Comparing Aristotle And Thomas Hobbes Essay

Comparing Aristotle And Thomas Hobbes Essay

Length: 1762 words (5 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Two of the most influential political theorists in history were Aristotle and Thomas Hobbes. Each man created his own school of thought which would shape the way men viewed politics thereafter. However, both men held vastly different views on the actions of man and for which end man exists and acts. They differed on how states came into being and why they existed in the first place. Aristotle holds the theory that man, by nature, is a social animal and that a political state exists for the common good of man. Hobbes believe the opposite—claiming that man is naturally individualistic and so political society exists to keep men from killing each other. Aristotle believes the man works for virtue and that the state helps him achieve this virtue. Hobbes, however, believes that man works for himself and that the state imposes virtue of man.
Hobbes believes that man 's nature is strictly a self-centered condition. He states that men place their safety above all else, causing a natural tendency to distrust and fear others. Therefore, man 's first goal in life would be to ensure his security. To Hobbes, man is naturally ordered toward the individual. This can be seen in the Leviathan Chapter 17 page 117 when Hobbes claims that:
The finall Cause, End, or Design of men, (who naturally love Liberty, and Dominion over others,) in the introduction of that restraint upon themselves, (in which we see them live in commonwealths,) is the foresight of their own preservation, and of a more contented life thereby; that is to say, of getting themselves out of that miserable condition of Warre, which is necessarily consequent...to the naturall Passions of men, when there is no visible Power to keep them in awe, and tye them by feare of punishment to ...


... middle of paper ...


...e tended to me more invested in a type of representative democracy and the sovereign does not have untried power.
Aristotle has been called the realist, since he follows the more known, sensible order of the establishment of city-states. Hobbes, on the other hand, has been called a pragmatist since human cannot intellectually go beyond the practical order of community establishment. This difference in their political ideas is seen in the way that they believed states should be set up. Aristotle claims that states are established naturally, since humans are political and social animals, and serve for the good of the community. However, Hobbes argues that states are unnatural since human beings are self-interested. There is no way to conclude which one is right and which one is wrong but it is important to see how both theories would change political thought forever.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

The Great Mysteries Of Life And Society Essay

- Since the beginnings of civilization, philosophers have always pondered about the great mysteries of life and society and sought to great lengths to answer them. One of these great mysteries, “what is the true state of nature?”. has remained a long lasting question that philosophers today still give answers. Two such philosophers, Aristotle and Thomas Hobbes, separated by nearly two-thousand years attempt to answer this question in their respective works, “Politics” and “Leviathan”. In “Politics”, Aristotle’s claims that the state of nature for humanity is to form a political association between each other in a society....   [tags: Political philosophy, Thomas Hobbes, Philosophy]

Better Essays
1029 words (2.9 pages)

Comparison of Aristotle and Thomas Hobbes Essay

- The foremost difference between Aristotle and Hobbes, and in turn classical and modern political philosophies’, with regard to a good life and happiness is that of normative judgments about the good life. While Hobbes rejects normative judgments about the good life and discusses human actions without attributions of moral quality, Aristotle offers the exact opposite. In Ethics, Aristotle differentiates between good and evil actions along with what the best good, or summum bonum, for all humans while Hobbes approach argues that good and bad varies from one individual to another with good being the object of an individuals appetite or desire, and evil being an object of his hate and aversion....   [tags: Aristotle vs Hobbes]

Better Essays
1039 words (3 pages)

Aristotle, Machiavelli, And Hobbes Essay

- Theories of human nature, as the term would ever so subtly suggest, are at best only individual assertions of the fundamental and intrinsic compositions of mankind, and should be taken as such. Indeed it can be said that these assertions are both many and widespread, and yet too it can be said that there are a select few assertions of the nature of man that rise above others when measured by historical persistence, renown, and overall applicability. These eclectic discourses on the true nature of man have often figured largely in theories of political science, typically functioning as foundational structures to broader claims and arguments....   [tags: Political philosophy, Thomas Hobbes, Government]

Better Essays
1286 words (3.7 pages)

