Essay heading: A Reconciliation of Self and State in Hobbes' Leviathan

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July 7, 2006






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This is the first point in Leviathan that the reader is explicitly shown by the author that he is attempting to reduce "human nature" into a series of undeniable truths. Hobbes is apparently working with the theory that if one can define humanity in terms that nobody can dispute, then surely one can do the same with a social contract...
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Even Hobbes' definitions of the Passions are very unemotional, cut and dry performances. He proposes that the words good, evil, and contemptible are always used "with relation to the person that useth them," so it is indeed possible to define the terms axiomatically. Through chapter XIII of part one the reader has followed Hobbes' extrapolating definitions to his proposal that man's natural state is being at constant war with every other man...
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