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Leviathan or the Matter, Forme and Power of a Common Wealth Ecclesiastical and Civil

Autor:   •  April 25, 2018  •  1,402 Words (6 Pages)  •  175 Views

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Natural human egoistic motivation related to fear of injury and death were primarily and secondly, the passion for material and power possessions justified by the political ethics in Leviathan. One of the most central reason for people and one of their fundamental natural right is self-preservation for entering the commonwealths and state of nature. The author’s articulation regarding the normative egalitarian universal natural rights principles, are expressed along with rejecting the principle of divine kings right radically. Furthermore, his moral relativism is seen to be in conjugation with his rejection of all the moral objectivism claiming that the diverse corporeal nature are a direct explanatory of the value judgments and their multiplicity. The identification of the moral judgments has been discussed to be dependent on their appetites and aversions and also on the various mechanical movements away or may be from the material objects. According to Hobbes, the moral ideas do not exist and he defines good as anything people desire and evil as anything people avoid. This concept can be agreed upon as they only sense of evil and good is generated from the desires and fears of the individual and he articulately presents the correct fact that these concepts of good and evil are absent until these are decreed by the central authority of the society. I personally believe that this foundation and base has positioned Hobbes’ belief towards the absolutist and autocratic form of government.

His thoughts on no summum bonum and finis ultimus (Hobbes, Page 60) with no universal absolute common good are strikingly different and unique. He has expressed his political theory of authority by justifying it with the means of logical, scientific and rational arguments instead of the political legitimacy and its traditional theories on the basis of theology, convention or the divine rights of kings. By prescribing commonwealth, the author’s advice on being bound by superior power of sovereign for obeying the commands of government irrespective of the sovereign’s intention and moral content on these commands. He has assumed natural insecurity related to human life with absolute monarchy and described it in the most desirable government’s form.


- The author has attacked metaphor as abusive and improper use of language. Still he has employed strong metaphors for making his argument like Leviathan and state of nature. Why do you think Hobbes has used striking metaphors in the philosophical book condemning the metaphorical language?

- The contemporary critics of Hobbes can accuse him of atheism. Do you agree with the statement? Do you think atheism can be considered to be the correct assessment of the stand taken by Hobbes?

- The social contract or the covenant has been described as the “real unity” by Hobbes among the multitude of those natural men who have chosen to escape this nature state. At the same time, he maintains that "multitude naturally is not One, but Many; they cannot be understood for one." (Hobbes, 101). In case this multitude is not possible to be unity, how can be ascertain the claim where social contract has been considered as "real unity"?


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