Evolution Of Government By Thomas Hobbes Essay

- Evolution of Government During the 17th century, Europe went through political conversation regarding government structure. English philosopher Thomas Hobbes published his document Leviathan during the War of Religion. The War of Religion was a time period in which Europe was trying to establish its religion between Catholic and French Protestants and this process resulted in uproar throughout Europe. Hobbes was exposed to the conflicts of the War in England, which drastically changed his view of government and influenced him to relocate in France....   [tags: Thomas Hobbes, Political philosophy]

Better Essays
1172 words (3.3 pages)

The Leviathan By Thomas Hobbes Essay

- Humans are social creatures. We are motivated when other humans praise us or reward us. In other words, we have an appetite for love. Conversely, we feel fear when other humans threaten to take away our rights. We are motivated to change our circumstances to avoid this feeling of fear. In The Leviathan, Thomas Hobbes examines how humans forge social contracts in order to build societies that will protect themselves from fear. Hobbes theorizes what humanity would be like in the state of nature, “where every man is enemy to every man”....   [tags: Political philosophy, Thomas Hobbes]

Better Essays
1056 words (3 pages)

An Analysis of Thomas Hobbes' Leviathan Essay

- In his book The Leviathan Thomas Hobbes begins with bringing to the readers attention that despite the fact that all men may not be deemed equal that they were created equal. He backs up this statement by saying, "For as to the strength of body, the weakest has strength enough to kill the strongest, either by a secret machination, or by confederacy with others, that are in the same danger with himself. In saying this, Hobbes illustrates that physical strength is not really an issue or a major factor....   [tags: Thomas Hobbes' Philosophy]

Better Essays
2075 words (5.9 pages)

Thomas Hobbes and the Realist School Essay

- Different schools of thought have generated arguments since the beginning of civilization. They represent different perspectives of every part of life, whether its religion or politics. The realist school and the humanist perspectives offer people different views in many different aspects. The realist school is based on the thought that human nature is not perfectible. Human nature is viewed as evil and something that cannot be trusted or counted on. In order to have a successful society the citizens need to be controlled by a strong sovereign government....   [tags: Thomas Hobbes' Philosophy]

Free Essays
732 words (2.1 pages)

Thomas Hobbes' Philosophy Essay

- Thomas Hobbes Thomas Hobbes was an English philosopher who lived from 1588-1679. He attended Oxford University where he studied classics. His occupation was a tutor, but he also traveled around Europe to meet with scientists and to study different forms of government. He became interested in why people allowed themselves to be ruled, and what would be the best form of government for England. Thomas Hobbes was the first great figure in modern moral philosophy. Hobbes had a pessimistic view of people; he believed humans were selfish creatures who would do anything to better their positions....   [tags: Thomas Hobbes' Philosophy]

Better Essays
517 words (1.5 pages)

Thomas Hobbes' Leviathan Essay

- Thomas Hobbes' Leviathan Above anything else, Thomas Hobbes’ Leviathan is a creation story and an investigation of human nature. The story begins in a time of chaos and death and through a journey of human development culminates in the establishment of a sustainable and rational society—the commonwealth—led by a sovereign. At a first casual glance, Hobbes’ reasoning of the transformation from the state of nature to the commonwealth is not airtight. A few possible objections can be quickly spotted: the contradictions of natural law with suicide and the civil law to honor even harmful covenants....   [tags: Hobbes Thomas Leviathan Essays]

Better Essays
1937 words (5.5 pages)

Thomas Hobbes' Leviathan Essay

- Thomas Hobbes begins Leviathan with Book 1: Of Man, in which he builds, layer by layer, a foundation for his eventual argument that the “natural condition” of man, or one without sovereign control, is one of continuous war, violence, death, and fear. Hobbes's depiction of this state is the most famous passage in Leviathan: [D]uring the time men live without a common Power to keep them all in awe, they are in a condition which is called Warre; and such a warre, as is of every man, against every man....   [tags: Thomas Hobbes' Philosophy]

Free Essays
670 words (1.9 pages)