POLI 231 Lecture Notes - Lecture 7: Natural Person, Legal Personality, Robert Latimer

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POLI 231 - Lecture 7
30 January 2018
Hobbes continued: guiding questions
1. What are the laws of nature?
2. Are we obligated to follow the laws of nature?
3. Why might there be a problem of exit from the state of nature?
4. What is the role/ purpose of the sovereign?
5. How does the existence of the sovereign transform human beings or the human
condition?
6. What is a social contract? Who is part of the social contract to establish the sovereign?
People are in competition for honor and dignity. Humans are different from bees and ants what
is good for a bee is good for the hive. However, for humans, joy is a reflection of our own glory,
power and ability. A lot can go wrong in the human use of reason. For example, we can use
reason to challenge authority ants cannot do this. Ants and bees cannot speak, so they do not
deceive. For bees and ants, working in unity is natural. For humans, living together is artificial.
The laws of nature are general rule that we can find out with reason. When followed, we can
achieve peace and concord. Compliance is rational for our own interest to seek peace, but only
rational when others also seek peace. The law of nature means to seek peace and to defend
ourselves. We might have to anticipate or prepare for war. The laws of nature are the laws of
God. But, also ones that we would endorse through reason. But, any religion laws that are
incompatible with reason are only superstition.
Question 1: The laws of nature:
1. We seek peace
2. If others show that they seek peace, we must also comply with peace by saying that we
will sacrifice what they do
3. We must obey the covenant we make
We cannot be exceptionalists, who say that others must sacrifice freedom while keeping
our own freedom
When we can secure mutual compliance, we are ot the judge in our own case
The laws are precepts of reason things that we would or would not do to preserve our
own life
Question 2:
On the one hand, we have moral obligation to follow these laws. Without insurance of
compliance, if you deliver on your promise and others do not, you make yourself prey. The laws
reveal what we should do to ensure peace. Without insurance, we can’t operationalize the rules,
which is why the state of nature is a state of war.
Question 3:
Obviously, one does not want a state of nature reality. We want people to realize why they
should stay in a commonwealth and the uncertainty that is risked if we leave it. It is rational to
stay in the commonwealth. The sovereign creates a stable peace, a common power to coerce
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Document Summary

People are in competition for honor and dignity. Humans are different from bees and ants what is good for a bee is good for the hive. However, for humans, joy is a reflection of our own glory, power and ability. A lot can go wrong in the human use of reason. For example, we can use reason to challenge authority ants cannot do this. Ants and bees cannot speak, so they do not deceive. For bees and ants, working in unity is natural. The laws of nature are general rule that we can find out with reason. When followed, we can achieve peace and concord. Compliance is rational for our own interest to seek peace, but only rational when others also seek peace. The law of nature means to seek peace and to defend ourselves. We might have to anticipate or prepare for war. The laws of nature are the laws of.

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