Thomas Hobbes And The Leviathan

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Thomas Hobbes is a well renowned philosopher, specifically in the world of political philosophy. His work the Leviathan opened up revolutionary ideas that were beyond his time. Hobbes wrote the “Leviathan” during the English Civil War, a war caused by religion and violently ending with the beheading of the king. Hobbes watched this madness unfold, leading him to extend a “helping hand” over to England authority, by publicizing a solution for all to read. His work introduced a radical topic by the name of “Social Contract,” which proposed that a person’s morals and/or political obligations are dependent on an agreement to form or coexist in a society. In other words, a society must come together and create a set of rules everyone agrees with, …show more content…
70). This “social contract” would obviously be followed since no one would want to live in a world of selfishness forever, therefore Hobbes suggested the people create an absolute monarch, to ensure the safety of all. Abiding to the social contract would eventually lead to mutual transferring, which ensured that, “... he that promises only, because he has already received the benefits for which he has promises, is to be understood as if he intended the right should pass…” (Ball et al. 75). Hobbes concluded that if society followed what he proposed, then society would stay away from civil war and live in peace. Hobbes has been coined for planting the first seed of liberalism, but even though he has been credited for it, it is important to notice the aspects of conservatism found in his philosophy. There are four functions that all ideologies follow, including Hobbes’ Leviathan. The first function is the explanation for a political phenomenon. Since it is known that Hobbes wrote at the time of the English Civil War, it was no surprise that he was trying to explain the reason for the war. Hobbes believed, “that in the nature of man, we find three principal causes of quarrel. First, competition; secondly, diffidence; …show more content…
It is how an individual identifies themselves as and creates a sense of belonging for that individual. If someone believed in what Hobbes explains in the Leviathan, they would accept the State of Nature to be a real scenario, rather than a hypothetical one. They too would think society should abide to a social contract to prevent “a war of every man against every man” and prohibit society from falling into civil war. A person following this ideology might believe they are classical liberalists, but it is important to understand that it is only than an extent. As mentioned before, Hobbes does carry some aspects of liberalism, but it would not be fair to label him as a true liberalists. The fourth and final function of ideology is the political program, which provides an answer to what has to be done to reach such ideology. In relation to Hobbes, he proposes that in order to avoid civil war like the English, there needs to be this idea of social contract. Once a social contract is adapted, an absolute ruler must be put in place to ensure that all of the citizens abide to the social contract. Hobbes ultimate goal was to prohibit civil war from happening again and believed one ruler could prevent that. Once a society created a contract, it would be smooth

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