or robots which process signs from their environment and then react to them. Hobbes believes that without a sovereign government to rule the subjects an imaginary state of nature will appear. "Hereby it is manifest that during the time men live without a common power to keep them all in awe, they are in that condition which is called war, and such a war is of every man against every man." Therefore, without a sovereign men will regress from society, self-ownership, ethics, laws, and morality.

Therefore, each man seeks out their own blind passions, which leads to utter chaos. Therefore, the question that I will discuss is if mankind were void of a sovereign would all qualities of compassion, camaraderie, and human conscious be replaced by a more predatory savage human existence?

Hobbes has been accused of being an advocate of authoritarian regimes however; there are discussions of laws being promulgated to the subjects as well as a belief in limited liberty for individuals. Even though the Liberalism in Hobbes is the mere natural right of self-preservation which is thought to be a given in any social contract. That being said the social contract between the subject and the sovereign may only be broken if the sovereign commands, an individual to harm his or herself by self-incrimination or physical violence from the state. Hobbes will...