The Truth of War Exposed in Hobbes’ Leviathan Essay examples

The Truth of War Exposed in Hobbes’ Leviathan Essay examples

Length: 812 words (2.3 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

The Truth of War Exposed in Hobbes’ Leviathan

Conflict, or the prospect thereof, concerns individuals, instilling a great deal of fear in their hearts and minds. Hobbes’ Leviathan differs from our present conception of war, as a typically united act by a patriotic nation. The concept of war constructed by Hobbes presents the idea of limitless enemies, wherein every man has the potential to damage the life or well-being of any other man. According to Hobbes, war consumes everything, constructing its own conception of time and eliminating every other necessary or inherently valuable activity. War’s destructive implications extend beyond death and battle. By nature, war burrows itself in the hearts and minds of men caught in the conflict, ultimately and naturally forcing solitude.

The first point Hobbes makes in chapter thirteen of the Leviathan in regards to war is the idea that it “consisteth not in battle only, or the act of fighting; but in a tract of time” (p. 171). In the world of war, “there is no place for industry… no navigation…. no commodious building… no knowledge of the face of the earth… no society” (p. 171). Hobbes depicts war as a consuming entity, a state of mind that expels all of one’s rational, scientific thoughts. A state of war devours the inherent benefits of life, and deconstructs the basic principles of society. In war, time is inconsequential—people govern their lives within such a conflict as though it is relentless, never-ending, a torrential downpour of violence. Caught in this web of destructive timelessness, men begin to isolate themselves from society, altering their lives catastrophically.

The detriment of justice in a state of war results from fear, or the perception of a threat, and th...

... middle of paper ... is a mirror of the scientific idea of natural selection. Those individuals concerned only with their own interests and the perpetuation of their own lives, are much more likely to survive.

Hobbes overall statement of war is a brutal one, condemning those who engage in war to be consumed by it. Through ideas of fluctuating morality, justice, and natural tendency, one idea prevails: war stops everything. In a world consumed by war, society falters, education, learning, and exploration stop, and the only concern is the idea of power, glory, and life. The implication of Hobbes’ claim is that war not only suspends the ideals of society, but also suspends the function of society as a whole. A state of war is not something that can be exercised on the weekend, it is an all-consuming notion in which there are no weekends, and there are no weekdays, there is only war.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Thomas Hobbes' Leviathan Essay

- A state of nature is a hypothetical state of being within a society that defines such a way that particular community behaves within itself. English philosopher Thomas Hobbes proclaimed that, “A state of nature is a state of war.” By this, Hobbes means that every human being, given the absence of government or a contract between other members of a society, would act in a war-like state in which each man would be motivated by desires derived solely with the intention of maximizing his own utility....   [tags: Leviathan Essays]

Better Essays
1044 words (3 pages)

Essay State Of Nature By Thomas Hobbes

- State of Nature – Paper Four In his famous book, Leviathan, English scholar Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679) describes to readers the “state of nature”, a depiction where mankind exists in an uncivilized, lawless society where fear of eminent death reign. In his words the state of nature represents a “war of all against all, in which the life of man is solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short” (Shafer-Landau 197). In order to escape such a life man must band together into a commonwealth where they trade unlimited freedom for the prospect of cooperation and increased quality of life....   [tags: Thomas Hobbes, Political philosophy]

Better Essays
1216 words (3.5 pages)

Thomas Hobbes and the Realist School Essay

- Different schools of thought have generated arguments since the beginning of civilization. They represent different perspectives of every part of life, whether its religion or politics. The realist school and the humanist perspectives offer people different views in many different aspects. The realist school is based on the thought that human nature is not perfectible. Human nature is viewed as evil and something that cannot be trusted or counted on. In order to have a successful society the citizens need to be controlled by a strong sovereign government....   [tags: Thomas Hobbes' Philosophy]

Free Essays
732 words (2.1 pages)

Essay on Personal Freedom in Leviathan and Candide

- The basis of Leviathan relies upon a theoretical readjustment of the state of social affairs. Candide, on the other hand, is that state of social affairs. Whereas Hobbes's Leviathan relates that of how the state of human nature can be changed and adapted to a desirable social order, Voltaire's Candide shows the difficulty of being within the sorry state of the human experience. But where does the concept of personal freedom come into play within these two basic premises. And how can a person compare such highly different interpretations of the spectrum of personal experience....   [tags: Comparative Literature]

