Thomas Hobbes And The State Of Nature

1387 Words6 Pages
In the previous chapters of the book, Thomas Hobbes describes the state of nature in which men, driven by appetites and aversions, are constantly in a state of competition and conflict with one another. Because there are limited resources like food and shelter and people have a desire for the same end, there is no peace or unity in society. Every man must fend for himself in this individualistic, power struggle. The combination of finite resources, mistrust of other men, and equality of power in the state of nature, an unending state of conflict arises in which "the life of man [is] solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short (Hobbes, 125 sect.9).”
Hobbes argues that although the state of nature is a turbulent and miserable condition, human nature also provides the solution to escape this dilemma. As rational beings, humans can see that war against each other not only does not satisfy their interests but also causes them to live in continuous fear. Therefore, all can inherently reason and recognize the need for practical rules or laws which Hobbes calls the laws of nature. These laws or principles direct people to seek peace by relinquishing their “right to all things (Hobbes, 128 sect 1),” for the benefit and security of all. The “right to all things” or the right of nature is the freedom every man possesses to do anything for their own survival. The laws of nature require men to lay down their right of nature to treat people how they would want to be treated. In other words,
Get Access