What do you guys think of Thomas Hobbes' political philosophy

What do you guys think of Thomas Hobbes' political philosophy

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  1. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    Probably the most evil and cynical thinker in history (in a good way)

  2. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    The dude is a ridiculous genius, if he had discovered mathematics at a young age he would have been on par with Newton and mogged Wallis

    • 2 months ago
      Jon Kolner

      He was actually also a mathematician. He just isn’t remembered primarily for that.

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      He was actually also a mathematician. He just isn’t remembered primarily for that.

      he was a moronic crank mathematician who thought he had squared the circle and was embroiled in a bitter decade-long dispute with another mathematician who proved that he didn't

      • 2 months ago
        Anonymous

        That sounds funny. I like when Descartes called him a moron

      • 2 months ago
        Anonymous

        That sounds funny. I like when Descartes called him a moron

        shit like this is why I think they definitely would have posted here today

      • 2 months ago
        Anonymous

        Please draw with your own hand the geometry of hobbes and elucidate upon it or I will wite you off as a crank

  3. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    rhetoric for authoritarianism.

  4. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    Didnt go far enough

  5. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    As an ESL, reading the Leviathan in English is filtering me hard, took me 15mins to kinda get the first little chapter while the translation I read through in a breeze.
    I think I'll try reading both together to get the most out of it.

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      Any specific parts that gave you trouble?

      • 2 months ago
        Anonymous

        It's mostly just the ye olde English spellings and words, but put that together with trying to understand concepts that are kinda complicated, especially since I'm a complete novice to philosophy, and everything becomes incredibly hard to decipher.
        I just started the book yesterday, so I can't speak too much about any more specific hard passages yet.

        • 2 months ago
          Anonymous

          As an ESL I have the same problem anon. Good luck!

  6. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    He's mentioned in Graeber's "Debt. First 5000 years" book:

    > ... Thomas Hobbes, whose Leviathan, published in 1651, was in many ways an extended attack on the very idea that society is built on any sort of prior ties of communal solidarity.

    > Hobbes’ ultimate argument—that humans, being driven by self-interest, cannot be trusted to treat each other justly of their own accord, and therefore that society only emerges when they come to realize that it is to their long-term advantage to give up a portion of their liberties and accept the absolute power of the King—differed little from arguments that theologians like Martin Luther had been making a century earlier. Hobbes simply substituted scientific language for biblical references.

    I don't remember where I heard it, but somewhere I heard the idea that Hobbes' main point in Leviathan, about people being inherently unfriendly towards each-other and prone to war and chaos - he came to that conclusion under the impression of the events that he was a witness of.

    He witnessed war and chaos and concluded that people are inherently prone to war and chaos. That's where he's not right.

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      >He witnessed war and chaos and concluded that people are inherently prone to war and chaos. That's where he's not right

      How can you unironically type a sentence like this out and not realize halfway through how moronic you sound like holy shit lmao

      • 2 months ago
        Anonymous

        What do you mean?
        You mean he didn't witness a war? Or he didn't conclude that people are inherently prone to war and chaos?

        • 2 months ago
          Anonymous

          How can you know anything about history and not come away with the conclusion that a war of all against all is the natural state of mankind, a state which is only ever changed by imposing order on it from above with an iron fist. Him coming to such conclusions during a real war was just life forcibly opening his eyes to the truth. States of peace are states of luxury during which these truths can be ignored or outright forgotten if the peace lasts long enough.

          • 2 months ago
            Anonymous

            Those are wars between tribes. Inside tribes you often find peace, cohesion, and loyalty.
            I haven't read Hobbes, but I got the impression that he talks about people being at war with each other not only at the level of tribes, but also at the level of individuals.
            Like imagine a tribe where everyone is trying to kill and harm everyone else. That doesn't make sense to me, that's too much.

          • 2 months ago
            Anonymous

            You know group cohesion is only a thing because people who did not form groups were wiped out by those who did...right? Increased chances of survival against nature and other people are the primary movers of group association and cohesion. Bonds are only formed in order to fight others better.

          • 2 months ago
            Anonymous

            The existence of group cohesion is a big problem for Hobbes, right?
            Because he claims that there's no such thing as group cohesion, he believes in a total war of everyone against everyone else at the individual level. Is that right?

          • 2 months ago
            Anonymous

            No, because a tribe is also a form of a social contract.

          • 2 months ago
            Anonymous

            As

            Hobbes the one who laid out the first full theory of "that state of nature" and forever placed it in the halls of political thought.

