Political Philosophy Essay

1759 Words8 Pages
Political Philosophy Part One (Question 2) Aristotle, Locke, and Hobbes all place a great deal of importance on the state of nature and how it relates to the origin of political bodies. Each one, however, has a different conception of what a natural state is, and ultimately, this leads to a different conception of what a government should be, based on this natural state. Aristotle’s feelings on the natural state of man is much different than that of modern philosophers and leads to a construction of government in and of itself; government for Hobbes and Locke is a departure from the natural state of man. Aristotle’s emphasis is on the city-state, or the political world as a natural occurrence. He says “every city-state exists…show more content…
For a city-state to be made up, it must be composed of citizens, those individuals with the ability to reason, and for Aristotle, this city-state is a natural occurrence. Hobbes and Locke both have very different conceptions of the natural world. Hobbes conceives of a natural world in which the state is that of war. He talks about the lack of trust in the fellow subjects, and the manner in which men lock their doors and feel “continual fear, and danger of violent death; and the life of the man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.” (Hobbes 171). The idea of the life of a man as being solitary, nasty, and brutish greatly conflicts with the idea that Aristotle has set forth with man being naturally bound together to achieve the good of happiness. Aristotle constructs a state in which men naturally work together to create happiness for all, whereas Hobbes believes that the natural state of man tends away from this, toward greed and war. Locke is similar to Hobbes in that his conception of nature is a more isolated one, but it’s a less blunt view of the trust of mankind. The “state of nature has a law of nature to govern it, which obliges everyone… no one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty, or possessions.” (Locke 313). For Locke, the natural state is the idea of self-preservation, but also the preservation of all of mankind. It is not acceptable for Locke, as it is for Hobbes, to allow the
Open Document