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Human Nature and Government - Essay Example

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Seventeen centuries later, another philosopher Thomas Hobbes invites us to his theory that decribes the society as a state of nature, a condition without government (Richard 1971). Both philosophers defend their theories in their works and prove that people might live better in the state where either they are coordinated "from above" by the government or where each decides for himself how to act, judge and live in the society.
Thomas Hobbes and Plato have given us some highly acclaimed philosophical works providing us with their views on various aspects of life ranging from politics to the rights of citizens. Both writers had voiced their opinions in their works in a substantially strong and unfaltering manner. Hence it comes as no surprise that the two had and continue to have a phenomenal affect on the past and present populations.
Thomas Hobbes was a master draughtsman who attempted to rearrange the political assumptions of the Renaissance. In Hobbes' vision, sovereignty was the exclusive property of the state, no meaningful distinctions existed between subject and citizen, and liberty was in no way contingent upon self-rule or participation in making the laws that bind polity and populace (Kavka 1986)
Plato was a philosopher who believed that human beings possess intrinsic knowledge, which may never affect their senses unless they seek and acquire enlightenment. This is an interesting concept, which dispels the notion that educators can impart knowledge to their students.
According to various philosophers, human nature is guided by superego and a relative state of morality. Plato believed that human nature is determined by reason and absolute standards of morality. Through his philosophical works of literature and philosophy, Plato explains the characteristics of good human beings serving their nation well and their respective responsibilities. Harping on the same string, the legendary figure highlights that it is of paramount importance that people of the world comprehend the need to apply wisdom and truth in deciding all vital matters of life.
Plato believed that man is a rational being and because of this, reason plays the most important part in developing his nature and assisting him in discovering the highest good or finally attaining self-fulfilment. Plato held the view that man is seen as guided by reason to reach the highest good and attain self-fulfilment (Stevenson 1987). He asserted that changes in human nature are hierarchical in nature where man goes through different stages guided by reason. According to Plato reason is one of the most important components in determining human nature.
Plato's deep insight on this issue was that a state consists of individuals and the conduct of these individuals depends on their character. Plato also describes his state of living in peace and harmony due to the fact of having everyone in connection with one another. Upon being asked if they would be united just by lip, as such," For example, in the use of the word 'father,' would the care of a father be implied and the filial reverence and duty and obedience to him which the law commands; and is the violator of these duties to be regarded as an impious and unrighteous person who is not ...Show more


Many philosophers investigated the notion of human nature and the place of government in the society. The contradictory opinions of the philosohers such as Hobbe, Plato, Aristotle, Locke, Rousseau, Kant, Rawls and many other encourages to review the setting of the government in different epochs (Schneewind 1997)…
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Human Nature and Government
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