Hobbes: Leviathan

Hobbes: Leviathan
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Storyboard Description

Hobbe's 'Leviathan' (1651). An illustrated exploration of the structure of society and legitimate government.

Storyboard Text

  • Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679)
  • Leviathan (1651)
  • "The life of man is solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short…."
  • ...or "The Matter, Forme and Power of a Common Wealth Ecclesiasticall and Civil"
  • Catchy title, Thom...
  • "bellum omnium contra omnes" a war of all against all
  • Happiness in life is not the sating of all desire; one cannot live if one stops desiring.
  • Happiness is continual consumption of things desired. We are oriented not just to immediate gratification, but longer term guarantee of ongoing gratification.
  • ...we have different ideas about how to get it.
  • ... in the "natural state," it's a war of all against all. There is no law, no justice, no sense of ownership.
  • Silly Plebe. Only might determines "mine and thine distinct..."
  • In this way, everyone is equal... but, some are more equal than others.
  • Beware, if you conquer more than is really necessary to be safe, the others may build a coalition...
  • ... and kill you.
  • Hobbes: Three causes of quarrel...(1) competition for gain, (2) diffidence for safety, (3) glory for reputation.
  • Fear of death, desire of comfort, hope by industry to get these things can be obtained via a social "contract" of peace.
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