Thomas Hobbes Leviathan Essay

798 Words Dec 29th, 2011 4 Pages
The true essence of Thomas Hobbes’ Leviathan is a well-constructed story that examines human nature. Hobbes’ introduces Leviathan during a chaotic period filled with death and a voyage of human expansion, which leads to the creation of a logical and sustainable society. This society is the commonwealth and led by a sovereign. Upon first analysis, Hobbes’ explanation of the alteration to the commonwealth is questionable. Some weaknesses in Hobbes’ Leviathan can be easily found: the inconsistency of natural law with suicide and that of civil law to honor. Hobbes addresses some of these concerns head-on and seems to disregard others, however, he does tackle the most obvious protestation to his theory: the unrestricted and unstrained authority …show more content…
““This Endeavour, when it is toward something which causes it, is called Appetite or Desire…And when the Endeavour is from something, it is generally called Aversion.” (Hobbes 1994) Hobbes believes these rules of behavior provide an explanation for man’s unruly actions in nature. Therefore man craves all that fulfills his senses, and man shuns anything that may cause him danger, or pain. He references cravings and aversions as the “simple passions.” They bring about the disorder of daily life in nature. They also explain why men kill and harm each other over goods or shelter, and the sexual attraction between men and women. (Fukuyama 1992)

This idea of appetites and aversions and simple passions are not only used as an explanation for daily life. Hobbes uses them as his focal point for his fundamental surveillance of man, and his characterization of human nature and natural law.

He believes that one of man’s greatest desires is power. “I put for a general inclination of all mankind, a perpetual and restless desire of power after power, that ceaseth only in death.” (Hobbes 1994). Man’s ultimate goal for power stems from man’s main aversion, death, and the fulfillment of man’s ultimate appetite, survival. (Fukuyama 1992) This is the defining feature of natural law. “A Law of

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