Life in a State of Nature

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State of Nature (S.O.N)
Idea of life without government, state or laws. To imagine this we imagine away any government to see what we are left with. A criticsm is that it is only thoretical & ideological, will never exsist.
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HOBBES on the S.O.N
Self-preservation is our fundemental desire, life in a S.O.N would be war against all. Assumes the S.O.N would be a world with scarce resources, resulting in fights from competition for food.
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Why does HOBBES think we need a state?
Why are all vulnerable to crimes without a state, however no laws means no limit on what we can do to survive. 'nasty, brutish and short' - no trust within society as human nature is self-interested. We enjoy the excersize of power & controlling.
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Why does HOBBES hold these opinions?
He was born into the English civil war, has seen and believes humans are capable of awful things. Has a very negative view on humans, does not consider kindness. BUT even now why do we lock our doors?
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Bonobo chimps
Bonobo chimps live happily in a S.O.N but this is because there is not struggle for survival, no food competition.
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HOBBES' soloution (what government is needed)
To have a Leviathan. Everyone should see the need for one unless their as as it is a rational response of self-interested individuals. The leaders reprisent the collective will of the people but does not mean they have to rule how the people want.
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Leviathan
One powerful government to rule all.
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What HOBBES thinks a state should be at the very least
A protection racket against the bad, we pay taxes to be looked after. Should atleast protect life, property & defend from extrenal invasion. CRAY twins - in the past you paid them money & they protected you, even if this was from themselves or others
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Criticsm of HOBBES S.O.N
He assumes the S.O.N would be awful for everyone but the stong would come out on top, so they would enjoy. ALSO does not consider a middle way between the 2 states.
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HOBBES causes of war.
We all desire power. Our desires are never ending, we use any eans to obtain what we want or the means to posses in the future. The threat of attack from others means we think the best form of defence is to attack first/
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LOCKE on human nature
Very positive image of humans - believes we are all made in the image of GOD & therefore have godliness within, we have natural rights that have to be respected.
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LOCKE on the S.O.N
Doesn't believe the S.O.N is neccessarily bad. Disagrees with HOBBES - there is no scarcity. In S.O.N there is plenty of land & food for people to look after themselves, no need to fight. Aslong as there is enough land, ownership is effective.
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What government does LOCKE believe is needed?
A minimal state. Responsibility should not go further than resolving disputes - but a government is neccessary in order to avoid/resolve disputes.
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LOCKE'S law of nature...
Given by God but discovered by reason. No person may subordinate another, harm his life, health & liberty of possessions EXCEPT in self defence.
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HOBBES: will any government do?
Yes because the S.O.N is so awful even a controlling dictator would do, (would be fine with Hitler) BUT he believes most rulers fear rebellion & the constant fear of revolt will keep states ruling in a way to keep people happy.
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LOCKE: will any government do?
Has 2 criteria for a legit government - Need to respect our natural rights & we have the right to over throw if not. There needs to be a system inplace so it is possible to get rid (DEMOCRACY). US declaration of independence was based on his work.
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Criticsms of LOCKE
Assumes the exsistence of God, but if laws can come from reason this does not justify God. He is very optimistic of human nature.
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Kropotkin
Cooperation is wha we see in the state of nature, not conflict.
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Karl Marx
No such thing as human nature, we are all just a product of our society. If our society is bad, then we will be bad.
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

Self-preservation is our fundemental desire, life in a S.O.N would be war against all. Assumes the S.O.N would be a world with scarce resources, resulting in fights from competition for food.

Back

HOBBES on the S.O.N

Card 3

Front

Why are all vulnerable to crimes without a state, however no laws means no limit on what we can do to survive. 'nasty, brutish and short' - no trust within society as human nature is self-interested. We enjoy the excersize of power & controlling.

Back

Preview of the back of card 3

Card 4

Front

He was born into the English civil war, has seen and believes humans are capable of awful things. Has a very negative view on humans, does not consider kindness. BUT even now why do we lock our doors?

Back

Preview of the back of card 4

Card 5

Front

Bonobo chimps live happily in a S.O.N but this is because there is not struggle for survival, no food competition.

Back

Preview of the back of card 5
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