The Concept Of State Of Nature

918 WordsApr 5, 20164 Pages
The Concept of State of Nature A British philosopher and an egoist, Thomas Hobbes believes that humans are selfish by nature. He believes that we are all potential enemies and that we need authorities such as police, the military and courts of law to protects us from each other. He also believes that laws and morality only exist due to fear of living in a state of chaos and conflict. Hobbes describes life without any incentive to be good as “nasty, brutish and short” otherwise known as State of Nature. When Hobbes refers to State of Nature, he is referring to the result of a society in which authority and incentive to be good are taken away. The words that he uses to describe life in this state include “nasty, brutish and short”. Hobbes adapted this theory from his belief that all humans are inherently selfish. With this belief comes the question of how we all get along in a society if we are all selfish human beings. Hobbes explanation to this is in his notion of the social contract. This basically means that we give up some of our freedom in exchange for security, An example of social contract would be speeding. Yes, many people would love to go well over the speed limit, but we wouldn’t want everyone doing the same thing in fear of our safety. Therefor we give up speeding for safety and agree to be governed by police that enforce speeding laws that everyone is required to follow. Some philosophers have compared Hobbes’ state of nature to a famous novel written by
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