State Of Nature Essay

905 Words4 Pages
Many philosophers dwell on the concepts and meanings of natural law and being in a state of nature. Just like all philosophical questions, this too was, and still is, a very complex and difficult matter to discuss. The following paper will be discussing different descriptions of the state of nature and natural law. The philosophers that will be discussed are Thomas Hobbes, John Locke and Jean Jacques Rousseau. The main discussion will concern the similarities and differences between the descriptions of these philosophers' state of nature. As we finish with the state of nature, we will conclude this discussion with the connection that these implications have on human nature today. Thomas Hobbes was a very well known English philosopher. Hobbes' promotes a naturalized conception of reason (dumouchel,2002). He did not believe that right reason existed in nature. Since there was no naturally existing right reason, this non-existence pushed subjects to accept the civil laws as the measure of their actions (dumouchel,2002). His theory on natural rights and the state of nature is recorded in his most recognized writing, "Leviathan". His description of a “state of nature” was a very pessimistic one. Hobbes clearly had no faith in the human race when living in a state without political guidance. He referred to the “state of nature” as a pre-political stage of human development (Hayden,p.57). Hobbes depicted a “state of nature” as a brutal, solitary, poor and nasty world that consists of short lives due to the lack of organization and rules. He believed that according to human nature, every action that is made by humans is done for the mere feeling of satisfaction and their own self-interested reasons. When living in a state of nature we a... ... middle of paper ... ...sions (hayden). Even though Locke proposed that humans are reasonable enough to live in a state of nature without a government, he also believed that a government would be important. Living in a state of nature possesses a number of good qualities but what happens when there is a violation of natural rights? Locke proposes his version of a government through a Social Contract. Locke believed that a government can only be created when everyone agrees to transfer their rights to political authorities in order to execute the law of nature (hayden). This transfer of their partial natural rights must be a voluntary transfer to the sovereign. According to Locke, the purpose of establishing a common wealth state is to protect our rights in an organized and proficient way. In this civil society, when there is a violation a proper punishment will be dealt by the community.
Open Document