StudentShare solutions
Triangle menu

Kant and Hobbes Comparison - Essay Example

Both philosophers believe in pragmatism and ethics. But Kant’s practical philosophy is concerned with the unwritten rules that govern human action while Hobbes believes that human actions are directed towards self-interest based on ethical egoism. With this, Hobbes argues that since humans tend to do things based on their self-interest, conflicts may arise when the interest of one overlaps with another or is in opposition to another. This can only be solved if humans allow others to pursue their own self-interest by doing things that will not hamper another’s pursuance of self-interest. That is the only way to resolve the conflict between human actions. Hobbes also argues that the pursuit of self-interest does not mean doing the good thing rather it is maximizing one’s chance to survive or to be happy. This is very different from Kant’s wherein his pursuit of self-interest is based upon what is right, not merely to be happy or to survive. Thus, he pursues the idea of good will. The idea of good will is basically doing what is morally right, so if an action requires injustice or cruelty, then it should be set aside as it is not morally right. Example, if doing a courageous act such as facing a battle in war and the war affects innocent people, then it is not morally right to do so. ....
Answering to an invitation, whether we say yes or no, is an imperative of etiquette. It is unethical not to bother answering to an invitation when we look into etiquette. Hobbes’ morality is formed from human nature and empirical conditions rather than categorical imperatives. Kant argues against this as he believes that morality is not pursuance of self-interest rather it is to secure human freedom and equality. Hobbes’ morality is man-made and not God-given. Humans make decisions based on human nature, based on one’s self-interest or the preservation of one’s life, dignity or freedom. On the other hand, Kant’s morality is God-given as it is based solely on moral principles, of doing morally right things and not doing those that opposes good will. Hobbes uses instrumental reason while Kant uses pure practical reason. Kant believes that one’s actions are based on an autonomous will instead of being a slave to one’s passions, as Hobbes’ morality is based upon. For example self-preservation for Kant is a duty, a moral good based on Christian ethics, thus, saying that suicide is a sin. Hobbes will interpret suicide as an immoral thing to do because it does not in any way pursue self-interest to be happy or to survive. This shows that Hobbes sees self-preservation not as a duty rather it is part of the pursuit to survive and to gain happiness and contentment. Let’s take another example in stealing. Stealing, for Kant, is wrong because it is a sin based on Christian ethics, because of categorical imperatives wherein it is immoral because it is not morally right to do so. On the other hand, Hobbes finds stealing as an opposition to the social contract, that is, it steps on another’s pursuit to self-interest, which is protection of one’s ...Show more


Both philosophers believe in pragmatism and ethics. But Kant’s practical philosophy is concerned with the unwritten rules that govern human action while Hobbes believes that human actions are directed towards self-interest based on ethical egoism…
Author : funkeldridge
Kant and Hobbes Comparison
Read Text Preview
Save Your Time for More Important Things
Let us write or edit the essay on your topic
"Kant and Hobbes Comparison"
with a personal 20% discount.
Grab the best paper

Check these samples - they also fit your topic

Fobbes is best known for his work in political philosophy and in the social sciences although he contributed to a diverse range of academic disciplines including physics of gases, geometry, history, ethics, general philosophy, theology and political science (Bunce & Meadowcroft 21).
5 pages (1250 words) Essay
Kant and Hume on Morality
Kant’s “Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals” is an attempt in this direction while Hume’s “An Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals” justifies his views. Both pieces of work are contrasted below. Kant’s concepts are discussed first followed by Hume’s concepts.
5 pages (1250 words) Essay
Comparison and Contrast of Ideas of Thomas Hobbes and Rene DesCartes
His contributions in the field of analytical geometry, algebra, and calculus have been enormous. He demonstrated a link between philosophy and physics. The Ideas of Thomas Hobbes Hobbes’ main concern was how social and political order can be set so that mankind can live in peace and harmony.
4 pages (1000 words) Essay
Has Humanity Progressed
Since the inception to date, the human race has nurtured and built upon its experience and developed the world around it. The advancement in technology has facilitated the lives of the human beings and they have obtained education to explore new possibilities in the field of medicine, engineering and finance.
5 pages (1250 words) Essay
According to Kant, human beings and all other creatures that are rational tend to not only have ends but also have intrinsic value. Because of this, he states that it is not moral for human beings to use each other as means for their own ends. Kant further states that the principle of humanity and any creature that is rational as an end in itself are not borrowed from experience, moreover it is clear that all those rational beings are members of a universal kingdom of ends.
6 pages (1500 words) Essay
Thomas Hobbes
Interestingly, Hobbes describes that from the equality rise all the feelings of diffidence, anticipation and the will to a common power, which in used in "acts of conquest", which man always "pursue farther" than what is generally required. The concept of "common power" is a very interesting point, where Hobbes describes this as the main pursuit of man, who is always at grief because man seeks to hold others in awe.
2 pages (500 words) Essay
A Comparative Analysis of Natural Inclinations
The nature or the essence of the human being is an age-old question. This is a fundamental inquiry and there are many points of view. Some philosophers, such as Mill, believe that human beings are born without natural inclinations. How we function and behave depends on what and how we are taught.
6 pages (1500 words) Essay
Social contract theory suggests that people enter into society as fully formed individuals to satisfy their pre-social needs.This the state is always regarded as a necessary evil.Discuss how this idea is mapped out in the political philosophy of KANT. How
In answering this question please feel free to refer to other Social Contract thinkers you have encountered on this branch of philosophy Social contract theory describes and justifies the powers of a community to dissolve a government when it
10 pages (2500 words) Essay
Has humanity progressed
Although there is little doubting the fact that the humans have progressed till now, I believe that humanity has not progressed, in fact we have gone from bad to worse. We will analyze the changes shown by the humanity in light of all several
5 pages (1250 words) Essay
Consequently, he offers a synthesis of empiricism and rationalism while disputing the idea that knowledge of the true world is discovered by way of reason or inferred from experience. Kant believed that despite
2 pages (500 words) Essay
Comments (0)
Click to create a comment
Let us find you another Essay on topic Kant and Hobbes Comparison for FREE!
Contact us:
Contact Us Now
FREE Mobile Apps:
  • About StudentShare
  • Testimonials
  • FAQ
  • Blog
  • Free Essays
  • New Essays
  • Essays
  • The Newest Essay Topics
Join us:
Contact Us