Better Essays
1630 words (4.7 pages)

Essay on Thomas Hobbes And The United States

- What is most effective, a state ruled by one, supreme sovereign, or that of all powerful governing bodies. Thomas Hobbes believes that in order for a state to progress. His powers exerted by choosing those from whom he receives counsel, not allowing for false ideals to be set into the people, and setting strict civil laws so as to avoid any ambiguity of his subjects on the concepts of right and wrong. Such a man, who represents the entire will of the citizens, is the best form of government a progressive state can have....   [tags: Government, Monarchy, Political philosophy]

Better Essays
1023 words (2.9 pages)

Hobbes, Marx, and Shah Essay

- The cold, calculating, and logical brains of Enlightenment thinkers are much different from the emotional, fantasy-loving mind of Romantics. The Enlightenment was an 18th century movement in which rationality and science were placed as the number one things a human could have (Brians). The Enlightenment also propagated the idea equality and liberalism (Brians). Romanticism was an international movement which occurred after the Enlightenment during the late 1700s to the mid-1800s (Melani). It placed emotions at the forefront of human thought (Melani)....   [tags: Politics Philosophy Sociology]

Better Essays
1496 words (4.3 pages)

The Leviathan By Thomas Hobbes Essay examples

- Thomas Hobbes is the most well-known philosopher of his time, especially with his unique idea of the Leviathan. The leviathan, from my understanding, is the way Hobbes describes the nature of humans and the way we actually are. I believe Hobbes is stating that as individuals, we are each our own person, but we all have different opinions. However, one thing that we all share is being selfish, as humans will do anything possible to get what they want. In this passage Hobbes talks about man and war but even if we are not in literal war, we as humans are always in a war mind set which is a kill, kill, kill, type of mind set....   [tags: Political philosophy, Leviathan, Thomas Hobbes]

Better Essays
1308 words (3.7 pages)

The Common Good in Hobbes, De Tocqueville and Marx Essay

- The Common Good in Hobbes, De Tocqueville and Marx Political philosophies are those theories and ideas that seek to study the impact of various political idealisms on society, and their impact in the shaping of social, political, and economic ideas. The questions which political philosophy seeks to turn its attention towards range from describing what the state of Man actually is at the existential level, to the types of social regimes, which are necessary to tame and organise that nature. In this context, there is a measure of truth in the suggestion that the answers, or visions they give are not, necessarily, entirely original....   [tags: Philosophy Politics Papers]

Free Essays
2748 words (7.9 pages)

Philosophy - Impact of the Leviathan in Hobbes's Leviathan and the Book of Job of the Holy Bible

- The Impact of the Leviathan in Hobbes's Leviathan and the Book of Job Throughout the early chapters of his Leviathan, Thomas Hobbes employs metaphorical devices from such diverse fields as mathematics, mechanics, and even the biology of the human body to describe his political community. In reference to the inception of the body politic, Hobbes compares its artificial origins to the Leviathan, a monster in the Book of Job: "For by art is created that great LEVIATHAN called a COMMONWEALTH, or STATE" (Hobbes 3).1 A biblical monster may initially seem to be an implausible metaphor for Hobbes to choose as a means of advocating his political regime....   [tags: Hobbes Leviathan Essays]

Better Essays
1474 words (4.2 pages)

Thomas Hobbes' Leviathan Essay

- Thomas Hobbes' Leviathan Above anything else, Thomas Hobbes’ Leviathan is a creation story and an investigation of human nature. The story begins in a time of chaos and death and through a journey of human development culminates in the establishment of a sustainable and rational society—the commonwealth—led by a sovereign. At a first casual glance, Hobbes’ reasoning of the transformation from the state of nature to the commonwealth is not airtight. A few possible objections can be quickly spotted: the contradictions of natural law with suicide and the civil law to honor even harmful covenants....   [tags: Hobbes Thomas Leviathan Essays]

Better Essays
1937 words (5.5 pages)