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Essay: What is the natural condition of man according to Aristotle and Hobbes?

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  • Subject area(s): Philosophy essays
  • Reading time: 2 minutes
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  • Published: 3 October 2015*
  • File format: Text
  • Words: 406 (approx)
  • Number of pages: 2 (approx)

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Both Aristotle, an enormous Greek philosopher, and Thomas Hobbes, an English modern philosopher who is famous for his work on political philosophy and philosophical absolutism. Aristotle lived in a Greek Empire when Alexander the Great conquered the World. Hobbes lived during a war as well: English Civil War in the 17 th history. It is not difficult to assume that the war conditions influenced their outlooks: this conclusion can explain the differences between their approaches to life, a man in state of nature, human associations, etc. The main discrepancy is based upon their standpoint on the natural condition of a man: for Aristotle, a man is subject to community as a “by naturr political animal”, but for Hobbes,” man is naturally ordered toward the individual, and that individual is himself” . In my point of view, each man is individual according to Hobbes and just a part of whole according to Aristotle in a natural state.
By saying ” an individual who is unsocial naturally and not accidentally is either beneath our notice or more than human” he implied that only a few people who are out of the state can be encountered. Political city state itself seems natural and was formed naturally; therefore, Aristotle explains
how the city was naturally formed by humans in terms of natural association. First, man and woman covers the most inner component in order to maintain the generation, and , as a result, family is established. Thereafter, village seemed momentous and is created to afford more than daily needs. Similarly, the outer element city/state was set up to supply self-sufficing things. Consequently, state seems quite natural and necessary to Aristotle. In addition to the structure,there are slaves as well: conventional and natural.(the first- who incured because of war, the second-who can not govern their desires)
In contrast to Aristotle, a natural condition of a man does not result in political state as a state of nature but a ‘solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short’ life according to T.Hobbes. A state of nature comprises a core of ‘bellum omnium contra omnes (a war of all against all)’. Though humans are equal, physical impotence may lead to difficulty for some people to defend themselves and properties; thus, they should come to agreement and choose one to give absolute power. Because without invincible absolute ruler all men will kill each other, they have to withdraw their freedom and let the one control them.

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