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THE STATE OF NATURE In his brief introduction to the Leviathan Hobbes describes the state as an organism analogous to a large person He shows how each part of the state parallels the function of the parts of the human body He notes that the first part of his project is to describe human nature insofar as humans are the creators of the state To this end he advises that we look into ourselves to see the nature of humanity in general Hobbes argues that in the absence of social condition every action we perform no matter how charitable or benevolent is done for reasons which are ultimately self-serving For example when I donate to charity I am actually taking delight in demonstrating my powers In its most extreme form this view of human nature has since been termed psychological egoism Hobbes believes that any account of human action including morality must be consistent with the fact that we are all self-serving In this chapter Hobbes speculates how selfish people would behave in a state of nature prior to the formation of any government He begins noting that humans are essentially equal both mentally and physically insofar as even the weakest person has the strength to kill the strongest Given our equal standing Hobbes continues noting how we are situations in nature make us naturally prone to quarrel There are three natural causes of quarrel among people competition for limited supplies of material possessions distrust of one another and glory insofar as people remain hostile to preserve their powerful reputation Given the natural causes of quarrel Hobbes concludes that the natural condition of humans is a state of perpetual war of all against all where no morality exists and everyone lives in constant fear In such condition there is no place for industry because the fruit thereof is uncertain and consequently no culture of the earth no navigation nor use of the commodities that may
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