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Lecture

Last Lecture Notes About Thomas Hobbes.doc

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Department
Humanities
Course
HUMA 1160
Professor
Stanley Tweyman
Semester
Fall

Description
HUMA – Last Lecture March 24, 2014 Thomas Hobbes – Leviathan • Hobbes knew Descartes and admired him • Now Hobbes didn’t have interest in theoretical philosophy but rather he was more interested in political philosophy and basically what he was interested in was trying to make the world a better place, he tried to figure out the political scheme that would serve all equal for all time • What he tried to figure out was how to invest for people to live together and in this respect I want to tell you that there are 2 factors: 1) Notion of Obligation • In order to be a citizen in a country you have to understand the notion of duty, so your duties compromise things that you must do in order to seek peace in that society, so these are the things that you must do • The duties that you have are called obligations, if you have a duty to tell the truth then you rely to tell the truth • So duty and obligation are very much connected together • The question that Hobbes was interested in is how do you establish an obligation? • So here is the syllogism that you all know All men are morals Socrates is men Therefore, Socrates is morals o Now you and I know that this is valid o If you look at the main terms in the conclusion of this argument, socredes and morals, that those terms are already in the premises, so socredes is in second premise and morals in the first premise o So the thing that you have put in your notes is that in this kind of reasoning, deductive reasoning, what the conclusion does is it simply rearranges the terms, it connects socredes and moral where in premises that wasn’t the case o So this kind of reasoning is called SYNTATICAL, because it only deals with syntacs of your argument o In a deductive argument, the conclusion must contain terms already stated in the premises, you can’t avoid them • Now I want to talk about the notion of obligation • So let’s figure out how people think that obligation… • So one of your parents says to you “You ought to do X”, you ought to tell the truth or your ought to make a charity o They think that you have an obligation to simply with whatever they say o You might be like why should I do this, convince me that I am supposed to do this and the answer that comes is you should do this because I am your father and I told you to do it o This argument is logically terrible, there is no value to this argument from logical point of view at all and the reason that it is logically terrible is obvious which is the conclusion does not contain the terms of premise so the “ought” was never the premise and suddenly it ends up in the conclusion o So, Hobbes recognized as Hume, that reasoning that way is never logically correct o Now, you look at this and ask yourself well what is the point of this, why is it bad and the answer is it is bad because the premise involves some kind of description, so it is describing your state of affairs***, but the conclusion of the argument therefore, you ought to do X is not a description rather it’s a prescription, it is prescribing how you should behave, so the argument in fact HUMA – Last Lecture March 24, 2014 those from describing to prescribing, from saying how things are to how they ought to be, and the point that Hobbes made and so did Hume is that there no logical bases from… o Therefore, this approach is always invalid • So what Hobbes tried to figure out was how should obligation work and what he concluded was that moral and political obligation should take it’s… from mathematics • Take the equation 7+5+2=14 • Now what Hobbes asks is why is it our duty to accept this, what is the bases of the obligation in mathematics • There are 2 factors that you need to understand 1) In the case of mathematics the components of the equation are all to use the Cartesian language fixed natures, 7 will always mean 7, 5 will always mean 5,… these are fixed for all times • The notion of fixed nature is this, the components are such that these cannot be allowed • What Hobbes points out is that when somebody says 7+5+2=14, what we are aiming to do is break this down • So now the question is given that we know that there are fixed natures, where is the obligation here • In short, mathematics works because the left side which is 1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1 and the right side are identical, so it is saying 1+1+1+1… to 14 equals 1+1+1+1… to 14 • Therefore, if somebody were to deny the claim that 7+5+2=14 that would be tent amount to saying that 1+1+1+1… down to 14 does not equal 1+1+1+1… down to 14 in other words 14 does not equal 14 • In short, the denial of this claim a contradiction • Therefore, the obligation of reason is to remain faithful to the principle of non-contradiction, that’s the bases of it, that all true mathematical claims are in in accordance with the principle of non-contradiction, all false mathematical claims violate the principle of non-contradiction • Therefore, the conclusion reached by Hobbes is that the obligation in mathematics is founded on the principle of non-contradiction • Notice as well that the word obligation does not appear in the equation, the term obligation is not part of 7+5+2=14, rather once you understand that it does equal 14 you are obliged*** to accept it, so obligation turns out to be a judgment about the claim rather than in the claim, it’s not in the claim at all, its outside the claim related to the claim • What Hobbes believed was that there must be an analog between we need to do is to figure out how in politics and in life we can establish obligation attend*** to obligations in mathematics • So, that’s the first point about Hobbes, the first thing that Hobbes impressed me with was the notion of obligation and the fact that he recognizes that you cannot get a prescription from a description and that obligation is something that we impose on the equation rather than finding in it 2) Hobbes believes that in order to figure out how society is best served, what the best model for society is, we have to take people from society, remove society HUMA – Last Lecture March 24, 2014 which means remove them from all governmental influences and to see how people would behave in a non-societal state • A non-societal state would be completely unsatisfactory to everybody and it would result as he says in the war of all against all • And Hobbes point out that war doesn’t necessarily mean actual fighting but in addition to that finding that everybody is a potential enemy that even if they are not fighting now, they want to fight you, they want to destroy you • So in the state of nature, which is people finding themsel
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