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Thomas Hobbes (1588 1679)

An English philosopher in the 17th century; he was known for his views on
how humans could thrive in harmony while avoiding the perils and fear of
societal conflict.

For Hobbes, he believed that every human were basically creatures of


selfishness who would do anything to improve their position. Left to them,
he thought, people would naturally act on the impulse of evil. (To be
discussed further in relation with his work Leviathan)

Being associated with the Cavendish family (during that time rich and
famous), Hobbes began to enter circles where the activities of king,
members of Parliament, and other wealthy landowners meet, and
thereafter his intellectual abilities brought him close to power. With these
channels, he began to observe the influence and structure of power and
government.

Later on he became linked with the royalists in disputes between the king
and Parliament, as the factions on that time were in conflict over the
scope of kingly powers. Actually one if his works which he intended no to
publish as a book leaked which speaks about political philosophy lead to a
bigger conflict culminated in the English Civil Wars, which led to the king
during that time being executed and a republic being declared.

Thereafter, with the influence of the young Cavendish family who are
scientifically and mathematically minded, Hobbes growing interest in
these realms prospers. Hobbes later on gained enough independent
knowledge which raise his reputation in various fields such as
mathematics (especially in geometry) and the like.

His love of mathematics and a fascination with science laid the foundation
for his great work the Leviathan which discussed the science of politics
based on morality.

Leviathan (1651)
Concerns the structure of society and legitimate government
Most influential examples of Social Contract Theory or Political
contract in political philosophy typically address the question of the
origin of society and the legitimacy of the authority of the state over
the individual. Some social contract arguments typically posit that
individuals have consented, either explicitly or tacitly, to surrender
some of their freedoms and submit to the authority of the ruler or
magistrate in of course exchange for protection of their remaining
rights. The question of the relation between natural and legal rights
is often as aspect of social contract theory.

The work argues for a social contract and rule by an absolute


sovereign an ironic. (Sovereign - is understood in jurisprudence as
the full right and power of a governing body to govern itself without
any interference from outside sources or bodies. In political theory,

sovereignty is a substantive term designating supreme authority


over some polity.)
He also rested on the idea and thus he wrote that civil war and the
brute situation of a state of nature ("the war of all against all") could
only be avoided by strong undivided government.
In this work he cited that MAN can either do summum bonum
(greatest good) or summum malum (greatest evil) which drastically
affect the state of nature although radically suggest the formulation
of certain laws of nature.
Hobbes is more particular in his work with regards to
Commonwealth: I authorise and give up my right of governing
myself to this man, or to this assembly of men, on this condition;
that thou give up, thy right to him, and authorise all his actions in
like manner. He explicitly rejects the idea of Separation of Powers.
Therefore it is best to speak that for Hobbes, Monarchy is the best
and practical grounds of Commonwealth with the right to
succession.
Hobbes cited Religion and Taxation where Hobbes explicitly states
that the sovereign has the authority to assert power over matters of
faith and doctrine, and that if he does not do so, he invites discord.
In taxation however, Thomas Hobbes also touched upon the
sovereign's ability to tax in Leviathan, although he is not as widely
cited for his economic theories as he is for his political theories.
Hobbes believed that equal justice includes the equal imposition of
taxes. The equality of taxes doesnt depend on equality of wealth,
but on the equality of the debt that every man owes to the
commonwealth for his defence and the maintenance of the rule of
law.
Finally, Hobbes in his work included the term Of the Kingdom of
Darkness which does not speak literally of hell or purgatory since
he does not believe on it, but the darkness of ignorance as opposed
to the light of true knowledge
His famous critic however (John Locke) quoting John Locke, who is accepted
as one of the founders of the liberal thought, has a different understanding of the
state of nature. Locke reveals in his book Second Treatise of Government that
the state of nature was or would be a peaceful life with perfect freedom. Locke
believes that human beings are naturally equal when we look at their use of the
faculties. He thinks that this equality between the same kind of species, creates a
kind of sympathy, mutual love between humans especially in earlier times during
which humans had to fight against the external dangers such as wild animals and
the force of the nature (natural disasters, cold, etc) by cooperating.