            In the Hobbesian state of nature, a walk to get apples from a nearby tree could easily result in being seen by another individual and killed with a rock so they can horde the apples. It is a place where you steal from others and they steal from you, you kill and they kill, you suffer and they suffer. To escape this, Hobbes theorises that a social contract formed

            The "social contract" is another one of the enduring hallmarks of Hobbes. Hobbes is famous for his early and elaborate development of what has come to be known as “social contract theory”, the method of justifying political principles or arrangements by appeal to the agreement that would be made among suitably situated rational, free, and equal persons.

            But beyond that, Hobbes has pretty much been rejected. To put it nicely: "While his methodological innovation had a profound constructive impact on subsequent work in political philosophy, his substantive conclusions have served mostly as a foil for the development of more palatable philosophical positions."

            Hobbes, for example, was arguing in favor of an absolute monarchy, so of course that go rejected quickly. But his "state of nature" and his "social contract theory" both left lasting marks on political philosophy, although subsequent philosophers tweeked those too

            said:
            > In the Hobbesian state of nature, a walk to get apples from a nearby tree could easily result in being seen by another individual and killed with a rock so they can horde the apples. It is a place where you steal from others and they steal from you, you kill and they kill, you suffer and they suffer.
            That's the claim that Hobbes makes about human nature.
            But this claim is in fact wrong, because people form groups and do things together inside those groups. You can't say "but that's a social contract too!" because you would be moving goalposts. If you call all groups social contract, then it's everywhere, even in animals. Then the total war becomes a mere fantasy, a fairy-tale, a thing that Hobbes fantasizes about but doesn't actually exist and haven't existed.

          • 2 months ago
            Anonymous

            >That's the claim that Hobbes makes about human nature.
            >But this claim is in fact wrong, because people form groups and do things together inside those groups
            Yes, because of the aforementioned issues with walking to get apples yadda yadda. Tribes wouldn't form if there wasn't a necessity to do so, and people submitted themselves to it.

          • 2 months ago
            Anonymous

            The wolf has social contracts

          • 2 months ago
            Anonymous

            The argument Hobbes makes goes like this:
            There's a natural state of humans, and it is bad. We need to invent a mechanism to protect ourselves from our natural state, and that mechanism is a social contract, a government. That mechanism is not natural, it's artificial. And without this artificial mechanism we are going to keep killing and harming each other.

            So your saying that wolfs have social contracts doesn't make sense, because the social contract is not natural, it's an artificial human invention by definition.

            I think you fail to grasp the whole stupidity of his argument.

          • 2 months ago
            Anonymous

            Thoughts on the artifice of a bee hive

          • 2 months ago
            Anonymous

            >You can't say "but that's a social contract too!" because you would be moving goalposts. If you call all groups social contract, then it's everywhere, even in animals.
            This only makes sense to you because you have autism and need autism definitions to make sense of things

          • 2 months ago
            Anonymous

            Thoughts on the artifice of a bee hive

            Wolfs and bees exist in their natural state. They don't attend our human schools and universities, they don't read our books.

            Hobbes' problem is that he took the circumstances that he witnessed and starting thinking that it applies to humans in general, to human nature, to ancient humans that lives when there was no civilization.

            But you actually need civilization in order to get that chaos that he witnessed. You need to gather a lot of people in one place, make them compete for limited set of resources, civilization did that, naturally people wouldn't gather in such quantities in one place.

            It's the same error they do with the idea of a barter. Some economists thought that barter is a natural state for humans. In the beginning there was barter. And if you strip people away from civilization, they will come back to barter as their natural state. But that's not true at all, as anthropology shows. Barter appears in those places where there was a system based on money previously, but it collapsed for some reason, and then people temporarily switch to the barter system. But if you study uncontacted uncivilized tribes, you won't find barter there. So it's just a fantasy, a falsehood that some economists believe.

          • 2 months ago
            Anonymous

            look at the metal stuff this uncontacted Amazon tribe has,homosexual

          • 2 months ago
            Anonymous

            and yet they're not killing each other with those metal things, are they?

          • 2 months ago
            Anonymous

            They do kill with them, feel free to walk up to them and say hello

          • 2 months ago
            Anonymous

            Every man woman and child is armed and ready to kill in this picture

            I think you've lost a train of thought, reread the thread.

          • 2 months ago
            Anonymous

            Every man woman and child is armed and ready to kill in this picture

          • 2 months ago
            Anonymous

            >waaaaahhhh I don't want to speak precisely about anything because that's le autism
            stop doing philosophy then moron, it's clearly not for you

          • 2 months ago
            Anonymous

            [...]
            Wolfs and bees exist in their natural state. They don't attend our human schools and universities, they don't read our books.

