Thomas Hobbes' Leviathan

979 Words4 Pages
Born during a period of medieval philosophy, Thomas Hobbes developed a new way of thinking. He perfected his moral and political theories in his controversial book Leviathan, written in 1651. In his introduction, Hobbes describes the state of nature as an organism analogous to a large person (p.42). He advises that people should look into themselves to see the nature of humanity. In his quote, “ The passions that incline men to peace, are fear of death; desire of such things as are necessary to commodious living; and a hope by their industry to obtain them,” Hobbes view of the motivations for moral behavior becomes valid because of his use of examples to support his theories, which in turn, apply to Pojman’s five purposes for morality. Hobbes purpose to his state of nature philosophy was to describe human nature. He argues that, in the absence of social condition, every action we perform, no matter how charitable or benevolent, is done for reasons which are ultimately self-serving (p.43-47). For example, if I were to donate to charity, I am actually taking delight in demonstrating my power. Hobbes believes that any account of human action, including morality, must be consistent with the fact that we are all self-serving. His theory notes that humans are essentially equal, both mentally and physically, so that even the weakest person has the strength to kill the strongest (p.44). Given our equal standing, Hobbes believes that there are three natural causes of quarrel ...

More about Thomas Hobbes' Leviathan

Open Document