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Hobbes 2O06 lecture notes 2013 .pdf

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McMaster University
Political Science
John W Seaman

Tuesday October 15th 2013 Lecture Hobbes' leviathan  Old Testament- old sea monster named the leviathan. “There's no greater power on earth that can be compared”  Crozier- hook. There are things below you need to enforce obedience. o The state has full power of religion as well.  An atheist  Hobbes was a powerful critic of ancient traditions of politics  Helped laid the foundation of modern democratic theory.  His political philosophy: absolute sovereign society.  All supported by constitutional political government.  His view wil be incompatible to liberal democratic thought  Said that civil peace cannot be achieved without a self perpetuating sovereign power. o Means the authority can choose their successor  Defends: o The view that men are to be esteemed of having a natural equality as opposd to the platonic view. o Government arises by consent o Men have a wide range of natural rights o People are equal before the law o The purpose of politics is the preservation of civil peace.  The division of parts 1&2 and 3&4 - what we can know by natural reason or faith. .  Hobbes dismisses a supernatural art  What is he most important thing man creates? o The great leviathan- by the commonwealth; an artificial man  The leviathan by the state is made through god or pacts and covenants who recreate god. o God did not create the state and is a completely human action. o The state emerges only through the consent by those who rule the state.  Men are understood to be naturally and politically free by nature from the political authority of others because the state is mad made.  Consent is the origin of all obligation including the obligation to obey the state.  Chapter 1: o All thoughts originate on sense. o Schools teach another doctrine of the senses and Hobbes thinks its nonsense. Talks about Aristotle.  Decayed images- memory  There are two types of memories/ imaginations. o Simple o Compound- imagination through combining simple imagination and truth. A fiction of the mind. o Dreams are nothing other than agitations of the inward parts of the body when they are disheveled.  How do you distinguish dreams from fancies from vision and sense? From real and false imaginations. o This difficulty is no real accident.  Critiques the catholic and Anglican churches: functions of a false imagination like the cross or holy wate and exorcism. o Thinks they do this deliberately to enhance their power.  Speech is essential for engaging contracts and we would be in a state of perpetual fear.  Right definitions leads to science.  Without speech there can be no science.  The laws of nature are a science, the true moral science.  The laws of nature are the rule people must follow to avoid the condition of all against all.  Chapter 5: reason. And answers what science is.  How do we know if reasoning is valid? o Is there such a thing as wrong reason? o In reality, men cannot usually find right reasoning.  He is an epistemological relativist.  Hobbes Is claiming that when men is agree there are three outcomes. o Come to war or conflict o They can leave the issue aside o They can agree on an arbitrator. o How are the laws of nature a true science? October 25th, 2013  pg/96-97- The question who is a better man has no place n the condition in their nature where it has been showed before all men are equal. the inequality we see around us has been introduced by the law civil.  The question of whether or not men are equal in ability is beside the point. The simple fact is the must acknowledge equality otherwise they will go to war.  Forget Aristotle in this issue. Men ought to be esteemed by self nature an equal right to self governance. Principle of natural political equality of right. Political implications: the only way to govern is through the consent of those who you govern. Unlike Plato's philosopher's Kings and Queens  Rejects the natural or supernatural right to rule others.  Chapter 13: Men are equal in strength and wit and capable of killing each other  Two Implications of  Hobbes says men are not so foolish to be fooled by another than themselves. They would not be silly enough to be ruled by those who pretend to have philosophic wisdom. They distress the philosophers.  Those who think themselves as philosophers and think they are entitled to rule those who are not philosophers, those who don't imagine themselves to be philosophers can carry the humble in war.  Those who are humble will not put up with the bad doings of those who are not humble- to those things that are not naturally right.  People who imagine themselves to superior cannot win the war.  The importance of the 9th law of nature is the logical basis to the 10th 11th and 12th law of nature.  12th law of nature is against arrogance  It is important for a man to retain rights or inalienable rights.  pg.97: Rights that must be retained and cannot be given to the sovereign. These rights are rights to govern their own bodies, rights to air, water, motion and go ways from place to place and all things else which a man cannot live or not live well.  The right to govern one's own body: abortion laws and right against slavery.  There's a quality before the law  Equal right of access to an equal amount of things  So initially there is an equality in resources  Inequality can come about through a private market, unable to attain resources  Negative Golden Rule: Don't do to others in what you don't want them to do to you.  Imagine yourself in the place of the other. You cannot see people as inferior and notice their color, sex and have to imagine them as you and your desires and your wants.  Recognize that other people have the same claims as you do.  The laws of nature advise you to go to civil peace.  The only possibility of knowing the laws of nature is in an existing society.  Hobbes is not trying to get people to get out of the war of all against all but explaining how not to get into the war of all against all  He's addressing a civil society who is on the verge of a breakdown  The laws of nature are not capable of extracting people of the laws of nature  The
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