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The 3 Concepts
Purpose? To discuss/establish what our -Anthropological Study: SON reveals life as poor and
common nature is and therefore what uncivilised understand why we develop into a state
kind of society is needed and how. Problem? SON never existed
Hobbes -Psychological Enquiry: SON reveals our fundamental
`nasty, brutish and short' = State of WAR drives/instincts naturally driven to live in a state
-people would use power/fight in any way Problem? Assumes universal innate tendencies
for survival
-defence is the best way to attack -Moral Thesis: SON allows us to work out the basis upon
Therefore: fear of attack and no trust which we are all equal establish ways in which
-rely only on oneself authority must respect our equal treatments.
-physical equality: all able to kill
Human Nature: self-interested, preserved
and selfish. We enjoy the exercise of power
and controlling. Ultimate desire=felicity
State of Locke
-Moral equality: no one has rightful
BUT... Nature power over another.
We would be rational in understanding the
-Rights = life, liberty and property.
Law of Nature:
-ought to seek peace
Restrictions? Only the Law of Nature:
-be prepared to give up our rights to things if
-come from God therefore our duty to
others will
obey OR through reason
-keep to agreements
-ensure no one harms another and we
Why? In order to seek self-preservation
help one another
This still will not lead to a harmonious SON
What authority? Restrained by a
Why? Prisoner's Dilemma: constitution
Most successful way to survive in the SON Purpose? To protect our rights and
What authority? Authoritarian, absolute is to exploit others and be ruthless. administer justice fairly
power Why would it not work?
Purpose? Prevent overpower of authority If all adopted this technique, there would
and falling back into the SON be no trustworthy people to exploit and
instead many ruthless people…read more

Slide 2

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As a whole approach:
-Only theoretical, assumes it's existence or that we can conceive it correctly.
-Makes presumption that state needs justifying
BUT...Aristotle: the state exists by nature
-Questioning the need for authority and our obeying, presumes we have freedom and
Hobbes: that it is a right.
-English Civil War greatly shaped his views -Plato: should start with society, not the individual
assumption that everyone is self-interested, does -Assumes there is one common human nature we can justify a state from. Sartre:
not consider kindness of people there's no universal nature
BUT... Even under a state, we do not trust others e.g. -Anarchism
Lock our doors.
-Assumes the SON would be the worst state for
everyone. Locke:
Kindness could occur, no proof against it. -Assumes existence of God who creates
The physically strong would enjoy the SON Laws and that we will obey.
BUT...they can come from reason, although
-Inconsistent with our human nature. this does not justify God.
Firstly, with the idea that we would be rational in
following the Law of Nature, although we are of the
-Assumes a progressive society although
uncivilised. SON with little gov interference.
Secondly, assumes we can jump from a state with BUT...obeying God is to care for and
no culture, intellect to an authoritarian one. He do
es cooperate with one another.
BUT...raw intelligence would give notion p resen not
ways t it in the What about atheists and amoral people?
OR... could happen on a small scale first , but se
leap insist
toget sa
her -Very optimistic about human nature.
-Assumes a powerful sovereign would be better, as
anything is better than the SON. But it could become -Assumes facts are values i.e. Without a
corrupt and immoral- the public have no say constitution, there is inequality therefore it is in their self-interest to be moral, or is needed.
provoke rebellion. And...there should be little interference
from the gov for a successful state,
-Does not consider a middle way between the two assuming freedom is good.
states.…read more

Slide 3

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Hume: 2. -laws help meet conflict between short and
long-term gain
How? Laws prevent short-term gains
through punishments, e.g. robbing, to
-as a society there is greater power ensure justice increase peace/stability
we obtain what we can not as individuals strengthen unity
through division of labour e.g. NHS
1. -we have mutual security, less vulnerable to
misfortune e.g. Robbing
-laws enforced ensure justice and a common
definition of it
Locke and The more scarce land becomes
Punishment because of ownership/money,
the more likely the Law of
Nature will be broken
Therefore punishment is needed
No one has more authority than Without set laws, they are too
another therefore everyone has subjective and lead to
the right to punish another if disagreements. People are likely
they break the Law of Nature to be biased.
Punishment is most effective
when there is hierarchy and it is
pointless to resist. But this is no
longer the SON…read more

Slide 4

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-everything is shared therefore no rich
or poor
-no punishments, rational debates
-people think for themselves, take
Authority responsibility
-human nature degraded -recognise common interests and
-alienates us from our true selves as we cooperate to build society of equals
are forced to follow rules
-suppression leads to self-interest
Human nature
-suppress creativity -creative, cooperative, selfless, corrigible
-assumes a lot including very optimistic view of human nature On Hobbes
-SON is anarchists' ideal state as opposed to
-rational debates do not take into account unstable immoral Hobbes
people and assumes we are corrigible to our errors e.g. Serial -Hobbes' view of human nature is that of
killers anarchist's view under authority
In an anarchist society, people will not want to kill. Criminal
acts are an expression of our frustration under a government.
-assumes society will be entirely equal but Conservative
-moving from a sovereign to complete freedom will lead to view: hierarchy is inevitable and geniuses will thrive
-people may be lazy, not cooperate in order to gain more
No laws=responsibility or will be ostracised. Gain more if help
each other.…read more

Slide 5

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Definition: the ability to make others One can have power to without power over
and yourself do what you want BUT...
Power to can become power over
E.g. One has the power to rule people, when put in
practice one has power over those people
Respect, psychologically, morally,
Fear, obligation, threat Power
Power to Power over
-the ability to satisfy desires -the ability to affect another
person's interests/life
-freedom to act as one desires
-e.g. Power over children as
-absence of obstacles parents
-e.g. Power to play guitar
Control Theory Effect Theory
Ability to overcome resistance Ability to adversely affect another
without any intention…read more

Slide 6

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Power is the ability to rule and If you accept another's authority you are...
authority is the right to rule -submitting to them
-respectable, legitimate -giving them your respect/confidence
-established -consenting
-deemed necessary
-gained through experience/attributes The effects...
-limit freedom
-heighten control
-increases security
Descriptive v Normative -less equality in status, more equality with
-followed by fear, -obey for moral Authority common laws
don't always accept reasons
orders -justified/legitimate
-disobey = punished -support the state's Practical Theoretical
-authority if obeyed orders, for moral
-state believed to be reasons
legitimate -right to rule -In Authority -An Authority
e.g. Dictator e.g. Democracy to an -De Jure -De Facto
Hobbes: descriptive extent -an authority figure reached through -reached through expertise/skill
state=legitimate office/position/status/set of rules Purpose?
Purpose? -give expert advice to those who need it
-regulate action of others -people surrender judgement to the authority
-act as a co-ordinator -therefore, accept an inequality of knowledge
-maintain public order Examples
-make/impose laws -doctor
-direct people who obey, regardless of if -priest
Why the distinctions? they are in agreement -blacksmith
-Try and legitimise government and our Examples
willingness to comply -the Queen
-Underlying: we are individual, rational beings -someone who is asked to organise
with a right to our freedom something In vs An
if we obey, must be for good reason `In' = less legitimate but more equal.
`An' recognises a prior inequality…read more

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