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TWO VIEWS ON THE STATE OF NATURE What would life and human relations be like in the absence of government Political and social theorist Thomas Hobbes was the first to attempt to illustrate this condition using an intellectual device - a thought experiment known as the State of Nature The following quote taken from Hobbes book Leviathan offers this disturbing account 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 be imported by sea no commodious Building no Instruments of moving and removing such things as require much force no Knowledge of the face of the earth no account of Time no Arts no Letters no Society and which is worst of all continual fear and danger of violent death And the life of man solitary poor nasty brutish and short For Hobbes the state of nature was not an actual period in history but rather a way of rationalizing how people would act in their most basic state Advancing on the individualism put forth by Rene Descartes I think therefore I am Hobbes uses the individual as the building block from which all of his theories spring Rather than using a humanistic approach Hobbes formulated his theories by way of empirical observation He believed that everything in the universe was simply atoms in motion and that geometry and mathematics could be used to explain human behavior According to his theories there were two types of motion in the universe Vital involuntary motion such as heart rate etc and Voluntary things that we choose to do Voluntary motion was further broken into two categories that Hobbes believed were reducible to mathematical equations -Desires and Aversions Desires were things one was moved to or
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