Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679) At top of image: Non Est potestas Super Terram quae Comparetur Job 41:24 [There is no power on earth which can be compared to him] Hobbes Overall Objectives: To put moral and political philosophy on a scientific basis
Contribute to the stability, peace, and welfare of mankind Why? Chaos and aftermath of the English Civil War (16421651) series of armed conflicts and political machinations between Parliamentarians ("Roundheads") and Royalists ("Cavaliers") over, principally, the manner of England's governance. Felt that earlier thinkers (excluding Machiavelli) had failed because they attempted to base their theories of society on
mankinds attaining perfection HOBBES THEORY: NATURAL LAW Created a code of natural law as morally binding and determining the purpose of society. Separated his notion of natural law from human perfection. Believed he had uncovered the basis of human behavior and human nature. Believes people have competing interests, and this has implications.
these competing interests = State of Nature. Implications of Hobbes Theory To prevent chaos, political and economic organization uses the force and coercion to hold society together. People ought to be willing to give up the same rights as they expect others to give them People ought to be satisfied with just as much liberty with respect to others as others have with
respect to them. Agreement to this by the members of society forms the social contract. Hobbes Social Contract The social contract is not between the citizens and the ruling power. It is a contract citizens make with each other to accept the rule of central authority. The minority accepts the majority decision.
A society so united forms a single body, a commonwealth, a leviathan The ruler is the absolute authority. The social contract remains binding only if its purpose is fulfilledi.e., that the citizens are secure. Hobbes : The Relationship between The Sovereign and Citizens Rights(Powers) of the sovereign: Enforcement of Law
Legislative power Judicial power Sovereign is not subject to the laws. Citizens retain certain inalienable rights or retained rights Hobbes Entitlement Theory Based on distributive justice. The guarantee of performance on contracts is the basis of all justice.
Without respect for (private) property rights, everyone has a claim on everything, and chaos reigns. Justice is not equal outcomes, but rather equality of process and equality of opportunity. John Locke (1632-1704) Lockes message: All government is limited in its powers and exists
only by the consent of the governed. All people are born free. Begins with the questions: What is political power? What is the appropriate end and objective of civil government? Answers: Political power is the right to make laws, enforcing them at penalty of death. Establishment of penalties related to regulating
and preserving property and defending the commonwealth from foreign attack, all for the public good. Lockes: State of Nature How does this contrast with Hobbes view. The state of nature is a state of perfect freedom and equality. The world was never without political or social structure. Political and social structure arise
naturally with humankind. People living together according to reason, without a common superior on earth with authority to judge between them, is properly the state of nature. Lockes Views on Property Property shared through natural distribution and Locke has a specific view of private property rights
Begins with the assertion that every person owns themselves and their labor. This is the foundation of all other property. Property acquired through just acquisition, earned through use of self and labor. Means of limiting accumulation is only required if there is less than a superabundance of property Only labor can create property. Transfer does not create property.
Locke on Money Money arises by mutual consent. It is a social institution that arises our of mutual trust. Money arose and hastened the end of the common. Money encourages people to produce a surplus. Money is an ability to accumulate, leading to an inequality of wealth. People accept this because it is in the common interest.
Locke on Government and Political Power Must be limited. Majority rule. Separation of Powers. There is no freedom where there is no law.
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