The Leviathan By Thomas Hobbes

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In The Leviathan, Thomas Hobbes presents a highly cynical and thoroughly negative view of the natural condition of human beings. Hobbes understands humans as inherently suspicious and fearful of one another. Left to our natural state, people prove incapable of harmonious coexistence and instead aggressively pursue their own security. To achieve this end, men will belligerently defend what they view as theirs and endeavor to dominate as many others as possible. This understanding of security, however, seems unsound and unsustainable to Hobbes, as even the weakest man has the ability to harm the strongest. Thus, intrinsic instability characterizes the state of nature, with every individual fearful for his or her life and liberty. Hobbes defines this scenario as a constant state of war, with each individual left to fend for and protect himself in a lawless environment. He claims that the only way to avoid the instability and suspicion inherent in our natural state is the allocation of absolute power to a sovereign who can establish clear laws and instill a sense of justice into an otherwise anarchic state. In addressing the natural state of man, Hobbes initially concerns himself with the concept of equality, and how it factors into the lives of men in the absence of civil government. Hobbes admits that humanity often appears inequitable, with some men proving stronger and others clearly possessing more advantageous talents. Despite these specific inequalities, however, Hobbes

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