Exloring Human Nature Through Thomas Hobbes' Leviathan Hypothesis

July 20, 2023
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In the pursuit of depicting the ideal model of popular governance, let us now delve into Thomas Hobbes' Leviathan hypothesis. According to Hobbes, the state of nature is far from tranquil; instead, it is untamed, brimming with brutality. He posits that this condition of nature is akin to a perpetual state of war, where individuals engage in conflict with each other until they eventually put an end to this chaotic existence by forming an implicit social contract.

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The crux of Thomas Hobbes' hypothesis revolves around human nature, particularly the self-centeredness and greed of individuals. He even contends, "For it is a voluntary act: and of the voluntary acts of every man, the object is some good to himself." This perception of the profound self-interest in human beings leads Hobbes to a rather bleak theory, one that lacks faith in people and subsequently advocates for an absolute government, characterized by strict, severe rules with little room for personal freedoms.

Hobbes believes that individuals are fundamentally equal, possessing little disparity in their mental and physical capacities. Consequently, in a stateless society, people are driven to compete with each other in a hostile manner, living in constant fear of losing their lives or possessions. Hobbes refers to this fear as timidity, an absence of confidence arising from their inherently precarious lives. He concludes his theory by acknowledging that rational, vain individuals would benefit more from an organized state. Thus, they willingly enter into an implicit contract, surrendering their power to a sole individual who assumes a role akin to a human God named Leviathan. Leviathan, in turn, establishes societal order and harmony by formulating laws derived from the laws of nature and implementing harsh punishments for those found guilty.

In Hobbes' view, Leviathan must wield absolute authority and enforce severe penalties to prevent self-interested individuals from breaching the boundaries of the law. Additionally, Hobbes asserts that "the sovereign power cannot be relinquished" and that "no man without injustice challenge the Institution of the Sovereign declared by the major part." Furthermore, he claims that "the Sovereign's actions cannot be legitimately criticized by the Subject." These arguments collectively indicate that Hobbes would never advocate for a just state, as I mentioned earlier, and instead advocates for an absolute monarchical system where individual liberties would be suppressed.

Hobbes harbors no trust in humanity, viewing people as inherently selfish and power-hungry. Consequently, he would dismiss any form of civil society associations, as he believes they would also pursue their own interests and disrupt the peace within the state. Thus, Hobbes entrusts all decision-making authority to a human God called Leviathan, who would rule with an iron hand and decide all matters of the state.

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Exloring Human Nature Through Thomas Hobbes’ Leviathan Hypothesis. (2023, May 18). WritingBros. Retrieved June 25, 2024, from https://writingbros.com/essay-examples/leviathan-hobbes-exploration-of-human-condition-of-nature/
“Exloring Human Nature Through Thomas Hobbes’ Leviathan Hypothesis.” WritingBros, 18 May 2023, writingbros.com/essay-examples/leviathan-hobbes-exploration-of-human-condition-of-nature/
Exloring Human Nature Through Thomas Hobbes’ Leviathan Hypothesis. [online]. Available at: <https://writingbros.com/essay-examples/leviathan-hobbes-exploration-of-human-condition-of-nature/> [Accessed 25 Jun. 2024].
Exloring Human Nature Through Thomas Hobbes’ Leviathan Hypothesis [Internet]. WritingBros. 2023 May 18 [cited 2024 Jun 25]. Available from: https://writingbros.com/essay-examples/leviathan-hobbes-exploration-of-human-condition-of-nature/
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