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Lecture 2

Lecture 2 state of nature- hobbes.docx

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Western University
Political Science
Political Science 1020E
Charles Jones

Political Science 13/09/2012 Lecture #2 *mc questions to prepare for exams will be asked each class Multiple Choice Question: According to the preferred definition of politics from the last lecture, politics is: - Way of dealing with conflicts What is authority? - Right to command (legitimate rule ~ members of congress, members of parliament, etc) - Authoritative groups (agents of the state) – police, lawmakers, judges) - The right to punish those who disobey (the law) - Is state authority justified? State of Nature: Thomas Hobbes - Author of the Leviathan (1651)– depicting a state of nature (a lawless, order less, anarchist world) >hobbes creates a Thought Experiment (using imagination – hypothetical) - Books argues why society needs a state - Hobbes: society invented states (it is not a natural occurrence but one that developed) >hobbes believes that the state is not intrinsic in human nature (something that Aristotle (the father of Political Philosophy) argued) - Some central themes are >Fear >War: Hobbes thought that war (he was living during the civil war) would bring about the downfall of the state (government) and subsequently the end of order which protects people from their natural animalistic desires. The state is not perennially violent but everyone is ready to fight >Peace : seek peace (fundamental idea) - Worst Scenario: the worst thing you can imagine is NO STATE PROTECTION >even a tyranny with order is better than a natural state - Powerful state is needed to avoid disastrous interpersonal conflict Main premise: Human Nature (appealing to human nature) >introspection – what you know about yourself – your natural motivations >materialism – our bodies and desires are constantly in motion (always need more to sustain your body and need more to please your greed) >Felicity: the continual success (not attainable by anyone) >Power: present capacity to obtain what you want in the future (the means to achieve that: eg being stronger, friends, etc) * no one is satisfied in this life – there will always be more to have > Predominantly Self-Regarding (not necessarily selfish but we do things in our own interest) > Seek to enhance reputation (care about what others think of you) > Averse to our own Death – wish to stay alive (what would people do to s
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