The State Of Nature As A State

Decent Essays

In his Leviathan, Hobbes describes the state of nature as a state of war between all men. Hobbes refers to the state of nature as a state where there is no common power over them (Leviathan 13, 293). By this, Hobbes is explaining the state of nature as a state of existence without a governing entity or laws over men. In this state, men have the right to take anything they need in order to preserve themselves (Leviathan 14, 294). Next, Hobbes explains that all men are equal in ability, and he takes great care to explain that in a single ability, such as strength, men are not equal because there will be stronger men and weaker men (Leviathan 13, 292). However, he explains that such inequalities can be overcome using deception or by acquiring allies (Leviathan 13, 292). The idea of equal ability is key to Hobbes’ argument because it ensures that everyone “has an equal hope of attaining their ends” (Leviathan 13, 293). One way to view this is each individual is able, or has the capacity, to fight because everyone is approximately equal in ability. If some individuals were stronger than others and weaker individuals had no method to counter their strength, then the weaker individuals would not want to fight because they would certainly lose. This capacity to fight gives everyone the ability to fight each other, so if have reason to fight, then they are able to fight. However, the capacity to fight is not enough because it will not necessarily drive men to fight each other

Get Access