Advice For Young Leaders Response Paper

1075 Words Nov 1st, 2016 5 Pages
Advice to Young Leaders Response Paper #3: Erasmus and Hobbes
Both Thomas Hobbes and Erasmus, although born of different time periods, were political philosophers with humanist training. However, their similarities to not end there, as they both sought to provide a comprehensive framework for leadership through their works of The Education of a Christian Prince and Leviathan respectively. While Hobbes and Erasmus hold similar views on the structure of a state and that of man, they sharply disagree on the qualities that make a good leader.
Hobbes and Erasmus generally agree upon the nature of the state, although their views begin to subtly diverge when it comes to the nature of the citizens that populate them and their obligations to their ruler. With respect to the nature of the state, both thinkers see the state as analogous to a human body. Hobbes writes of the “great Leviathan called a Common-wealth or State)”, which is headed by the leader (Hobbes 9). Likewise, Erasmus writes that the prince has control over the state like “that of the mind over the body” (Erasmus 39). While both characterize the state as inherently hierarchical, they nevertheless emphasize the that the power of the ruler comes from their followers. Hobbes wrote of the social contract, wherein the people give up their rights in exchange for protection from the ruler. Erasmus declares that subjects must be “free and willing” (Erasmus 1). He shares Hobbes’s idea that a ruler receives legitimacy from the…

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