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Hobbes' View Of The Natural Condition Of Mankind

889 words - 4 pages

Hobbes' View of the Natural Condition of Mankind

Hobbes’ view of the natural Condition of mankind is a survival of the
fittest, which involves many different qualities of ‘power’ a man can
use to his advantage. Hobbes categorizes 2 basic types of power.
Natural Powers and Instrumental powers. The former being produced by
faculties of the mind, and body and the ladder are obtained through
either the use of Natural power, or through fortune, and are aspects
such as: "riches, reputation, friends, and the secret working of God,
which men call good luck". Hobbes statement of God’s ‘secret
workings’ are left unexplained and unresolved, therefore cannot be
given any credibility. Hobbes believes that men are created
relatively equal in terms of power because they have such an array at
their disposal. In this it is like the traditional game, paper,
scissors, rocks. Equal opportunity is given, but there are
possibilities of manipulating different aspects such as anticipation,
in to help gain an advantage. Hobbes seems to be accurate in this
explanation of different powers but he leaves the value of the powers
ambiguous. In spite of that, Hobbes argument brings about the opinion
that the man or men who use their array of powers to the best of their
ability are victorious. Hobbes feels that man’s natural tendency to
believe they are more ‘powerful’ than anyone who hasn’t shown
otherwise reveals the near equality they are to each other in
capability and opportunity.

Hobbes then states three basic reasons that result in men
quarrelling: Competition, Diffidence, and Glory. Competition
involves violence to attain something either rightfully or not,
whereas diffidence is the defense of that force. The third, glory,
states that men will use victories in quarrels at a bragging right, or
something to boast of.

According to Hobbes, whenever men live without a common power to keep
them in awe, they are in a condition of war. Hobbes fails to explain
what methods of ‘keeping them in awe’ there are or what could
potentially work the best. He also leaves out the fact that a ‘common
power’ can simply be a...

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