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Leviathan is a political book in the purest sense. For Hobbes, even friendship and love were forms of power.
Consequently, scholars have debated whether to classify Hobbes more as a rationalist or an empiricist. The answer is most likely both. In Leviathan, the author makes his most basic arguments under the fundamental assumption of human reason and observation. This dynamistic model is largely how Hobbes interpreted all of life: Therefore, in turn, a political map could be drawn in equally mechanistic terms.
This is exactly what the author attempts to do in Leviathan. In order to govern a state, one must search his own body, heart, and soul. After the introduction, Leviathan is divided into four parts: The laying down of rights is an act that Hobbes views as foundational to social contract theory.
One may either renounce or transfer his right. Leviathan begins in chapter one with the nature of man and then progresses to the commonwealth in chapter two.
Despite the fact that Hobbes believes war is the common condition of all men apart from socially contracted government, he holds a high view of humanity in its ability to understand and judge truth and falsehood.
|Bestselling Series||Back to Top Contractarianism refers to both the theory in Political Philosophy on the legitimacy of political authority, and the ethical theory concerning the origin, or legitimate content, of moral norms. Social contract theory provides the rationale behind the historically important notion that legitimate state authority must be derived from the consent of the governed, where the form and content of this consent derives from the idea of contract or mutual agreement.|
|One Future. One Europe.||One believes himself the others' master, and yet is more slave than they. How did this change come about?|
|On Rousseau's Conception of the General Will and Social Contract | Jacques Klick - benjaminpohle.com||One man thinks himself the master of others, but remains more of a slave than they are. There was no hatred, conflict or negative quality in them, as described by Hobbes.|
|Reader Interactions||Share via Email 'Rousseau is psychologically fascinating — he makes other thinkers of the age seem wooden. Getty Images Jean-Jacques Rousseau is generally seen, especially in Britain, as the worst sort of intellectual:|
In fact, all of human life is to be viewed in terms of power and movement: Like Descartes, Hobbes sees the human in mechanistic terms, and this mechanical lens extends to everything else…including the commonwealth. Leviathan is truly a transition piece between the Medieval and modern ages.
It is both democratic and monarchial, both religious and secular. For example, though Hobbes repeatedly addresses human rights, he also speaks of the absolute sovereignty of a monarch. Social contract imbues his social view of human ethics as well.
Consequently, the value of the Sovereign is so much that it appears he is afforded divine status in his Legislation: Such a social view of human ethics has dangerous implications, especially when the Sovereign is accorded such lofty status that absolutely no evil speech against him is tolerated and human worth is only as much as others define it.
What is noticeably lacking in Leviathan is a biblical definition of humanity and the imago Dei. Aside from his social contract theory, perhaps Hobbes is most well known today for his materialism. His materialist bent also influences his biblical hermeneutic. Taking an almost anti-supernatural approach, Hobbes believes that Christians should not approach the Bible as a modern science textbook, but as a guide for obedience to civil and natural law.
While this belief appears quite orthodox on its face, underneath is Hobbesian materialism.
Therefore, for example, when Scripture records stories involving demoniacs, Hobbes is convinced that these are not people possessed with actual demons, but simply madmen with physical and psychological affliction. To think otherwise is against reason. For one thing, if the world consists entirely of matter and motion, on what basis does Hobbes speak of rights, laws, and obligations?
Lastly, another distinguishing facet of Hobbesian rationalism is his emphasis upon speech. Even personhood is defined by Hobbes in terms of speech and action. Ultimately, Leviathan recognizes one phenomenon that is also recognized and explained in Scripture: Leviathan is an attempt to present a way out of such a condition.1 Notes on Rousseau, The Social Contract Dick Arneson Philosophy (notes for makeup classes) Double parentheses at the start of a paragraph indicate the material in that paragraph is comment.
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Historian Paul Johnson, in his book Intellectuals, offers an intriguing hypothesis. At the time Rousseau was writing The Social Contract, Johnson explains, he was struggling with a great personal dilemma.
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Apr 12, · The topic of the general will is always a topic of Rousseauian studies. It is central to his political theory. It is the bedrock which unites the first two books of the Social Contract, conflating the social contract to be the general will itself.