Analysis Of Thomas Hobbes ' Leviathan And Adam Smith 's The Wealth Of Nations

1852 Words Dec 2nd, 2014 8 Pages
Most important among the many big ideas in Thomas Hobbes’ Leviathan and Adam Smith’s The Wealth of Nations are those that deal with human nature and how to create and maintain social order. In this paper, I will argue Hobbes’ lack of optimism, and Smith’s lack of pessimism in their theories of human nature, and will also discuss how our idea of social order changes once these aspects are taken into consideration. Hobbes’ theory of human nature begins with the statement that all men are created equal. One infers from this that every human being is equally capable of killing another, because while “there may be found one man sometimes manifestly stronger in body,” the weaker may find compensation in his “quicker mind.” This equalized ability produces equality of hope for the attaining of our goals, and when two or more people compete for the same thing, they become enemies and attempt to destroy each other. Hobbes called this time when men oppose each other “war,” and said it has three basic causes: competition, distrust and glory. Hobbes also believes that in this state of nature, humans have a natural tendency to accrue as much power as they can, and that they will be satisfied only by acquiring more power, willingly harming or killing others to get what they want. Thus, the state of nature is a “war of every man against every man,” where humans live in perpetual fear of one another. According to Hobbes, human nature creates a problem concerning social order…
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