            Hobbes' problem is that he took the circumstances that he witnessed and starting thinking that it applies to humans in general, to human nature, to ancient humans that lives when there was no civilization.

            But you actually need civilization in order to get that chaos that he witnessed. You need to gather a lot of people in one place, make them compete for limited set of resources, civilization did that, naturally people wouldn't gather in such quantities in one place.

            It's the same error they do with the idea of a barter. Some economists thought that barter is a natural state for humans. In the beginning there was barter. And if you strip people away from civilization, they will come back to barter as their natural state. But that's not true at all, as anthropology shows. Barter appears in those places where there was a system based on money previously, but it collapsed for some reason, and then people temporarily switch to the barter system. But if you study uncontacted uncivilized tribes, you won't find barter there. So it's just a fantasy, a falsehood that some economists believe.

            and yet they're not killing each other with those metal things, are they?

            I have a question, but it is prefaced on whether you've read Rousseau's Two Discourses on Inequality (not his Social Contract).

          • 2 months ago
            Anonymous

            No, I haven't read Rousseau unfortunately.

          • 2 months ago
            Anonymous

            The reason why I ask is because he has his own speculative anthropology in those two essays (which should only take you an afternoon to read, really). And in those essays, especially the second one, he points out that the origins of inequality existed before property relations existed.

            Yes, like Hobbes, Rousseau's account of the state of nature begins with individuals, yes it begins with the fact that no individual is "perpetually" strong enough to overcome the rest, or even to enslave one another under their own power. However, it is a state where anything is more or less honest. Then, humanity eventually progresses to a "pre-civilizational" society, and deception emerges as part of the game of gaining approval from one another. There are unequal desires (food, sex, status, fun, etc.), unequal centers of attention, and ultimately unequal resources within these primitive organizations, which are further complicated by the fact that everybody is presenting a "mask" to each other in order to get what they really want (and this is the key problem: not everybody can get what they want, as many of these desires pine after exclusive goods).

            Then afterwards, a hierarchy emerges, and then somebody gets the bright idea to preserve that hierarchy through some kind of primitive legal institution, and then the rest of society follows. But that's not even the interesting part of Rousseau. The interesting part is that he problematizes this idea that human "groups" are natural in that they are harmonious. They are almost certainly NOT harmonious in that individual needs conspire constantly to shatter the group, that these needs must be dissembled constantly, and that if everybody were to suddenly have those needs revealed in front of everyone, then "total war" would almost certainly break out.

          • 2 months ago
            Anonymous

            Sounds like Rousseau's ideas are more nuanced and less dramatic than Hobbes'.
            I heard that Rousseau is the one who romantisizes and idealizes the natural state, but turns out he talks about struggles inside primitive groups.

          • 2 months ago
            Anonymous

            You don't even know the half of it. 99% of what the public believes about Rousseau is completely fricking wrong, and sometimes it makes me want to pull my fricking hair out. We're still passing around fifth-hand smears from the French Revolution era

          • 2 months ago
            Anonymous

            He reads Graeber, anon, go easy on the poor sod.

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      >it is to their long-term advantage to give up a portion of their liberties and accept the absolute power of the King
      Not what Hobbes says. It's not "the King", but the "sovereign", which may be a monarch, an oligarchic body, or a democratic body. Number of rulers is indifferent, but he didn't say "the King", which is Graeber's polemics taking over.

      • 2 months ago
        Anonymous

        It's the justification, the "total war of everyone against everyone else" part that Graeber have a problem with.

  7. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    What can he offer that Schmitt cannot? Isn't Schmitt basically Hobbes updated for the modern age?

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      You haven't read either

  8. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    Readers new to Hobbes should begin with Leviathan, being sure to read Parts Three and Four, as well as the more familiar and often excerpted Parts One and Two.

  9. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    sock it to me in 20 words or less

    • 2 months ago
      Jon Kolner

      Do what the state says and if you don’t like it move.

      • 2 months ago
        Anonymous

        what if all the states are all israeli and gay? did he have any thoughts on that possible contingency?

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      Hobbes the one who laid out the first full theory of "that state of nature" and forever placed it in the halls of political thought.

