State of Nature Essay

1854 WordsMay 16, 20128 Pages
What’s wrong with the state of nature? Refer to at least TWO theories that we have studied this term. State of Nature is a theoretical term used by philosophers used to describe a time before government, it is ‘the condition men were in before political government came into existence’. The theories I will focus on are Thomas Hobbes who has a materialistic and mechanical view of the world. John Locke believes man is free in the state of nature and according to Jean-Jaques Rousseau civilization has caused man to be self interested. Although all theories have similar views of the state of nature I will discuss their views of mankind without a state or governance. I believe that state of governance puts mankind in the same dilemma as the state of nature because both lead to the state of war, the state in which all these theorists want to escape. Hence why there is a contradiction in some of these studies. Or perhaps, there is nothing wrong with the state of nature; but the real problem is based on the want for absolutism. To begin with, Thomas Hobbes argues that the state of nature is ‘the worst possible situation in which men can find themselves. It is the state of perpetual and unavoidable war’. Hobbes has described the state of nature as being "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short", this is the description of the state of mankind. This pessimistic view of the state of nature declares humans as being self interested. A sovereign is the only way in which war and corruption will end. The state of nature is so distasteful that we would rather have a corrupt sovereign. Therefore we rather live in a state with morals then without any at all. In other words we choose the lesser of two evils by giving supremacy to a higher power in order to stop corruption; this allows us to "escape the state of nature". Hobbes’s book “Leviathan”, written in 1961, challenged the
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