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GVPT241 Lecture 4 1 14 Political Philosophy for Dark Times Thomas Hobbes 1588 1679 Leviathan Published 1651 Revised 1668 and Burned 1683 Parliamentary forces wanted to establish a republic Fought against royalist forces believed political authority was from the divine right of kings Authority does not necessarily come from God isn t from divine right Insult To call someone a Hobbist meant that you were an offender of authoritarian government Atheist Went to Oxford and finished at age 18 Was a house tutor Taught the children Was an intellectual advisor to the adults Was among the first to run away to Paris Argued that primary cause of this war was the spreading of false doctrines Hobbes Thesis State of Nature SN A time when men live together without a common power to keep them all in awe State of War SW A time of war of every man against every man not constant battle but a known disposition thereto State of war violent death and conflict is a possibility Thesis State of Nature State of War Hobbes 5 premises What motivates humans The desire for power o There is never a state when a human is satisfied with the amount of power they have they always want more o The only thing that stops this endless desire for power is death We are roughly equal o We are all capable of killing each other o Our intelligence you may not be as intelligent as Einstein but both are adept at figuring out rational means Fact of the world scarcity o There isn t enough for how much we want we can t share Hobbes thinks that people really delight in dominating others o Some people is enough to warn being distrustful of others in general Some of us are just anti social o We continuously make projects to obtain more power and do not socialize The Psychological Argument Problem Self Interest Critics say that self interest is not an assumption you can get away with because there may be evidence about that assumption Humans strive for power after power and are never satisfied People strive for equality but rough equality Compete for scarce goods The Alternative Argument Game Theory Problem Obligation Deep insight to certain formal properties and interaction The structure of the problem Cooperate Don t Prisoners Dilemma Cooperate Obey Sovereign Dominance Death Don t Death Dominance State of War The Problem of Obligation Arrange the steps into a social contract Deriving from the social contract certain features of what life under the leviathan looks like 5 Key Concepts Right of Nature xiv 1 4 Right of nature is the liberty each man had to use his own power as he will himself for the preservation of his own nature Right you have to preserve your life including anything that your reason and judgment tells you is conducive in preserving your life Every man has a right to every thing even another s body Liberty The absence of external impediments natural disease mountains o Interference by other people which diminishes your liberty Republican no one has the capacity to interfere with your behavior Hobbes as long as no one is interfering with you you re free The Fundamental Law of Nature General rule found out by reason by which a man is forbidden to do that which is destructive of his life or takes away his means of preserving his life The most fundamental every man ought to endeavor peace as far as he hope of obtaining it when he cannot obtain it he may seek and use all hopes and advantages of war First clause fundamental of nature to seek peace and follow it Second clause the right of nature by all means we can to defend ourselves The Derivative Laws of Nature You will only be able to do this as long as others are willing to do it If you disarm yourself you risk being taken advantage of Only be willing to do it as long as you know that others are willing Contracts vs Covenants Set up a covenant agreement that I will put down my sword if you do also Following agreements we ve made is Justice is to perform the covenants that have been made Covenant is a special kind of contract because the exchange is stretched out over time Discussion One or more parties bound by future obligations only valid if there is a common power that is able to enforce it 1 agreement 2 enforceable agreement Atheist Wanted to write without making others mad Social Contract State of Nature Everyone has the right to everything bad for him He hates state of nature Offers an escape through a social contract agreed upon covenant that people make between each other Make the agreement so that we can get out of the state of nature Any government that is agreed upon by the consent of the people is greater than the state of nature State of nature state of war because there is a threat of constant war Natural Right before there is government or a social contract everyone has a right to everything Natural Laws derivative of natural laws 1 Everyone should seek peace 2 Everyone has the ability to defend themselves Lecture 4 8 The sovereign is not obligated to us How to enforce a convenant Common Political authority How is it set up Creating the Leviathan Fundamentals Natural vs Artificial Persons o Natural person a human being yourself the instructor etc A person is he whose word and actions are considered either his own or is representing the word or actions of another man o Artificial person someone who s acts and words are not their own but those of something else If in court the prosecutor represents either the state or the people if defense you are representing the defendant o Actors Actions are those of things you represent Don t always own their actions Actions owned by those who authorized the action o Author owns the action that an artificial person carries out on Authors vs Actors their behalf Authors are bound by covenants actors are not The Great Covenant ch 17 A multiple of natural persons represented by one artificial person We authorize an artificial person to represent us We are the authors and the representative is the actor We authorize any actions necessary whatsoever to the end of getting us out of trouble When the actor acts to end the state of war by establishing political order the actor does so in our name The multitude of natural persons are authors the artificial person is the actor The artificial person is the sovereign o Rely on an actor in order to have peace o Authority is unbound there is no set of terms or conditions that it must meet we ve authorized it and own all of its actions Ways to establish a common law sovereign Common

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UMD GVPT 241 - Political Philosophy for Dark Times

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