Philosophical Views Of Human Nature In Thomas Hobbes's State Of Nature

2003 Words 9 Pages
In “Leviathan”, Thomas Hobbes favored absolute monarchy as the best government for human beings. Hobbes support for an absolute monarchy is heavily influenced by his philosophical views of human nature. This essay will describe the relationship between humans in Hobbes’s state of nature and describe why an absolute monarchy is the best government for Hobbes’s account of humanity. I will also compare and contrast the accounts of humanity between John Locke and Martha Nussbaum to show the effect that an account of humanity has on political philosophy. In this paper, I will discuss the accounts of humanity between Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, and Martha Nussbaum to show how these ideas are the building blocks that shape their arguments for their …show more content…
Hobbes’s finds that an absolute monarchy is the best government to achieve peace. Hobbes’s backs up his argument for absolute monarchy through his philosophical ideas of human life. When Hobbes was alive, he was heavily influenced by the upheaval that was going on in England during the early 1600s. Through these experiences, Hobbes believed that without a government of absolute power, anarchy will ensue. This is because the rule of the strongest is continually challenged by alternative power at all levels, thus there is no stable condition of peace but of continual war. Hobbes backs up this claim by stating, “Competition for riches, honour, command, or any other power tends to produce quarreling, enmity, and war; because one competitors path to achievement of his desire is to kill, subdue, outwit, or repel the other competitor.” (Leviathan Chapter 11 pg58) Hobbes believes that absolute sovereignty is the best government as men give up their power of self-government and self-protection to leave the condition of war and enter into a society ruled by the Absolute Monarch. Since Hobbes’s believes that humans have a perpetual and restless desire for power, making a mutual agreement among all other men to give up their power to one common ruler is the only way to satisfy that desire for power and live in peace. Hobbes backs up this claim the men will obey a common power for …show more content…
Nussbaum account of humanity is founded under two root ideas. Nussbaum’s first root idea states that just by being human, all are of equal dignity and worth, no matter where they are situated in society. Nussbaum’s second root states that “The primary source of this worth is a power of moral choice within them, a power that consists in the ability to plan a life in accordance with one’s own evaluation of the ends” (Nussbaum page 57). Nussbaum’s outlook of political theory is rooted on “The conception of human beings as essentially rational agents” (Nussbaum page 71) Hobbes account of humanity is similar to Nussbaum’s account of humanity through Nussbaum’s idea of the faculty of conscience. The faculty of conscience is a faculty in which people search for meaning in life. Through the vulnerability premise, Nussbaum shows us that in giving equal respect to the conscience, we must tailor our worldly conditions, to protect our freedom of belief and expression. In other words, one’s search for the meaning of life is respected. This idea is similar to Hobbes account of humanity as an intact faculty of conscience is important for satisfying one’s long term narrow self-interest. One way Hobbes’s account of humanity differs from Nussbaum’s account is through both of their concepts of human dignity. Nussbaum believes in a traditional concept of human dignity where every human is

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