The Great Ideas Of Thomas Hobbes ' Leviathan, And Adam Smith 's The Wealth Of Nations

1083 Words Dec 2nd, 2014 5 Pages
hile there are many big ideas in Thomas Hobbes’ Leviathan, and Adam Smith’s The Wealth of Nations, the most important ideas deal with human nature and 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 him stating that all men are created equal. With all men being created equal, this means that everyone is equally capable of killing each other, because while, “there may be found one man sometimes manifestly stronger in body,” the weaker may be compensated for by his “quicker mind.” This equality of ability produces equality of hope for the attaining of our goals, and that when two or more men desire the same thing which they cannot both enjoy, they become enemies and attempt to destroy each other. Hobbes called this time when men oppose each other “war,” and said that there were three basic causes for war: competition, distrust, and glory. Hobbes also maintains the belief that in this state of nature, humans have a natural tendency to obtain as much power as they can, and that the only way they will ever be satisfied with their power is by acquiring more power, going so far as to harm or kill others in order attain what they desire. Thus, the state of nature is a “war of every man against every man,” where humans live in perpetual fear…

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