Skip navigation

(I shall summoneth my unguided train of thoughts on Hobbes, which is likely to be,  according to, well, Hobbes, disharmonious and lacking consistency and pertinence.)

From my understanding, what Hobbes is trying to say is that humans are utterly selfish beings who would do anything for self-preservation. This egocentricity, apparently, stems from our nature. Perhaps humans are born insecure, and this insecurity propels us to take actions to gain control over our surroundings. To achieve a “man’s conservation”, i.e. to protect oneself, one must do so by “augmentation of dominion of [other] men” (Hobbes 75).

In a war of every man against every man, “nothing can be unjust” (Hobbes 78). I never realized that justice and injustice are merely products of subjectivity. A man’s justice may be another’s injustice, especially in a state of war in which both sides present their respective distorted justifications. If justice is influenced by one’s desires, then what would become of a society? Would it slowly degenerate into a state of anarchy?

But mankind are plagued by the ‘fear of death” (Hobbes 78).

Desire for peace is only due to this fearfulness, which makes me think of human’s selfishness. And this goes back to the idea of self-preservation. To self-preserve, humans must compete against each other and achieve mastery over others – a process which is likely to instigate a war of conflicting justice and injustice – until they feel their lives threatened by fear of death that they choose peace as the best alternative to war.

And so Hobbes got me thinking and confused all over again, though I appreciate how he manages to explain almost every single aspect of our state of being, of our mentality, of our thoughts, and of our physical sensations.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Spam prevention powered by Akismet