philo study guide

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University of Toronto St. George
Mark Kingwell

Hobbes Social Contract Theory: The act of giving up certain natural rights and transferring them to someone else, on the condition that everyone else involved in making the contract also simultaneously gives up their rights. People agreeing to the contract retain only those rights over others that they are content for everyone else to retain over them. Social institutions are the product of voluntary agreement among free individuals, Consent gives the government authority It explains why people are morally obligated at all and what they are obligated to do State of Nature: The State of Nature is the (hypothetical) situation in which people have no socialpolitical ties to one another, in conditions of scarcity. Hobbes holds that it is a war of all against all, as a result of factual equality and human striving for power, security, and reputation. The natural condition of mankind is what would exist if there were no government, no civilization, no laws, and no common power to restrain human nature. The state of nature is a war of all against all, in which human beings constantly seek to destroy each other in an incessant pursuit for power. Life in the state of nature is nasty, brutish and short. A hypothetical theory, it shows that rational being are act in way that only benets themselves. How people behave in society without laws or Social authority Results in a war against all when scarcity exists Factual Egalitarianism: Reasoning why the war against all would occur because everyone is going for the same thing, and because everyone is equal everyone can achieve the same goals creating competition Natural Right: The sole natural right he recognizes in the State of Nature is that each person has the liberty to use any means possible to preserve his or her life Natural Law: A Law of Nature is a precept or general rule, found out by reason, by which a man is forbidden to do that which is destructive of his life or taken away the means of preserving the same. A general rule discovered by reason that forbids a person from doing anything destructive to her own life and gives her the right of self-preservation. The laws of nature state that human beings must strive for peace, which is best achieved by contract. In a war of all against all, a rational person should try achieve: Peace whenever possible Lay down right to promote peace Abide by the contract Prisoners Dilemma (Game Theory): When confronted with a choice: Each person has to reason strategically to act in his own interest Hume argues that each person would choose the decision in their best interest and get the dominant outcome. Shows incentives in the state of nature Dominant Outcome The outcome that happens most often Optimal Outcome: The best situation for a rational person Assurance Game: Game where you need assurance because one will usually defect based on the dominant outcome; therefore it is necessary to have government control in order to have assurance and achieve the optimal outcome. (Stag Rabbit Example)
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