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University of Toronto St. George
A Ripstein

Intro & Lecture #1 9/10/2012 9:11:00 AM How Do We View Authority?? Who makes the rules?? Why do we have a state at all and what function does it form? Fairness as a question??; are rules fair or not? Is it a matter of order of decisions and power? What s the appropriate way to determine whether a rules is fair or not? Idea of authority; how is this possible and how is the power distributed? Obedience Rights th th 17 and 18 Century are when the authority structure was starting to be put in question Natural order: the duty of obedience As a result of self or individual reflection which lead to ideas of freedom of self and life Settings: o Not state involved: private property o State of nature vs a society governed by laws Hobbes, Leviathan Context: Written in English thus may have discredited the content initially Hobbes assumed knowledge of the bible by the reader Extreme views of government and civilians we do well to be wary of Hobbes because he knows us too well Intellectual and political context of the Leviathan Published in 1651 in English during the civil war Parliament challenged the power of the king Parliament raised an army of its own to challenge that of the king The English civil war was about 2 separate issues: o Power of kings vs the power of parliament Misconception of actual power, who was in charge?? Deeper questionwhy is someone in charge??? Taxes and monetary conflict also o King Charles the 1dst was a believer of the Anglican church and thus is was a bias of religion and infringement on citizens rights to religion. The Scottish disagreed. Conflict over religion Broad conflict - is the place of the state in religion? Intellectual context Hobbes: Natural philosopher nature of human thought and knowledge and a general view on how the world works Writing at a time of great scientific change Galileo influence renowned as a scientists and proved that things do not have natural places, velocity experiment with relation to gravity and weight o Mathematics was the way to understand the book of nature and all things Wanted to understand political society by breaking it into components There is no such things as the highest good with relation to human beings not only true of human beings but also with society Hobbes : it is not about achieving the highest good , regards previous thought that political society as a organism, a living thing The study of society of political society should be viewed as a machine not as an organism Reliable if properly maintained (a machine maintenance is its good ) necessity is reason with political society, why we need it and what it facilitates we need political society to mitigate inconsistencies in human behaviour? Human beings are the parts of the political machine Appetite: how Hobbes thinks about the way in which people want things POWER: the present means to a future apparent good, power facilitates acquisition Human bings are relentlessly seeking power after power (first sentence of chapter 11) Hobbes based success off the pursuit of happiness Human beings always want to do more and thus never rest content The measure of success creates the desire to achieve more Our concern for power explains all the things we do that are not organized around power seeking o Ie: the seeking of friendship having someone on your side is an advantage (cost benefit relationships) Supreme cause of the universe as a whole, movers Religion does not gives us any power, but there is nothing to compare it to thus we know nothing specific about it When people disagree about religion they dont actually have any basses for the argument. You cannot place any substance or visceral sensation or quality on religion thus its is impossible to have a valid argument based on religion. What really matters is avoiding conflict Equality and the Common Wealth 11/14/2012 11:24:00 PM Hobbes: - Equality of opportunity is subjective - Equality of strength deals with physical superiority, however there is always a prospect of winning or gaining - when we are in a situation where we have rough equality of power equality of success is understood - from equality = the prospect of success (the following can be applied to international conflict and interaction; what are the origins of the disputes) Competition (perfect fruit analogy) when do you pick the fruit to pick it in order satisfy your hunger; how early do you pick the fruit and what do you base that decision on? Others perhaps? - everyone is seeking their own advantage 1. competition is relative to the degree of material scarcity - rational for the individual but not for the collective - competition is exacerbated by the competitors then the resource depletes - dependent upon abundance of products and competitors (perhaps by eliminating competitors you can improve your chances) 2. desire for glory - measured by the price or worth others place on you - we all desire to be recognized as powerful - glory is necessarily scarce based on superiority - Hobbes believes that people naturally seek glory and thus guarantees that no everyone can have it - Relies on having others around which is unlike competition - Can stem from the concept of principal - the capability of speech can be viewed as the root of conflict and competition or at least the fuel that causes the exacerbation 3. Diffidence / Fear - fear of the unknown and unpredictability
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