Hobbes and absolute sovereignty essay

Hobbes stanford

So Hobbes's argument for the absolute nature of sovereignty is not convincing when self-preservation became the only pursuit of human beings, as they would sign the social contract to protect their own lives instead of risking their lives fighting for a common good in the commonwealth. Hence, it does not follow that peace and harmony in civil society can be secured and guaranteed by the adoption of Hobbes's schema. Where this structure is present we may legitimately speak of human society, together with its sovereign, as a single independent state, and we may also speak of its law. Conflict will be further fueled by disagreement in religious views, in moral judgments, and over matters as mundane as what goods one actually needs, and what respect one properly merits. They appear to be on opposite ends of a spectrum as far as how much power a government or sovereign can rightfully posses. The philosophical edifice stands on its own foundations; God merely crowns the apex. The Philosophical Project Hobbes sought to discover rational principles for the construction of a civil polity that would not be subject to destruction from within. He sets out to establish that, if each individual were to be allowed the liberty to follow his own conscience, then in the presence of a diversity of such consciences, without constraint or discipline, peace and harmony in the commonwealth would be short lived, due to an all pervasive tendency to disagreement, and the concomitant danger of civil disobedience [10]. He claims that this will merely lead inevitably to disorder and war, and will certainly not lead to a peaceful order and good government [21]. Therefore the police wouldn't be able to perform his duty if he had signed the contract for pure self-preservation. Therefore it is impossible to require them to risk their lives for a higher good Bagby , p. They forbid many familiar vices such as iniquity, cruelty, and ingratitude.

That way the essay takes off immediately after the presentation of the thesis statement in the first paragraph. First, he notes that all sovereigns are in this state with respect to one another.

absolute sovereignty definition

McClure pointed out that there is a paradox arising from human nature, that how the man who signed the contract for fear of death and self-preservation can be required to in the service of national defensep.

The unwritten Law of Nature, though it be easy to such, as without partiality, and passion, make use of their naturall reason, and therefore leave the violators thereof without excuse; yet considering there be few, perhaps none, that in some cases are not blinded by self love, or some other passion, it is now become of all Laws the most obscure; and has consequently the greatest need of able Interpreters.

Hampton claims that his argument cannot show that people, as he describes them, would institute what he defines as an absolute sovereign. Therefore it is impossible to require them to risk their lives for a higher good Bagbyp.

People are equal because they are all subject to domination, and all potentially capable of dominating others.

hobbes sovereignty by institution

Hobbes certainly does not totally preclude dissent and, indeed, he emphasises that any decision made by the sovereign must be fair and just.

Further Questions About the State of Nature In response to the natural question whether humanity ever was generally in any such state of nature, Hobbes gives three examples of putative states of nature.

The structure constitutes an essential part of any human society which possesses a system of law, as the backbone comprises an essential part of the man.

Hobbes is often criticised for curbing our civil liberties and inalienable rights by depriving us of them in favour of the absolute sovereign.

thomas hobbes view on sovereignty

The Philosophy Of Absolute Sovereignty Essay - As a nation we are obligated to obey the rules and regulation of society in which was given to us by a higher power, the government.

Hobbes is principally concerned with the fundamental problem of human life in the commonwealth, and the manner in which conflict arises from those numerous, plans, projects and desires, which lead to the individuals action, and which are usually at variance, one with another.

Therefore, Hobbes' assumption of human nature and state of nature is problematic and undergoes criticism and query, so his argument for the absolue nature of sovereignty which is based on it is also doubtful and needs further discussion.

Otherwise, people will go back to the poor conditions of nature, which is a state of war.

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Hobbes’s Moral and Political Philosophy (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)