Thomas Hobbes' State of Nature in Leviathan Essay

Thomas Hobbes' State of Nature in Leviathan Essay

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According to the view Thomas Hobbes presents within the selected passaged in the Leviathan, we live in a narcissistic society where man’s condition is primarily driven by ego and where the achievement of personal goals is deemed paramount. Within the State of Nature that is, outside of civil society we have a right to all things ‘even to one another’s body’, and there would be no agreed authority to ensure the moral grounds of our decisions. Therefore since there are no restrictions and no shared authority; man is naturally un-guarded and prone to conflict and each individual is deemed a potential threat to our resources.

From this concept Hobbes deduces that the state of nature is thus primarily a state of war, which leads to the establishment of the ‘Laws of Nature’: Theorems that we inaugurate to sanctify and aid our self-preservation. This particular passage and what leads on from it preaches that we as rational beings should recognize the imperative to seek and secure peace. From the positioning of the first law in this passage Hobbes progresses to the second law of nature in which he preaches that the only way the first law of nature can be achieved is if man forfeits his ‘right to all things’ and submits to the authority of an established sovereign.

Therefore the location of the passage within the body of the text is especially significant because these core concepts inspire the development of his idea of establishing contracts in Part 2 of Leviathan. Progressing through his text Hobbes concludes that through a contract there should be a common sovereign authority. In upholding a contract Hobbes further embraces the establishment of a ‘commonwealth’ to escape the state of nature and to provide a common defense for...


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...ggressions that hold between countries in International Relations”. Therefore although this passage is open to interpretation, it is substantial in that it allows the modern day responder to recognize the notions of self-interest and avidity; and thus appreciate the moral value of supporting a sovereign authority.
The ideas presented in this passage are therefore significant in that the State of Nature functions as a powerful and decisive threat for contemporary society concerning the natural condition and the appreciation for political authority.



Works Cited

Warburton, Nigel. Philosophy: the classics. 3rd ed. London: Routledge, 2006. Print.




Williams, Garrath . "Hobbes, Thomas: Moral and Political Philosophy [Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy]." Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. N.p., n.d. Web. 6 Aug. 2011. .

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Thomas Hobbes' State of Nature in Leviathan Essay

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