Aristotle And Hobbes : A Comparison Of Human Nature

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Aristotle and Hobbes: A Comparison of Human Nature Theory Aristotle and Hobbes present two fundamentally distinct doctrines about the conception of politics, human affairs, and the nature of man. Specifically, both philosophers express vying interpretations of human nature. Even though Aristotle and Hobbes similarly use their understanding of human nature to conceptualize their politics, they both express differing views about the aims for which they believe human beings act and exist. In a rather preliminary interpretation of their views, it can be said that, for Aristotle, man is inherently social, and thereby is naturally inclined towards the community. Whereas, for Hobbes, man is innately individualistic, and is naturally inclined towards self-interest. The distinction between the Aristotelian and the Hobbesian philosophies about human nature rests in their respective explanations of what means and ends drive human action and existence. In the first half of this paper, I will discuss the ways in which Aristotle’s and Hobbes’ conception of human nature differ from one another. In a discussion of equality, I will compare Aristotle’s view of the flexibility of man’s nature, to Hobbes’ view of the intransigence of man in the state of nature, while also comparing Aristotle’s view of collectivity, to Hobbes’ view of individualism. The second half of my paper will argue that Aristotle’s teleological view of human nature presents a more superior and accurate account of human
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