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PP230 Final: Political Realism Notes

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Wilfrid Laurier University
Craig Beam

Hobbes Large Topic on Exam 1A. Political Realism The theory of political philosophy that attempts to explain, model, and prescribe political relations It takes as its assumption that power is the primary end or political action Hobbes Section A o We will be exploring Thomas Hobbes view on the causes of conflict and the conditions for peace, further we explain political realism o The philosophy of Hobbes is the basis for what Litke calls the standard view of human nature and politics Human beings are pitted against each other in a competitive search for power over one another Politics follows human nature this countries attempt to dominate other countries War is simply the continuation of politics by military means In some cases war is morally justifiable o Nature makes us equal, as to survive some of us have to appeal to our own strengths, and example of an equality from nature is strength vs brains Example: 911 U.S has military power but were not able to suppress o Hobbes feels that this equality gives rise to attain our ends, however the war in this scenario comes from some people wanting to acquire things that satisfy their desires, which are things that others desire o State of nature does not encompass international relations specifically, but the basis of civil society in general o The state of nature is a state of instability, a constant condition of war, a place where the life of man (is) solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short. o Believes the potential for fighting is always there o We cannot count on people to respect our freedoms in the state of nature o Because there are no laws, someone may kill us in order to take what we have o Hobbes believes that in the state of nature, war comes from competition, glory, and diffidence o Hobbes believed war could be stunted by a coercive power in place o Hobbes would believe we are in a war right now, and we will never cease to be in a war until we give up our rights to all things, and enter into binding contracts with each other on how we should live our lives o Hobbes believed there were three reasons to sought peace The fear of death Desire of such things as are necessary to commodious living A hope by their industry to obtain them o Hobbes believes that we should all strive for peace however we should never give up our right strike o If our fear becomes too great, than we should establish an international coercive power to maintain order
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