      In the Hobbesian state of nature, a walk to get apples from a nearby tree could easily result in being seen by another individual and killed with a rock so they can horde the apples. It is a place where you steal from others and they steal from you, you kill and they kill, you suffer and they suffer. To escape this, Hobbes theorises that a social contract formed

      The "social contract" is another one of the enduring hallmarks of Hobbes. Hobbes is famous for his early and elaborate development of what has come to be known as “social contract theory”, the method of justifying political principles or arrangements by appeal to the agreement that would be made among suitably situated rational, free, and equal persons.

      But beyond that, Hobbes has pretty much been rejected. To put it nicely: "While his methodological innovation had a profound constructive impact on subsequent work in political philosophy, his substantive conclusions have served mostly as a foil for the development of more palatable philosophical positions."

      Hobbes, for example, was arguing in favor of an absolute monarchy, so of course that go rejected quickly. But his "state of nature" and his "social contract theory" both left lasting marks on political philosophy, although subsequent philosophers tweeked those too

      • 2 months ago
        Anonymous

        Thoughts on the cyclops and social contract

      • 2 months ago
        Anonymous

        ...but don't liberal democracies act really hobbesian in practice? The idea of "we must defend liberal democracies at any cost and with any measure or else we will fall into tyranny and anarchy" is an idea which practically every western liberal subscribes to.

        • 2 months ago
          Anonymous

          Like the average western citizen will gladly give up any rights and fulfill anything the state asks of him so long as the state tells him and assures him that it happens in order to protect liberal democracy from those who have been declared the enemies of liberalism, who might prove to be dangerous to liberal democracy.

      • 2 months ago
        Anonymous

        Thoughts on the cyclops and social contract

        the social contract is however you want to draw it up, everyone draws it up different. The ones Hobbes drew up got rejected, it's pretty much meaningless (Hobbes was centuries ago, he's back in the Shakespeare days)

        It just idea of a social contract that he's known for. The social contract HE wanted to negotiate has of course been rejected (he wanted to give up free speech, freedom of press, freedom of expression, etc)

        But we still think in terms of a social contract, thanks to Hobbes

      • 2 months ago
        Anonymous

        [...]
        the social contract is however you want to draw it up, everyone draws it up different. The ones Hobbes drew up got rejected, it's pretty much meaningless (Hobbes was centuries ago, he's back in the Shakespeare days)

        It just idea of a social contract that he's known for. The social contract HE wanted to negotiate has of course been rejected (he wanted to give up free speech, freedom of press, freedom of expression, etc)

        But we still think in terms of a social contract, thanks to Hobbes

        [...]
        the social contract is however you want to draw it up, everyone draws it up different. The ones Hobbes drew up got rejected, it's pretty much meaningless (Hobbes was centuries ago, he's back in the Shakespeare days)

        It just idea of a social contract that he's known for. The social contract HE wanted to negotiate has of course been rejected (he wanted to give up free speech, freedom of press, freedom of expression, etc)

        But we still think in terms of a social contract, thanks to Hobbes

        As [...] said:
        > In the Hobbesian state of nature, a walk to get apples from a nearby tree could easily result in being seen by another individual and killed with a rock so they can horde the apples. It is a place where you steal from others and they steal from you, you kill and they kill, you suffer and they suffer.
        That's the claim that Hobbes makes about human nature.
        But this claim is in fact wrong, because people form groups and do things together inside those groups. You can't say "but that's a social contract too!" because you would be moving goalposts. If you call all groups social contract, then it's everywhere, even in animals. Then the total war becomes a mere fantasy, a fairy-tale, a thing that Hobbes fantasizes about but doesn't actually exist and haven't existed.

        Hobbes gave us the term and concept of "the state of nature," which describes the hypothetical way of life that existed before humans organised themselves into societies or civilizations. Thanks to him, now philosophers ask: "What was life like before civil society?", "How did government emerge from such a primitive start?", and "What are the hypothetical reasons for entering a state of society by establishing a nation-state?".

        In some versions of social contract theory, there are freedoms, but no rights in the state of nature; and, by way of the social contract, people create societal rights and obligations. In other versions of social contract theory, society imposes restrictions (law, custom, tradition, etc.) that limit the natural rights of a person. Societies existing before the political state are investigated and studied as Mesolithic history, as archaeology, and as cultural anthropology, as social anthropology, and as ethnology to determine the particulars of the indigenous society's social structures and power structures.

        Major names that developed this after Hobbes were

        John Locke
        Montesquieu
        Jean-Jacques Rousseau
        David Hume
        John Calhoun
        Karl Marx
        John Rawls
        Robert Nozick

        • 2 months ago
          Anonymous

          We know exactly what life was like before civil society. In fact most of civilization could be considered as being prior to civil society.

