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Historical Philosophy - Book Report/Review Example

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I continue with the theory of Paine that is based on his work the Right of Man where Paine analysis society and government from a liberal point of view based on three core assumptions. Finally, I explore the theory of Plato who provides a way of how a good city can be established. I end this paper with a conclusion of the theories that I briefly scrutinized. In conclusion, I attempt to explain why I argue that in choosing the camp of liberalism based on the incorporation of the notions of Hobbes, Paine and Plato, is based on a combination of elements of the two political theories, that of Hobbes and that of Paine based on the notion that some elements of these historical political theories are obsolete as a result of the changing settings of world politics throughout history.
Hobbes is one of the most influential historical political philosophers. His most influential work that Hobbes wrote is Leviathan, in 1651.The political theory that Hobbes developed is based on three assumptions: (1) the existence of an original condition of "the state of nature," (2) the state is a man made or artificial production and (3) that the state is created by a social contract. Hobbes argues that a human being possesses total freedom, free from interference of the rule of law but where a human being fears death on a daily basis (status hominus naturalis). The fundament of Hobbes's political theory is that there are no obligations in a state of nature. Hobbes attempted to formulate the problem of social order and was convinced that a highly centralized government with absolute power was the only way that could solve the problem of social order. Hobbes's solution for the problem of social order is often perceived as anti-democratic. Hobbes identified this as a war of all against all as what contemporary political thinkers call anarchy or the absence of a government. Hobbes's notion of the problem of social order is in contemporary politics much debated among scholars and thinkers of IR and particularly between Realist and Liberalists. Although both paradigms accept the notion of some disorder in world politics, both paradigms disagree about the nature, extent and causes of that order (Baldwin 1993: 14). I argue that Hobbes's notion of the creation of a sovereign nation-state with a highly centralized government with absolute power seldom occurs in world politics. Although human beings do not flourish in a natural state, nation-states are more created by war and suppression and not, as Hobbes argues, by a social contract where human beings willingly abandon the use of weapons. One might argue that when one relates the political theory of Hobbes with that of contemporary world politics and paradigms in the field of IR, one can conclude that Hobbes's notions are embedded in contemporary political theories. In addition, the paradigms with the closest connection towards Hobbes theory are those thinkers belonging to the International Organization paradigm which scrutinize the study of International institutions in the field of IR. However, if Hobbes's notion of a government with absolute power is justified, Hobbes's notion would eventually lead to the creation of a world government with ...Show more


In this paper, I shed light on the notions of three historical philosophers namely Hobbes, Paine and Plato. I briefly discuss the political theories each of these philosophers have written throughout history and try to link these political theories with contemporary theories and politics…
Author : robbiedickens
Historical Philosophy essay example
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