POLB71final exam reveiw.docx

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Political Science
Margaret Kohn

POLB71 Names at least two conflict English civil wars For instance, Hobbes's discussion of sovereignty and authorization (Leviathan, chapter 16) insists that sovereignty cannot be divided—the opinion that it can leads to civil war, in his view—and that subjects are the authors of everything the sovereign does as their agent The state of nature is the "war of every man against every man," in which people constantly seek to destroy one another. This state is so horrible that human beings naturally seek peace, and the best way to achieve peace is to construct the Leviathan through social contract. The Hobbesian state of nature is an instructive fiction, a reasoned deduction of what human nature might have been like in a hypothetical existence prior to any civilization. Yet while Hobbes concedes that it never existed in actual history, he asserts that, to a degree, the state of nature is a reality; we see approximations of it in the lives of the "savage people of America," he says, and Europeans approach it in times of civil war. Further evidence of our natural condition can be seen in our mistrust of others, criminal behavior, and in domination of weak countries by strong countries. In the state of nature, where it is a war of every natural man against the others, no security is possible and life is full of horror. But two natural passions enable people to escape the state of nature: fear and reason. Fear makes natural man want to escape the state of nature; reason shows him how to escape. Reason provides the natural laws that Hobbes develops in the next section, which constitute the foundation for peace. how did hobbes's approach in the leviathan differ from the political theory of his day? Hobbes is famous for his early and elaborate development of what has come to be known as ―social contract theory‖, the method of justifying political principles or arrangements by appeal to the agreement that would be made among suitably situated rational, free, and equal persons. He is infamous for having used the social contract method to arrive at the astonishing conclusion that we ought to submit to the authority of an absolute— undivided and unlimited—sovereign power. While his methodological innovation had a profound constructive impact on subsequent work in political philosophy, his substantive conclusions have served mostly as a foil for the development of more palatable philosophical positions. Hobbes's moral philosophy has been less influential than his political philosophy, in part because that theory is too ambiguous to have garnered any general consensus as to its content. From this proposition, Hobbes can describe the natural condition of mankind before society, government, and the invention of law. This natural condition, free of all artificial interferences, is one of continuous war and violence, of death and fear. This condition is known as the "state of nature," and Hobbes's depiction of this state is the most famous passage in Leviathan: "[D]uring the time men live without a common Power to keep them all in awe, they are in a condition which is called Warre; and such a warre, as is of every man, against every man. . . . In such condition, there is no place for industry . . . no Culture of the Earth; no Navigation . . . no commodious Building; no instruments of moving . . . no Knowledge of the face of the Earth; no account of Time; no Arts; no Letters; no Society; and which is worst of all, continuall feare, and danger of violent death; And the life of man, solitary, poore, nasty, brutish, and short." Why is a Leviathan necessary? According to hobbes? Hobbes saw the purpose of the Leviathan as explaining the concepts of man and citizenship; he conceved of the work as contributing to a larger, three-pronged philosophical project that would explain nature in addition to these two phenomena. To begin his project, Hobbes argues that to understand the state we first need to understand mankind, since the state is nothing but an artificial man. To extend the metaphor, the sovereign of the state is like the soul of a man; the magistrates of the state like a man's joints; and the rewards and punishments doled out by the state like the nerves of man. According to Hobbes, the proper way to understand all men is to turn our thoughts inward and study one man (namely oneself), for to understand the thoughts, desires, and reasons of ourselves is to understand them in all mankind. First law of nature Hobbes • The first Law of nature is that every man ought to endeavour 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. The second Law of nature is that a man be willing, when others are so too, as far forth, as for peace, and defence 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. • The sixth Law is that upon caution of the future time, a man ought to pardon the offences past of them that repenting, desire it. The seventh Law is that in revenges, men look not at the greatness of the evil past, but the greatness of the good to follow. The seventeenth law is that no man is a fit Arbitrator in his own cause. What Hobbes tries to tackle here is the transition from the state of nature to civil society. But how he does this is misleading and has generated much confusion and disagreement. The way that Hobbes describes this second law of nature makes it look as if we should all put down our weapons, give up (much of) our ―right of nature,‖ and jointly authorize a sovereign who will tell us what is permitted and punish us if we don‘t obey. But the problem is obvious. Right of Nature This repeats the points we have already seen about our ―right of nature,‖ so long as peace does not appear to be a realistic prospect. The second law of nature is more complicated: 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. (Leviathan, xiv.5) As justice dependeth on antecedent covenant; so does gratitude depend on antecedent grace; that is to say, antecedent free gift; and is the fourth law of nature, which may be conceived in this form: that a man which receiveth benefit from another of mere grace endeavour that he which giveth it have no reasonable cause to repent him of his good will. For no man giveth but with intention of good to himself, because gift is voluntary; and of all voluntary acts, the object is to every man his own good; of which if men see they shall be frustrated, there will be no beginning of benevolence or trust, nor consequently of mutual help, nor of reconciliation of one man to another; and therefore they are to remain still in the condition of war, which is contrary to the first and fundamental law of nature which commandeth men to seek peace. The breach of this law is called ingratitude, and hath the same relation to grace that injustice hath to obligation by covenant. Prisoners Dilemma Rational choice thinkers call this ‗The Prisoners‘ Dilemma‘, it is demonstrative of the difficulty to achieve co-operation to some collectively rational end. For example, a wood owned by several farmers. It is in the best interests of these farmers to form an agreement to never fell more than 25% of the trees in their patch each season, as this will prevent soil erosion and the loss of nutrients from the ground so the trees will be healthy and reach their optimum height. However, each farmer, having made this agreement, has the incentive to cut down a few more trees. The actions of one individual will not damage the land and that farmer will be able to sell more timber at a cheaper price than the others. But