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Chapter

Comparison - Aristotle and Hobbes
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Department
Philosophy
Course
PHI2183
Professor
Daniel Kofman
Semester
Winter

Description
Aristotle and Hobbes: A Comparison Daniel Kofman Could differences between them be blurred by saying both look at human nature and draw political conclusions? However that may be superficially so, the differences in approach are nevertheless profound: 1. Atomism versus sociality: Aristotle analyses individuals within the polis, which is a “natural” institution. It is natural for humans to live in society. So their social nature is evident and primary. Individuals outside of “civil society” (Hobbes) would be “like beasts or gods”, not even real humans. (Bk 1). For Hobbes, individuals in state of nature (outside of civil society) are morally competent beings with complete sets of relevant interests, and capable of forming compacts and other moral undertakings. ForAristotle this would be impossible. Typical interests of humans are engendered in society as social beings: desire for glory, honour, admiration, power, avoiding shame, ridicule, etc.And moral competence can only develop in social life (and even then not for everybody and not to the same degree). Political implications: Hobbes’atomism lends itself to a restricted understan
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