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

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Hobbes and Locke views on the State of Nature
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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 ... and Reason suggesteth convenient articles of Peace, upon which men may be drawn to agreement.(Solomon, Ed, 1992, p. 180) It is at this point, that the political philosophy of Hobbes can now be understood, given that the foundations have been established, namely, that if the end of man is security, then the state itself is necessary. In particular, for the purposes of securing peace, Hobbes argues that of the three forms of government, monarchy, aristocracy, and democracy, monarchy is the most effective at realizing this end of a peaceful society. In keeping with the notion that the state itself, is a like a human body-- or, one might refer to the state in this sense, as the political body. Monarchy is like the mind of a body, which rationally maintains the desires in a sense of harmony. The desires, in terms of the analogy of the state with the body, amount to the people who the monarch is sovereign over. Hobbes argues that for the purposes of peace, monarchy is necessary. The interests of the monarchy and his subjects, Hobbes argues are exactly alike, thus, what is good for the monarchy (the mind), is also good for the people (the body), given that they are all connected with the aim of self-maintenance: “It is manifest, that men who are in absolute liberty, may, if they please, give Authority to One man, to represent them everyone.” (Solomon, Ed, 1992, p. 184) Thus, if the Monarch is rich and secure, so too is the people, given that his wealth is derived from theirs. Further, there will be no argument and disagreement in making decisions, and that decisions will stand more firm. As an analogy again, with the body, one could see for example, that when someone is confused or in a state of inner turmoil mentally, often the body suffers as a result. If there is only one decision maker, namely, the monarch, then there is no suffering amidst the body as a whole. In terms of fear then, which was raised earlier in the context of Hobbes view of human nature, or his psychology, Hobbes argues that rather than fearing the sovereign which is reasonable and the regulator of the passions-- the body should ... Read More
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