Monthly Archives: November 2014

Human Nature in The Leviathan

I found chapter 13 to be the most interesting chapter in The Leviathan. In chapter 13, Hobbes describes what he believes to be human beings’ natural state. He sees the natural state as one of war, violence, and selfishness.

I ¬†agree that human nature is determined by the physical nature of humans. I believe that most aspects of humanity and human behavior can be understood through the analysis of biology and evolution. However, I’d tend to disagree that humans are naturally in a state of war and selfishness. Hobbes does not clearly acknowledge family relationships such as the one between a mother and her baby, and I think those types of relationships are significant indications of natural positivity and selflessness. I think humans have evolved to naturally care for each other. I think humans have evolved feelings of sympathy and kindness as well as feelings of disgust and guilt in order for the species to advance and be able to form civilizations and live socially. ¬†Therefore, although war and selfishness may occur naturally, peace and selflessness can also occur naturally without the presence of a government because positive social qualities are necessary for humanity to thrive.