Ch1_The State of Nature.doc

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Western University
Political Science
Political Science 1020E
Charles Jones

Chapter 1: The State of Nature I. Thomas Hobbes (1588- 1679) A. State of Nature 1.Leviathan (1651) -Civil war leads to anarchy - Protection of state is important without it there will be a war of all against all - Fear of death leads to creation of state - Without state the search of felicity leads to war of all against all B. Human nature 1. 2 key understanding of human nature - Self-Knowledge - Introspection: thoughts, hopes, fears - Knowledge of general principle of physics -- Must understand matter (what we are composed of) to understand human nature 2. Conservation of motion (Adopted from Galileo) - Objects will travel at constant motion and direction until acted on by another force - Applied to human nature -- Hobbes believe humans being are always searching for something – never with desire - Felicity (success of getting what we want) -- Human beings seek secure felicity – bring us to war C. Definition of Power 1. Must be powerful to achieve felicity - Sources of power: friends, riches, and reputation 2. Human beings always seek to acquire more power because they cannot be assured that the power they have will guarantee to maintain their standard of living or achieving felicity 3. Seeking for power is competitive D. Equality, Scarcity and Uncertainty 1. Everyone have roughly the same level of strength and skill - Anyone could kill another -- The weakest has enough strength to kill the strongest 2. State of nature will have scarcity of goods - People will likely to be in competition for the same things 3. Uncertainty (no one is safe from an attack) - 3 reasons for attack in a state of nature - For gain - For safety (pre-emptive strike) - For reputation (wane off others) E. Natural Right of Liberty (the issue of morality) 1. Everyone has the right to do what they see fit or what is necessary to protect their goods or life - Injustice involves breaching of a law -- State of nature consist of no laws, law makers or enforcement -- Thus, everyone could use their judgment to determine what is unjust F. Laws of Nature 1. 19 laws - Could be summed in one phrase: do not do to other what one does not want do to one self -- Reversed of the bible’s golden rule 2. Hobbes viewed them as theorems or conclusion reason - Follows these law will increase chance of preserving one’s life 3. Collective rationality - Individual rationality is to attack other which led to a state of war 4. Should only be obeyed if others around us are known to be obeying them as well - Otherwise will be falling prey to attacks G. Sovereign State 1. Keep people to the law/ punish those who break the law - No reason to attack the people can securely follow the laws of nature II. John Locke A. Sir Robert Filmer (1588-1653) 1. Divine Right of the K
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