Thomas Hobbes Views of Human Nature

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Thomas Hobbes was an open, blunt and outspoken British Royalist. He wrote several essays on human nature. Most of his works discussed the nature of man's relation to the state. In 1651 he published "The Leviathan", which is considered by many as his magnum opus.


In order to understand his work it is good to have an idea of the turbulent times in which he lived. The civil war in England and the execution of the King himself was an exceptional event in English history. The failed puritan experiment to establish a republican rule was another event that Hobbes witnessed. He seems to have been deeply influenced by the conflicts around him. Many of his reactions in his writings spring from subjective reaction to the external events, which made him crave for order in a state of flux. The civil societies are to be constructed artificially, living the social life in the hands of man's basic instinct will result in disorder and would imperil the very survival of man.
What ought to be the politically correct human conduct is explained by Hobbes by analyzing human nature. According to him there is a natural impulse in all men to amass what they can get. This impulse found in all men inevitably leads to conflict. In this state every one is at war with every one else and nobody's safety is possible. This results in not satisfying any body's interests. Man is able to circumvent this situation by giving up the natural right take whatever they can grab and be getting in return for the assurance of insulation from the aggression of their fellow men. This is possible by perpetuating a strong force. Citizens do this by agreeing to hand over their rights and powers to one absolute authority. ...
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