The State Of Nature As A State

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Hobbes describes the State of Nature as a state where all men are equal, since one individual can kill another individual. With this state of inequality, he claims that this equality has an “equality of hope” in accomplishing one’s ends. If two men seek the same end, and only one can have it, the two men would be enemies and would seek to “destroy or subdue one another” (Hobbes 1651, 2). Hobbes goes further to claim that men are not obliged in “keeping company where there is no power able to overawe them all” (Hobbes 1651, 2). Hobbes gives three causes for a quarrel between men: competition, diffidence, and glory. From these spawns the State of War which comes when there is not “a common power to keep them all in awe...” (Hobbes 1651, 3). In this state, several institutions are not in place and there is a constant fear of death. Hobbes describes his view of the State of Nation best by the phrase: “the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short” (Hobbes 1651, 3). As for individual freedoms, Hobbes’ State of Nature gives each individual any option, claiming that within the State of Nature the “notions of right and wrong, justice and injustice, have there no place” (Hobbes 1651, 5). The ideas of morality and justice come from society, not the individual man. Locke’s State of nature begins similarly to Hobbes in that all men are equal and “no-one has more power and authority than anyone else” (Locke 2005, 3). He also states that men are “perfectly free to order their actions, and dispose of their possessions and themselves…” and are “subject only to limits set by the law of nature” (Locke 2005, 3). Locke then diverges from Hobbes with the claim that although men are in a state of liberty, this does not grant license to... ... middle of paper ... ...“commodious living”, and “a hope by their industry to obtain them” (Hobbes 2007, 5). These three grant the inclinations to form a society, but Hobbes states that reason is the tool with which an inclination to peace is built. Through the “foresight of their own preservation, and of a more contented life” men come to desire to live in a Commonwealth (Hobbes 2007, 5). Since Commonwealths provide the security and benefits which men desire, it compels them to join or form one. Locke suggests a similar impetus when discussing a corporeal (instead of heavenly) entity settling disputes - having an earthly entity to settle disputes blocks the State of War. A similar impetus given is one that a man subjects himself in order to preserve and safeguard what possessions he has. The society which is joined or formed is formed with the intent to “enter into a society for the mutual

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