Thomas Hobbes and a Political State

Thomas Hobbes is considered one of England’s most important philosophers. He was the author of Leviathan, Or The Matter, Forme, & Power of a Common-Wealth Ecclesiasticall and Civill (1651), a work Michael Oakeshott calls “the greatest, perhaps the sole, masterpiece of political philosophy written in the English language.” In Leviathan, this author presented his perspectives about how a political state is formed. Hobbes’ ideas of the commonwealth are predicated upon his views of human nature and the state of mankind without government, and so he establishes his position on these concepts before addressing the commonwealth’s creation. This philosopher lived during a period time when society is unstable and civil wars happening continuously. Thus, not surprisingly, we can find in Hobbes’s political theory emphasized on the necessity of a strong and stable government and the importance ofobligation its power.

Thomas Hobbes attempted to explain the source of civil state by describing our rational nature. He gave people a hypothesis and ask them to imagine how human life would be like in the state without law and government. According to Hobbes, human beings are considered rationally and naturally selfish beings therefore all individual actions are motivated by self- interest.

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From an assumption that every man always seek their own interests and everyone is equal to each other, Hobbes jumped into conclusion that if there is no government with coercive power, human will live in state of war: “Hereby it is manifest that during the time men live without a common power to keep them all in awe, they are in that condition which is called war, and such a war as is of every man against every man” (ch.13). Therefore the state of nature can be identified as a state of war. The state in which every man against every man. This doesn’t necessarily involve actual combat, but simply the state in which it is known that such combat is likely or po…



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