An Analysis of Thomas Hobbes' Leviathan Essay

An Analysis of Thomas Hobbes' Leviathan Essay

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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. Hobbes makes it clear that all men are equal and that they should fear each other.

Something else that Hobbes made clear in The Leviathan that, similar to himself, all men desire peace. After making this statement, he must justify why, if in fact all men desire peace, they often find themselves in a state of war. This brings about the point that, by nature, all men desire to be better and superior to the men that surround them. However, if all men are created equal, then how can one man be better than all the rest? The answer lies within the equality of man himself. If every man has the means and the ability to acquire what he wants, then when two men that are in close contact with each other desire the same thing, a conflict is inevitably going to arise. There are two motivations for men to seek objects, power, wealth etc. One of these motivations is to preserve ones life. When seeking to preserve ones life, a man will seek only what he needs to survive and he will neglect the luxuries of life that are, in reality, unimportant when one is seeking to maintain ones life. Also, when one seeks to maintain ones life, one will attack and, if need be, kill anyone who threatens their life. In addition to that, when one se...


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...s, the people, and to ensure that his subjects stay safe from the aggression of other countries and, in the case of civil war, from themselves.

The intent of Hobbes in writing The Leviathan was not to benefit his own self, but to benefit the country he lived in and the people within it. While he did seek to gain followers of his philosophy, the entire basis of his philosophy was based on the government and politics and what is the best way to have a stable government and country. He felt that the best way to accomplish this was to have an absolute monarchy, or if not that, an oligarchy. This is what he felt was best for the any given country so he strove to gain supporters so that they would be able to form a sound government and a sound country on their own. He wrote The Leviathan in the interest of the common people, not in the interest of himself.

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