Purpose of methodology in dissertation

Hobbes's psychological observations in the early chapters of Leviathan are about human individuals, not community members. Following the compositive aspect of his methodology, Hobbes "combines" individuals in a state of nature , a state prior to the formation of the commonwealth. In the "natural condition of mankind," humans are equal, despite minor differences in strength and mental acuity. Hobbes's notion of equality is peculiar in that it refers to the equal ability to kill or conquer one another, but quite consistent with his notion of power. This equality, Hobbes says, naturally leads to conflict among individuals for three reasons: competition, distrust, and glory. In the first case, if two individuals desire a scarce commodity, they will compete for the commodity and necessarily become enemies. In their efforts to acquire desired objects, each person tries to "destroy or subdue" the other. On account of the constant fear produced in the state of nature, Hobbes believes, it is reasonable to distrust others and use preemptive strikes against one's enemies. Hobbes also considers humans to be naturally vainglorious and so seek to dominate others and demand their respect. The natural condition of mankind, according to Hobbes, is a state of war in which life is "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short" because individuals are in a "war of all against all" ( L 186). In such a state, Hobbes contends that individuals have a "natural right" to do whatever they believe is necessary to preserve their lives. In other words, individuals in the state of nature are not constrained by moral or legal obligations as neither could exist prior to the establishment of a commonwealth. In the state of nature "nothing can be Unjust' since the 'notions of Right and Wrong, Justice and Injustice have there no place" ( L 188). Human liberty, for Hobbes, is simply the freedom of bodily action and is not limited by any moral or legal notions. A person is free, in other words, when not physically confined or imprisoned. Because the state of nature is a state of continuous and comprehensive war, Hobbes claims it is necessary and rational for individuals to seek peace to satisfy their desires, including the natural desire for self-preservation. The human power of reason, Hobbes says, reveal the "laws of nature" that enable humans to establish a state of peace and escape the horrors of the state of nature.

Purpose of methodology in dissertation

purpose of methodology in dissertation


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