Hobbes – Social Contract Theory

07Feb 2022 by

Prompt Option 2 – Hobbes: Hobbes argues that without a social contract that imposes order on society, humankind lives in a state of nature, where life is ″solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short″ (Leviathan, Ch. 13). First, analyze the state of nature. What does Hobbes′ characterization of the state of nature tell us about his view of human nature? Explain how Hobbes envisions the transition from state of nature to commonwealth. What problems of the state of nature are resolved by living under a sovereign? Then, evaluate Hobbes′ concept of civil society. What does it mean to surrender natural rights to a sovereign?
 Does this imply an absolutist government? Explain Hobbes′ understanding of the relationship between citizen and sovereign. What limits exist on the sovereign′s power? What do you think: is the commonwealth that Hobbes proposes a realistic solution to timeless problems of governance? Why or why not?
 Use examples from the contemporary world to support your argument as appropriate.
Your essay should be submitted as a Word (.doc or docx) document. It should be double-spaced and between 1,000 and 1,250 words. Your essay must make direct use of relevant passages from the primary source readings assigned from the course. When making comparisons to, or interpretations of, contemporary affairs, you should support your analyses by making reference to authoritative sources (e.g. reputable newspapers, think tank reports, scholarly journal articles, etc.), rather than unreliable or non-scholarly sources such as tabloids, blog posts, or online encyclopedias.
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