Thomas Hobbes And The Leviathan And Nicomachean Ethics

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Thomas Hobbes and Aristotle address the role that governments have in the promotion of good virtue amongst their citizens in The Leviathan and Nicomachean Ethics. The authors offer ideas along similar lines. This is in regards to the belief that Hobbes and Aristotle hold, which is that governments do have a role in promoting good morals and leading a virtuous life; Hobbes by sovereignty and Aristotle through means of reaching telos. Thomas Hobbes’ position is made in The Leviathan, in which he argues that citizens are less troubled when they agree to a commonwealth, or a “unity of them all” because they are “unified in that they constitute one single person” (Hobbes 79). When men agree to be governed by a sovereign, he is then responsible for encouraging them to lead virtuous lives by practicing good morals. They could not be led astray because the sovereign is such a supreme example, this is why they are given the freedom of choice. He would also argue against neutrality on behalf of the government, because he does not believe that human nature always serves as the best guide for humans. Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics is similar to Hobbes’ work, in that he also agrees that government should promote good morals. However, it differs as Aristotle thinks that the main responsibility of a government is to see to it that their citizens are capable of reaching their telos. Telos is something that can only be accomplished by a virtuous and free being, it is essentially a state of
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