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Thomas Hobbes - English Philosopher

Autor:   •  February 28, 2011  •  Essay  •  1,950 Words (8 Pages)  •  1,643 Views

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In this essay, I will be comparing two of the top philosophers. First, Thomas Hobbes was an English philosopher and one of the most original political thinkers in the seventeenth century. The second philosopher is John Locke which was educated at the University of Oxford and lectured on Greek, rhetoric, and moral philosophy at Oxford from 1661 to 1664. Both Locke and Hobbes discuss the role of government in man's life and their views on man's state of nature. Even though their ideology contradicts or opposes one another, their use of their structure as the state of nature and their end outcomes is to have a state which protects itself and its citizens. They both created great philosophical texts that help to describe the role of government in man's life, as well as their views of man's state of nature. Even though both men do have opposite views on many of their political arguments, the fact that they are able to structure their separate ideologies on the state of man in nature is the bond that connects them. Both look toward the creation of civil order in order to protect not only the security of the individual, but also the security of the state.

Thomas Hobbes was born during the Elizabethan Age, on April 5, 1588. He was named after his father, Thomas Hobbes. His father was a vicar (a clergyman who is in charge of the church) of Westport. Thomas Hobbes was a very crucial building block to political philosophy today. He was so criticized in his day, grew over hundreds of years working with the political and religious sides of things, that eventually in the West it started to be separated. Hobbes stated that his state of nature of man is very violent and unsophisticated. He believed that man in his state of nature is derived by his animalist instinct instead of logic or rationale. The notion of good or evil does not exist in his state of nature and thus makes it a state of survival, also known as the survival of the fittest or the state of war. Man in his state of nature lives with an overbearing sense of fear which results to his actions being defensive in order to protect himself and his possessions.

Hobbes believed that man was not pleased with his state of nature and had a yearning to escape from this state towards a more peaceful state which will liquefy his feeling of fear. In order to obtain harmony, Hobbes looks to man using reason, which enables man to respond to what Hobbes calls "The Laws of Nature". It is through these laws that man can try to find peace and to enable man's natural right to all things, providing that others will do the same. He labeled this mutual transferring of rights between men a "contract".

Hobbes believed that man had a constant hunger for power which creates a threat to the contract; therefore, in order to eliminate that hunger, there must be some common power in effect to enforce the laws. Hobbes does not deny the existence

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