The Single Most Important Argument As Regards To Hobbes’

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The single most important argument as regards to Hobbes’ conception of human nature is that of its pessimism, as it is this pessimistic view that brings Hobbes to his conclusion that the state of nature is as objectionable as his view describes it to us. Hobbes argues that every man is characterised by his view that, despite a few who, through mutual recognition or admiration, he believes to be his equal, he is endowed most liberally with the faculty of wisdom. In this way, contends Hobbes, all men are equal in that they all believe the same of themselves, and thus, their equal stature fosters an equality in desires and their ability, in their own minds, to realise them. The result of this is that where men desire what they cannot both …show more content…

“And consequently among men”, he contends, “there ariseth on that ground, envy, hatred, and finally war; but amongst these [ants and bees] not so.” It is therefore on three main grounds that men disagree – ‘competition’, ‘diffidence’, and ‘glory’, and it is the resultant self-interested acts of men that set out the foundations upon which Hobbes’ vision of the state of nature is constructed. Hobbes’ state of nature, therefore, is one that is as equally pessimistic as his view of human nature. The state of nature, for Hobbes, is that of anarchy, in the sense that there is no over-arching power to constrain the actions of men, and is one in which there are limited resources. Man is thus driven by his desires as described above, and in that all men are essentially free, pursues them forsaking all others. As resources are limited, and all men have the same essential desires, not everyone has the ability to realise these desires. The result of this is a state which Hobbes calls war “of every man against every man”. Hobbes can be no plainer in his explanation than with the following: At this time, he says, there is “continual fear, and danger of violent death; and the life of man is solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short”. Consequently, as a product of the state of war against all and man’s need to use all he can in order to guarantee his conservation, it

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