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PHILO 11.05 - The Leviathan

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Which of the following is NOT an accurate description of the state of nature according to the text?

Peace, social order, and justice are possible

What is the primary motivation for human behavior in the state of nature?

Preservation of one's own life

What is the essential characteristic of the 'Right of Nature' (Jus Naturale)?

The absence of impediments or hindrances

Which of the following statements is NOT true regarding the state of nature, according to the text?

It is possible to be a good person and act ethically

What is the primary reason for individuals to lay down their rights in the state of nature?

To limit their liberty in exchange for security

Which of the following statements best represents the author's view of human nature in the state of nature?

Short, uncivilized, and animalistic

According to Hobbes, what is the principal cause of quarrel among men?

The pursuit of glory arising from the equality of hope in attaining one's ends

Which of the following is NOT considered an essential component of human interactions and societal harmony according to Hobbes?

Absolute obedience to a sovereign authority

What does Hobbes suggest is necessary for the sake of peace and reconciliation?

Accommodating oneself to others and pardoning past offenses

What is the relationship between justice and covenants?

Justice depends on antecedent covenants

What does Hobbes suggest is the basis for the laws of nature that govern human behavior?

The principles of justice, gratitude, and mutual accommodation

In Hobbes's conception of the state of nature, what is the primary motivation for individuals?

Self-preservation and the attainment of individual desires

Which of the following best describes the role of a 'covenant' in Hobbes's philosophy?

A covenant is a mutual transferring of rights between individuals through a contract on one's self.

What is the primary reason for the establishment of a central authority or 'Leviathan'?

To protect individuals from the miserable condition of war in the state of nature.

Which of the following best describes the 'Laws of Nature' in Hobbes's philosophy?

The Laws of Nature are the precepts or general rules found out by reason in the state of nature.

Which of the following best describes the relationship between the 'Leviathan' and the individuals in the commonwealth?

The Leviathan is a product of the individuals' consent, and they confer their strength and liberty to its will.

Which of the following statements best describes the role of words and fear in the state of nature?

Words are too weak to enforce covenants in the state of nature, and a common greater fear is needed.

Which of the following statements best describes the purpose of the 'Leviathan' in relation to the preservation of peace and order?

The Leviathan has the discretion to determine the most effective way to preserve peace and order, and its decisions must be followed.

Study Notes

The State of Nature

  • The state of nature is a constant war, where individuals are insecure and kill others before they get killed.
  • In this state, peace, social order, and justice are impossible, and nothing is considered unjust.
  • Force and fraud are the primary virtues in this state.

Key Characteristics of the State of Nature

  • No common power or law exists, leading to no distinction between right and wrong.
  • Property is non-existent, and individuals can plunder, steal, and do as they please.
  • Being a "good person" is not possible in this state.

The Right of Nature

  • The right of nature is the liberty individuals have to use their power to preserve their lives.
  • It is the absence of impediments, hindrances, or obstacles to individual freedom.

Important Definitions

  • Jus Naturale: The right of nature, inherent to every person in the state of nature.
  • Liberty is used for self-preservation through judgment and reason.

The Leviathan

  • The Leviathan is a text that discusses the natural condition of mankind, emphasizing equality among humans in physical and mental faculties.
  • The text highlights the causes of conflict and self-preservation, including competition, diffidence, and the pursuit of glory.
  • It explores the concepts of covenants, justice, and gratitude as essential components of human interactions and societal harmony.

Laws of Nature

  • Laws of nature are precepts or general rules found through reason, guiding human behavior in the state of nature.
  • Justice depends on antecedent covenants, and gratitude depends on antecedent grace.

Covenants and Contracts

  • A covenant is not possible in the state of nature, as words are too weak and insecure.
  • A contract is the mutual transferring of right, but individuals cannot make an agreement with themselves in the state of nature.
  • A central authority is needed to uphold covenants and hold people accountable.

The Leviathan (State)

  • The Leviathan is a central authority that holds people to their covenants, ensuring peace and order.
  • It is the product of people's consent, where they confer their strength and liberty into one will.
  • The Leviathan has the discretion to preserve peace and order, and its authority is respected, even if the person holding the position changes.

Test your knowledge on the concept of the state of nature and justice based on the idea that in a situation of anarchy, people are predisposed to war due to insecurities. Explore the themes of peace, social order, and fairness within this theoretical framework.

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