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Lecture 7

Lecture 7 - Hobbes & Locke

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University of Ottawa
Daniel Kofman

Jan. 28, 2014 Hobbes • In the state of nature, life is solitary, etc. • It’s in everybody’s individual interest to escape the state of nature by agreeing amongst themselves • It’s an instrumental rule to seek peace because anALL vs.ALL is not in our best interest • Do not hinder others once we’ve renounced your right • One ought – it is their duty (moral duty) – not to make void that voluntary act of his own and cause injustice and injury • Made a promise and voluntarily revoked it • Instrumental – no moral obligations before-hand • Monopoly of power (sovereign) Contract Theory • Locke – it’s implausible that we are under an obligation our ancestor’s made. It is plausible that we are under an obligation that serves the common interest. • Covenants are obligatory • Acontract under duress is not null and void? Aristotle & Hobbes • Could differences between them be blurred? 4.1 Atomism or sociality Aristotle sees first of all social nature. So individuals outside of “civil society” would be “like beasts or gods”, not even real humans For Hobbes, individuals in the state of nature (outside of civil society) are morally competent beings with complete set of interests and capable of forming compacts and other moral undertakings. ForAristotle, this would be impossible. Typical interests of humans are engendered in society as social beings: desire for glory, honor, admiration, power, avoiding shame, ridicule, etc. And moral competence can only develop in social life (and even then not for everybody and not to the same degree). Political implications: Hobbes’atomism lends itself to a restricted understand of vital human interests in social/political organization. Aristotle’s analysis of human nature within the state – treating the state itself as a “natura
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