Thomas Hobbes and The Human Nature Essay

Thomas Hobbes and The Human Nature Essay

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Thomas Hobbes was a 17th century British philosopher and political theorist in early modern times, known for his political thoughts. Witnessing the horrors of the English Civil War that took place from 1642–1651, Hobbes was convinced that an absolute monarchy was the only form of government that could protect individuals and their interests while providing a secure environment that allowed for practice of those interests. Hobbes writes about the idea of absolutism, or absolute monarchy- a form of government in which all power is to be invested in a single ruler’s hands- in his most renowned work, Leviathan, published in 1651. Hobbes argues that without absolutism, no man can live with a sense of security because all acts of human nature cannot be criticized but are instead a Right that can and will be practiced by individuals, for there are no injustices in a world of war.
Hobbes first argues that men are driven by human nature. It is this very human nature that brings up the three major causes of discord: Competition, Diffidence, and finally Glory. Competition as described by Hobbes is when “two men desire the same thing, which neverthelesse they cannot both enjoy…” (Hobbes, 21). This desired “thing” causes the two men to compete with one another to invade merely for “Gain… [using] Violence, to make themselves Masters of the other men’s persons, wives, children, and cattel” (Hobbes, 21). Diffidence is when a man’s own survival and safety play a role in provoking him to resort to violence. Hobbes says that Diffidence makes men invade for “Safety…[using] Violence, to defend [their wives, children and cattel]” (Hobbes, 21). Finally Glory is when a man desires to be valued by others. However when he is overlooked or undervalued, h...


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...tion, Hobbes believes that there will be order in the nation. There will be no more discord. There will be no more violence like there once was when every individual governed himself.
This new proposal brought about by Thomas Hobbes was very important during the time period Leviathan was released because it was during the end of the English Civil War- A time when an end came to absolute monarchy as a form of government. Hobbes wrote Leviathan to the citizens of Britain just as they lost their form of government after the war to explain to them what world was about to come if they did not reinstate an absolute monarchy as their form of government. He wrote his book to show them what dangers they could and would face had they continued without a monarchy. His proposition allowed for a safer nation, and showed the consequences of a nation lacking absolutism.








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