Hobbes and Locke views on the State of Nature - Essay Example

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Hobbes and Locke views on the State of Nature

The egoism in man, is a presupposition of Hobbes which leads him to the description of nature as a constant power struggle. In a natural state, that is, in a physical state, men are generally equal in strength, mental capacity and experience (Solomon, Ed, 1992, p. 178). He asserts that everyone has a natural and equal right to everything. However, if man was without government the conflict from desire would lead to a state of war of every man against every man: 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 called Warre; and such a warre, as is of every man, against every man(Solomon, Ed, 1992, p. 179). Fortunately, however, Hobbes argues that "passion" in the form of a "fear of death", and the desire to live a long and peaceful life, has allowed man to use "reason" in order to form laws which combined, provide the basis or foundation of a civil society, allowing man, therefore, to escape the state of nature-- the universal "strife": “The Passions that encline men to Peace, are Feare of Death ... ...Show more

Summary

Both Thomas Hobbes and John Locke argue that prior to formed societies, the meaning of the state of nature was important to grasp. Hobbes argues that the state of nature is a 'war of all against all'. He maintains therefore, that societies are formed in order to protect themselves against each other because in a state of nature, all is chaos…
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