Thomas Hobbes' View On Government Essay

736 words - 3 pages

Thomas Hobbes' View on Government

      Thomas Hobbes in his controversial work, the Leviathan, declares that such

      a government based on the rule of the common people, would result in

      anarchy and total pandemonium.


      But before one can understand Hobbes' view on government, it is important

      to understand how Hobbes feels about people. Hobbes has a very

      materialistic view on the world because of his belief that the movements

      of physical objects will turn out to be adequate to explain everything in

      the universe (Kemerling). As a result of those philosophical beliefs,

      Thomas Hobbes truly held a negative view of man. He describes men as being

      naturally vain and selfish. He states in the Leviathan, "whatsoever is the

      object of any man's appetite or desire, that is it which he for his part

      calleth good; and the object of his hate and aversion, evil; and of his

      contempt, vile and inconsiderable. For these words of good, evil, and

      contemptible are ever used with relation to the person that useth them"

      (Hobbes). In other words, Hobbes is giving an example of men being selfish

      by saying that men by nature perceive a thing as being good or bad by how

      it affects their own self-interest, and not how it affects others. He then

      goes on in saying, "...if any two men desire the same thing, which

      nevertheless they cannot both enjoy, they become enemies" (Hobbes). Hobbes

      implies that "the life of man is solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and

      short" (Blanchard). Hobbes's initial assertion in the Leviathan is that

      without a sovereign ruler, all people are in a constant state of war with

      their neighbors.


      Essentially a royalist and a belief in the selfishness and vanity of the

      individual, he espoused that men should join together in the formation of

      a commonwealth, one with a sovereign, to whom all responsibility for

      social order and public welfare would be entrusted to (Kemerling). He felt

      that investing power in a...

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