A Statement Of The State Of Nature

Decent Essays
Research Paper Proposal

1. A statement of the question and of your overriding thesis, and its significance.

Evaluate Hobbes’s argument that the state of nature is a state of war. Hobbs conclusion that the state of nature is a state of war is not definitive, rather, the state of nature is a balance between war and peace due to the dynamic and different nature of individuals. The significance of the question is such that it helps to shed light onto human morality, and as a basis from which to derive morality. It is also significant because it helps understand the dynamic processes that help shape human beings and their interactions among them in the absence of a governmental entity. A further reason it is important is because human
…show more content…
What is meant by “a state of war”? What are the laws of nature? What are the main objections to Hobbes evaluation of human nature? Is there merit to the proposition that the state of nature is a state of war? What are the main arguments supporting Hobbes view of human nature and what are their strengths/weaknesses? What are the main arguments which refute Hobbes view of human nature? Whom presents these arguments? How does Hobbes view of human nature differ from other human nature theories (Locke, Rousseau)? Is there a medium in regards to human nature between two or more of the theories?

b) To answer these questions I will first consult Thomas Hobbes book the Leviathan. Specifically the most relevant chapters are 12, 13 and 14, but I will also draw form other chapters as I write. I also plan to use the book ‘A Broad View to Social and Political Thought: From Plato to Nietzsche’ to address the views of John Locke (pp. 498-503, 523-545) and Jean-Jacques Rousseau (pp. 622-672), as well as Rousseau’s ‘Discourse on the Origin of Inequality’. Secondary literature I plan to consult will be articles found in the Stanford Philosophy Encyclopaedia, as well as anything relevant that I can find on JSTOR and Project Muse. Secondary literature will also be found using the University library as well as google scholar. Search words include: state of nature, state of war, laws of nature, natural rights, social contract, Rousseau human nature, Locke
Get Access