Essay on On Why Hobbes Is More Reasonable Than Locke

990 Words 4 Pages
keOf all the social contract theories that have been put forth, the most influential perhaps have been John Locke’s and Thomas Hobbes’. While both are Natural Law theorists, they have completely different views of man’s state of nature. John Locke thinks of man in a natural state as a peaceful, social being while Thomas Hobbes thinks of man as an aggressive and greedy man. Both theorists also showed that man doesn’t live in a state of nature, social contracts will be formed to govern the populace. It is, however, the reasons for the formation of these social contracts that are of relevance to this essay. I believe that neither of these theories are accurate depictions of man but Hobbes seems more practical in his theory than Locke.
In a
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For this social contract to subsist, the cession of power has to be mutual between the members of the society. In this respect, he endorses our modern view of a constitution as deriving power from the people. Any further explanation of Hobbes’ theory is pointless as far as this essay is concerned.
The relevance of Hobbes’ Social Contract theory
Most people wrongly get stuck at the point where life is described by Hobbes as “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short”. I have no authority to describe what life was without a social contract as I have never known man to exist in a state of nature for long enough to study. More important to me is what man’s reaction to being in a state of nature is. Man strives to remain peaceful and maintain equality with his fellow man. According to Hobbes, the Leviathan ought to maintain this state by punishing those who unjustly exceed the limits of their power as per the contract. A modern view of the Leviathan is the government, which will enforce the laws that the citizens (through their legislative representatives) have agreed upon (a social contract). Hobbes’ view that the Leviathan should be a monarch is, no doubt, influenced by European politics at the time, which was dominated by monarchies.
Hobbes does not argue that man is not a social animal, his argument is

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