      • 2 months ago
        Anonymous

        that is far more than 20 words

  10. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    Hobbes is generally regarded as the founder of British moral and political philosophy

  11. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    It is almost unanimously accepted that Leviathan is the greatest piece of political theory written in the English language.

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      Then why aren't there more Hobbesians running around

      • 2 months ago
        Anonymous

        It's not an infectious ideology,

        • 2 months ago
          Anonymous

          That's an interesting way to say that most people consider the book to be moronic

      • 2 months ago
        Anonymous

        It's generally at odds with the predominant liberal ideologies that dominate the Western world.

        • 2 months ago
          Anonymous

          Precisely my point, dear fellow

          • 2 months ago
            Anonymous

            Which is?

          • 2 months ago
            Anonymous

            That Hobbes is not widely considered to be a wise philosopher, merely a object of some historical interest at best

          • 2 months ago
            Anonymous

            Most people couldn't give a shit about philosophy period, and your "point" is that most people aren't explicitly Hobbesian realists?

          • 2 months ago
            Anonymous

            If your point was correct than there would be more Hobbesian realists.

          • 2 months ago
            Anonymous

            Are we talking about in practice or what? Because you can argue literally anyone acts like anything in practice and they just don't know it explicitly, which was I very specifically stated that they are not explicitly X thing.
            If I'm misinterpreting something please say so, otherwise I will write you off as an idiot.

        • 2 months ago
          Anonymous

          america and britain acted far more hobbesian in the world wars than lockean, and the leviathan (CIA/OSS) they built still rules them today. if anything restoring monarchies in the west would be far more liberal than letting this sham go on forever.

          • 2 months ago
            Anonymous

            Yes, but the ideological window dressing is against him, which makes it politically inconvenient to actually present yourself as one.

          • 2 months ago
            Anonymous

            What does "being lockean" mean?
            I know that it refers to John Lock, but what does it actually mean?

      • 2 months ago
        Anonymous

        Political realism is like that saying that the ideal woman is a lady in the streets and a bawd in the sheets or whatever americans say. You are not supposed to make yourself known as a realist in rhetoric but you would be moronic not to act like a realist in practice.

      • 2 months ago
        Anonymous

        It's not so noticeable because everybody is at heart a Hobbesian.

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      Then why aren't there more Hobbesians running around

      >Written during the English Civil War (1642–1651), it argues for a social contract and rule by an absolute sovereign. Hobbes wrote that civil war and the brute situation of a state of nature ("the war of all against all") could be avoided only by a strong, undivided government.
      sounds cucked

  12. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    My take is that he was correct about human nature being ugly and brutish. But an absolute state has no incentives to address the issues of human nature. Quite the contrary, an authoritarian regime wants to encourage degenerate behavior in order to conserve its power. So authoritarian rule ends up being less efficient in the long run.

  13. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    Kind of off-topic but why do I always hear the myth that the West didn’t become dominant until the industrial revolution? By the time people like Hobbes were writing the West was already colonizing the new world and was producing philosophers and artists that were without comparison. The West was literally always the best. The Middle Ages were an aberration

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      jews

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      The Renaissance period through to the start of the Industrial revolution is when the West was pulling ahead of the rest of the world, the Industrial Revolution is the equivalent of a bronze age tribe becoming a Medieval kingdom, while every other tribe was still in the stone age.

  14. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    His Homer translations are keyed.

  15. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    Honestly the whole Early Modern period only produced garbage philosophy that didn't understand the first thing about human nature.

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      As opposed to.

      • 2 months ago
        Anonymous

        Romanticism, analytical psychology, Heidegger

  16. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    Haven't read it but is it good for history, that is understanding the times Hobbes wrote in. the people and so on?

  17. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    Entire social contract theory and state of nature arguments are moronic and disproven by Darwin. Society is older than human species as it exists today, since it existed in common ancestor of great apes, and in different pre-human species down the evolutionary line. There never was a Rousseaus savage nor Hobbesian psychopath. Also he contradicts himself several time, for instance when he claims that humans are easy to fool with fake miracles, but that they are too smart to be fooled by someone pretending to agree to social contract. He constantly spergs out about Aristotelian philosophy but its just him claiming that because he doesnt understand it, it doesnt makes sense. The third and fourth part of Leviathan is the single stupidest thing I have ever read. If he genuinely believed what he wrote there he should have been institutionalized. So to sum it up, he is just an imbecile of no value.

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      I don't understand what you're saying. Gravity existed before Newton had an apple fall on his head too.

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