Hobbes – Chp 13 Jessie Leonard
• Natural state because of a lack of institutional structures to intimidate people and enforce laws ▯
• In strength and intelligence
• Generally speaking he claims that people are equal
• He says that even the weakest person can sneak up on the strongest and kill them or by
ganging up on the strongest
• Everyone seems to think that they are wise in comparison to everyone else (I think that I am
smarter than everyone else)
This seems to prove that people are equal
• We are not invulnerable (no one is smart enough or strong enough)
Then everyone has roughly equal hope of getting what they want
o This puts us in a state of competition
• Three Causes of Quarrel ▯ destroy and subdue each other
• Competition – with inequality there would be no enemies so to say because there is an obvious
person that gets what they want (the stronger), but because everyone seems to be equal there
• Diffidence – if you know about the first sort of quarrel then you anticipate this second kind of
quarrel so you do not necessarily trust people and so you would try to subdue them so that you
don’t have to compete with them later.
• Glory – some people like quarreling, but as a rational agent you have to be careful of what is
out there. It is rational to worry about it, but irrational in itself.
• Without governing institutions we are living in misery with each other because of these three
causes of quarrel
• Scott thinks that the first quarrel is the big problem because without the first one the other two
do not follow.
• Foul weather – not constant downpour, it is a long stretch of time that there is a possibility that
you might get rained on ▯ risk ▯ we are in a constant state where we might have to fight
• Peace – you have assurance that you are safe from other people
• Famous Quote • Pg. 1256
• It is a terrible state to be in ▯ the natural state is terrible
• “In such a condition there is no place for industry … and short.”
• There is no cooperation because you cannot trust each other.
• This constant risk of quarrel leads to a world of incoordination
• Human Nature
• Do I accuse mankind?
o Don’t you lock your doors?
Most people lock their doors
Taking precausions ▯ don’t those actions accuse mankind/human nature as
much as the words of Hobbes do
o *No sin
Neither of us is saying something about human nature as being evil.
• Some small coordination can happen (small communities or families can exist) because of
natural sentiments that over power diffidence.
• Harder to sustain cooperation in larger anonymous groups.
• Bleak view of justice in the state of nature, mainly that there is no such thing
• All of the terms of unjust, just, right, and wrong do not make sense in the state of nature. Hobbes – Chp 14 Jessie Leonard
• Right of Nature
• Everyone has this right to do anything to protect themselves and that is what leads to the
constant threat of fighting
• How can you call anything unjust when everyone has this right to self preservation?
• Reason is what leads to this selfpreservation in the state of nature
• When not in the state of nature, there are situations where reason can lead people to
• A Law of Nature
• General rule found out by reason where man is forbidden to do what is destructive of his life.
• You are obligated to preserve your own life to achieve what ever you want to achieve ▯ you
have to protect yourself so that you are around long enough to get what you want (secure self
• In state of nature that turns into mayhem ▯ there is a way of redirecting this claim to achieve
• Individual reason and the state of nature creates a world where everyone’s self interest creates
a suboptimal state of affairs.
o “Every man ought to endeavor peace, as far as he has hope of obtaining it; and when
he cannot obtain it, that he may seek and use all helps and advantages of war” (pg.
o Seek peace and follow it.
o If peace is available reason tells you that you should seek it out.
o If peace isn’t available (others are not willing to offer it) then you are dumb to seek it
o “… that a man be willing, when others are so too, as far forth as for peace and defense
of himself he shall think it necessary, to lay down this right to all things, and be
contented with so much liberty against other men as he would allow other men against
himself” (pg. 129)
o You agree to set aside your rights to seek peace.
• This are conditional claims because some people might not be willing and they may try to
benefit from your constraint ▯ free ride
• Doesn’t mention game theory and the prisoners dilemma but it fits the game.
• Contract Hobbes – Chp 14 Jessie Leonard
For it to be rational to seek peace you need concrete evidence that people are going to keep up their end of
the bargain, you need forcible contracts.
If there is no need for peace to start with then you are in trouble. Rationally there is no way to create trust if
there isn’t any trust to start with without there being any forcible way to enforce contracts.
Any contract that is in the natural state of mind is void
Anytime that I should be defending myself a contract is void
With God? ▯ the fear is not urgent enough, not the same as real law. Yes, God is more powerful, but oddly
enough fear of other tangible people is scarier so God would not be a good way to enforce contracts.
Ultimately you want some fear for the contract (to enforce it)
• Passions Hobbes – Chp 15 Jessie Leonard
• 3 Law of Nature
• If you are in some state where there is some force of enforcement then there is justice
• Justice ▯ live up to your contracts
• Page 138
• The Foool
• Whenever they get a chance to get away with something then why not do it ▯ not keep up their
end of the bargain
• They are someone that is on board for rational selfinterest ▯ how can it be unreasonable for
them to not take what they can get if no one is watching? Why would I live up to promises if I
can get away with not doing it which pursuing my own selfinterests which is the first law of
• If it isn’t against reason how can it be against justice?
o In the state of nature the fool is completely right
o Hobbes replies that in society the fool would be cast out, no one would let you into a
community if you are going to do this, the rules are going to be designed to weed out
fools like you.
o Except by the error of others
o But ya, whenever I can get by they I will and it lets me in to do this to others ▯ lets me
o If we are equal (strength and intelligence) then rationally it would not make sense to
rely (or assume) that they are so smart that they will be able to trick others consistently
• 20 – do not do to others as you wish done to yourself.
• You should believe every sovereign, even ones with mean nasty rules ▯ because unless it is worse
than the state of nature then you should rationally follow what they say.
If the sovereign wants to kill you then you do not owe your allegiance to the sovereign. Feminism Dimock Jessie Leonard
• Unlikely thesis
• Feminists should be contractarians
• Descriptive claim
o All human societies, past and present, have been structured by patriarchy
• Prescriptive/evaluative claim
Patriarchy is wrong
• Goal is to overcome the inequality that currently exists between the sexes
• Justification = norms that would be rationally endorsed by those governed by them
Not all human activity is normgoverned
• Contractualism ≠ contractarianism
• No actual agreement necessary, it is hypothetical
• Norms that each of us as rational agents would endorse and we would agree to be governed
by. It is all about what we would rationally agree to as rational agents.
• Markets and Market Failure
• In principle, imagine a pure market where we are making pure choices to trade what we want –
voluntary exchanges – everyone arguably is made better off (invisible hand in action)
• In that kind of