Comparing Aristotle And Thomas Hobbes Essay

Comparing Aristotle And Thomas Hobbes Essay

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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 the naturall Passions of men, when there is no visible Power to keep them in awe, and tye them by feare of punishment to ...

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...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.

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