Comparing Hobbes And Aristotle's Views Of Human Nature

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This is a paper comparing the Aristotle and Hobbes understandings of human nature. Aristotle states that man is a “political animal”, and that it is thus natural for man to live in a polis. Hobbes disagrees with this understanding of man a political animal, as he claims that man is actually a greedy being that is driven by power. Thus he feels that the natural state of man is a state of war. Although the two disagree initially about the man’s natural state, Aristotle comes to agree with Hobbes’ view since they agree that without a common sense of justice that individuals have no reason to live together. Furthermore the two conclude that this peace in the completes man, and this occurs inside of the polis. According to Aristotle mans is a “political animal”. This means that man is naturally found in a polis. Aristotle holds that the polis is created organically starting from the family, which grows need and eventually allies itself with other families to form a village, which in turn allies itself with other villages to form a polis. This happens because the polis is best able to supply individuals with a good life as no …show more content…
Aristotle states that the polis allows for man to have the best life, and thus they naturally choose to live in it through the usage of reason. Similarly, Hobbes holds that the natural law is what leads us to forming a polis. The natural law states that man should do anything possible to extend his own life, this means creating peace. To Hobbes the only way to create peace is through having a sovereign, which in the process has individuals give up all their rights to the sovereign, except there right to protection of one’s own self. The sovereign therefore allows for peace which makes it the best possible place for individuals to live. Thus both philosophers believe that through reason we come to the conclusion that we should live in a polis since it is what is best for

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