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Introduction to Political Philosophy - Lecture 13

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Lecture 13 - The Sovereign State: Hobbes, Leviathan II

Hobbes' most famous metaphor, that of "the state of nature," is explained. It can be understood as the condition of human life in the absence of authority or anyone to impose rules, laws, and order. The concept of the individual is also discussed on Hobbesian terms, according to which the fundamental characteristics of the human beings are the capacity to exercise will and the ability to choose. Hobbes, as a moralist, concludes that the laws of nature, or "precepts of reason," forbid us from doing anything destructive in life.

Prof. Steven B. Smith
PLSC 114 Introduction to Political Philosophy, Fall 2006
(Yale University: Open Yale)
Date accessed: 2008-12-29
License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA

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