PHIL 1034 Lecture 12: Lecture 12 Notes - Hobbes on Justice and the Fool 10.1.15

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Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness
Lecture Notes
Hobbes on Justice and the Fool
1st law of nature – seek peace and maintain it
oOdds in the state of nature that you’re going to die from a very high threat
2nd law of nature – limit right to have everything
oIntroduce mutual restrictions in order to maintain peace
Hobbes says there are no restrictions on that what we assume is the betterment for
Right of nature – there are no restrictions on a material or a moral sort to use
whatever power I do have to act on my best judgment for what will retain my
There is nothing that is such that I may not judge it necessary to my survival
including bodies in the state of nature says Hobbes
Hobbes says every voluntary act is aimed to help an object of desire
Contract – mutual transferring of rights that is placing some sort of impediment
on my right
Hobbes says not all contracts are valid contracts, some are void
In the State of Nature, Hobbes says there are no valid contracts, hence there are
no genuine contracts
Genuine /valid – there must be no reasonable suspicion that the other party wont
keep their end of the bargain
But in the state of nature theres a always a suspicion
Ch. 15
Hobbes says you want to avoid the terms of the State of Nature, but there is no
“Best case scenario” like Glaucon proposed
Requirements of justice/morality need a compromise
3rd law of nature – Keep your contracts genuine/valid: be just
Hobbes defines justice as keeping your valid contracts
Need to have a government that has a sovereign power that can keep control over
the people and over any breach of the law issues swift, sure, and severe
You have to instill fear in the other party enough that they do not want to break
their contract
This is built upon the mutual knowledge of the sovereign power
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