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Word Count: 1,019
The word leviathan has come to mean the largest or most massive thing of its kind Thomas Hobbess Leviathan fits that description perfectly as the audacious scope of his 1651 treatise on philosophy politics and religion has few equals It was at once the birth of political science an indictment of the prevailing scholastic tradition and a groundbreaking piece of moral thinking Despite the grand scale of the work Hobbes maintains a focused central purpose throughout He seeks to caution society of the inherent horrors of the State of Nature a state which he sees as one of continuall feare and danger of violent death Thankfully Hobbes further strives to instruct mankind in how to avoid and escape this state This negative perception of mans natural state stems from Hobbes opinion that human beings are not naturally good In fact Hobbes went so far as to say that there is no all-encompassing quality of goodness by which other things can be judged and labeled It cannot be found tangibly anywhere in the real world and is as such a subjective term whose meaning will naturally differ from person to person Furthermore each human being is an individual causal creature whose actions are governed by his or her own particular desires and aversions People act only in accordance with their own individual desires and unrestrained these can very easily intersect and conflict with those of another The principal and most universal of these desires are those which may be termed instrumental the desire for continued life and the desire for power They may be called this because by satisfying them we are able to better ensure the satisfaction of all further desires It is not hard to envision how these desires especially the desire for power can lead human beings into conflict Hobbes sees an innate competitiveness in man or rather a desire to quash competition which leads individuals to strive to acquire more
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