if all the farmers chopped down a few more trees the result would be disastrous, all could loose their livelihood. Why does hobbes believe that monarchy is superior Hobbes identifies three possible types of government based on whether the sovereign is a single person, an assembly of all the people or an assembly of one part. ―When the representative is one man, then is the commonwealth a monarchy; when an assembly of all that will come together, then it is democracy or popular commonwealth; when an assembly of a part only, then it is called an aristocracy‖ (467). Hobbes notes that other forms of government such as tyranny and oligarchy are nothing more than other names for monarchy and aristocracy with a negative connotation, used by those who dislike themAccording to Hobbes, in a monarchy the private interest is the same with the public because the power and honour of a monarch arises only from the power and honour of his subjects. ―For no king can be rich nor glorious nor secure whose subjects are either poor or contemptible or too weak through want or dissension to maintain a war against their enemies; whereas in a democracy or aristocracy, the public prosperity confers not so much to the private fortune of one that is corrupt or ambitious as does many times a perfidious advice, a treacherous action, or a civil war‖ (467). Public prosperity is not as important in a democracy or aristocracy because those who have power in these forms of government hold onto it through treachery and corruption rather than honestly attempting to improve the lives of the people Govtheir own selfishness and evil. The besbelieves that any such conflict leads to civil war. He holds that any form of ordered government is preferable to civil war. Thus he advocates that all members of society submit to one absolute, central authority for the sake of maintaining the common peace. In Hobbes‘s system, obedience to the sovereign is directly tied to peace in all realms. The sovereign is empowered to run the government, to determine all laws, to be in charge of the church, to determine first principles, and to adjudicate in philosophical disputes. For Hobbes, this is the only sure means of maintaining a civil, peaceful polity and preventing the dissolution of society into civil war.ould never work. Hobbes wrote, "All mankind [is in] a perpetual How does Hobbes define freedom and what is the significant of this definition for his theory of the state? Interesting philosophy on the definitions Freedom from Hobbes and Locke. Locke defines Freedom based on the rights that one has within a commonwealth, his rights to life, health, liberty, and property specifically. Hobbes says that Freedom is the absence of obstacles. That so long as one can move physically that one has Freedom, and that the only right one has is the right of self-preservation. Personally, I tend to agree, for the most part, with Locke. I believe that Freedom is having the ability to find one‘s own self, and pursue one‘s ambitions to the fullest extent as one wishes, so long as no one else is denied this right in the process. But, lest any one should suspect that there was at least this good in man, a propensity to civil society and obedience to the rulers of cities, Hobbes insists that man is by nature wholly averse to society with his kind: that the type of the race is an Ishmael, "a wild man, his hand against all men, and all men's hands against him:" in fact that the state of nature is a state of war all round. He writes (Leviathan, c. xiii.): "Men have no pleasure, but on the contrary a great deal of grief, in keeping company where there is no power able to overawe them all. For every man looketh that his companion should value him at the same rate he sets on himself; and upon all signs of contempt or undervaluing naturally endeavours, as far as he dares (which among them that have no common power to keep them quiet, is far enough to make them destroy each other), to extort a greater value from his contemners by damage, and from others by the example. . . . Hereby it is manifest, that during the time that men live without a power to keep them all in awe, they are in that condition which is called war, and such a war as is of every man against every man. . . . In such condition there is no place for industry, because the fruit thereof is uncertain, and consequently no culture of the earth: no navigation, nor use of the commodities that may be imported by sea: no commodious building: no instruments of moving and removing such things as require much force: no knowledge of the face of the earth: no account of time: no arts, no letters, no society; and which is worst of all, continual fear and danger of violent death; and the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short. To this war of every man against every man this also is consequent, that nothing can be unjust. The notions of right and wrong, justice and injustice, have there no place. Where there is no common power there is no law: where no law, no injustice. . . . It is consequent also to the same condition, that there be no propriety, no dominion, no mine and thine distinct, but only that to be every man's that he can get, and for so long as he can keep it." What are the passions that incline men to peace, according to hobbes? The passions that incline men to peace are: fear of death; desire of such things as are necessary to commodious living; and a hope by their industry to obtain them. And reason suggesteth convenient articles of peace upon which men may be drawn to agreement. These articles are they which otherwise are called the laws of nature, Passions that incline men to peace are: - fear of death (better live in disgrace than die in honor) - desire to obtain things necessary to commodious living - hope to get them by using only industry Reason suggests convenient articles of peace upon which people can agree. These articles are what Hobbes calls the "Laws of Nature". The laws of nature are therefore the dictates of egoistic but enlightened prudence. Morality arises only after the acceptance of these laws. It is nothing else but obedience to the laws of nature. Thus morality is a form of social compromise between egoists. It reduces certain rights but brings peace and justice. The benefit of morality does not lie that much in positive effects it brings about as in the calamities it helps to avoid What is difference between Hobbes‘s social contract and a constitution? This contract is constituted by two distinguishable contracts. First, they must agree to establish society by collectively and reciprocally renouncing the rights they had against one another in the State of Nature. Second, they must imbue some one person or assembly of persons with the authority and power to enforce the initial contract. In other words, to ensure their escape from the State of Nature, they must both agree to live together under common laws, and create an enforcement mechanism for the social contract and the laws that constitute it. Is Hobbes opposed to the concept of a constitution? Why or why not? Constitution is sovereign because it lays out a complex structured government with laws to control the population. This means that the real sovereign is the will of the people, since the Constitution was created by and agreed upon by citizens themselves. Hobbes claims that such a constitution is impossible Hobbes assumption is that human disagreement is all pervasive; that the subjects of a commonwealth are incapable of reaching a unified interpretation of a constitution a
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