Essays /

Leviathan The Fear That Keeps Government Essay

Essay preview

The Fear that Keeps Government in Place
In Leviathan, Hobbes attempts to explain how civil government came to be established. He begins his argument at the most logical place; the fundamental basis of mankind, and makes several key steps in the development of human nature to reach the implementation of a sovereign ruler. Hobbes believes the foundation of mankind is motion. Man is in constant motion and the instability that forms from the collisions that ensue from the constant motion form the state of nature. The state of nature is an inherently dangerous lifestyle, where all members live in a state of constant fear. This fear drives man to consent to a social contract, which establishes a peaceful existence. The social contract is ultimately enforced by the sovereign ruler who uses fear of punishment to ensure man follows the laws created. Man essentially gives up one type of fear for another in an attempt to better human life. Hobbes essentially believes that one must discover how the natural person functions to determine what type of government should be put in place and how man can accomplish its formation. He therefore begins Leviathan by arguing that every aspect of humanity can be explained through materialistic principles, because man consists simply of matter in motion. Hobbes believes individuals are born as blank slates and the knowledge man achieves of the world is derived from external bodies pressing against him. This constant motion occurring inte...

Read more

Keywords

58 76 abid absolut accomplish achiev act addit agre agreeabl allow also although anim anoth argu argument aris armada around aspect assess attack attain attempt author autobiographi avoid back base basi basic battl be begin belief believ best better biggest birth blank bodi born brain break broken brutish build bump bundl came capabl caus ceaseth center certain civil collid collis come condit consent consequ consist constant constrain continu contract control cooper creat danger day death decid defend depart deriv desir determin develop difficulti discov disord divest downfal drive driven due end enforc ensu ensur enter entir equal escap essenti establish etern even eventu everi exist explain extern face fact factor fall fear first follow forc forefront form format found foundat fulfil function fundament gave generat give given good govern guard happi heard hobb hope horror howev human imagin implement import incess individu inevit infer infinit inher innat instabl instil interest intern invas involv keep key kill kind know knowledg lack last law lead leav leviathan life lifestyl live logic long lust maintain make man mankind manner materi materialist matter may mean member men messag method mind mother motion must nasti natur never nevertheless occur one oper opinion outsid p passion peac peopl permiss perpetu person place play point poor possibl power prefer prematur preserv press prevent principl protect punish purpos put quick reach reason refer relay repercuss requir resort restless right ruler search second seek seem self self-interest self-preserv sens sever short simpli situat slate social solitari sovereign spanish state step still strive strongest struggl success surfac sustain tell therefor thing though time togeth transfer tri truli turmoil turn twin two type ultim unrest upon use view war way weakest world wrong