Thomas Hobbes

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  • Thomas Hobbes
    • Human Nature. Hobbes vs Aristotle
      • Aristotlelian
        • Like a human organism which can be 'health' or 'flourishing'  in accordance with its nature
        • Polis and pursuit of 'the good life'
        • 'Man is a political animal'
        • Purpose of government is pursuit of virtue/good
        • Aim of politics is positive and to further good
      • Hobbesian
        • Like a collection of atoms naturally in motion - chaotic and likely to involve collisions
        • But rational because can consider how to satisfy their desires
        • Leads to individualistic warring of a state of nature
        • There Is competition and trust nobody
        • Combine into stable sovereign
        • Purpose of government is pursuit of security
        • The aim of politics is negative
    • Rights and Laws of Nature
      • The Right of Nature: Right of ones own self-preservation
        • Do anything required for ones own preservation
      • What is 'right' is not constrained by what is held to be 'good'.
      • No obligation to respect others' rights of nature
      • It is a natural right based on reason and shared human nature
    • The Concept of Natural Rights
      • Marx and Bentham argue that there aren't any
      • Negative natural right: Right not to be interfered with
      • Positive natural right: Right to be provided with something eg. healthcare
      • Self-preservation is our only natural right according to Hobbes
      • All agree that people want to avoid their own death
    • Laws of Nature
      • Right of Nature should be in line with the laws of nature
        • Hobbes came up with 19 laws. The first and most important being is to seek peace as far as you can
      • They are moral laws, Hobbes calls them theorems of reason
      • Natural Laws = Rules of conduct discoverable by every rational and self-interested individual
      • Talks of God as the lawgiver but that theorems do not demand religious belief as derived from reason alone
      • Natural Laws are aimed at civil peace and security
      • Rights and laws of nature apply in a state of nature
      • Right = Each individual is naturally free to decide what is required for their own safety
      • The Law: set out rational ways to exercise that right in seeking peace
      • No security as long as right of nature is unrestricted
      • No justice or injustice without government


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