Hobbes: Arts One Makes Sense Now

Finally, a novel or discourse (not really sure what to call Leviathan as discussed in the first lecture) that I can really sink my teeth into. Although written in archaic language, Hobbes has written in a clean and precise way which I can comprehend and therefore appreciate on many levels. Hobbes, obsessed with defining every word so as not to confuse his readers or have his points mistaken with false meanings, has created a carefully detailed masterpiece. Perhaps I found Leviathan¬†an enjoyable read because it is so clear in the way Hobbes’ opinions are put forth. In other words, his writing is not convoluted, but easily understood. In fact, he ridicules the aristocratic “schoolmen” who, although speak in complex prose and are considered the most intelligent of all men, abuse words and their meanings and, in the end, speak less smartly in a way than the simple-minded folk of the time.

As I read along, I found myself agreeing with the majority of Hobbes’ statements in his well thought out discourse. For example, I am in almost complete agreement with Hobbes’ perception and rationalization of the church’s role in society and how it and the state should remain separate. I also strongly agree with Hobbes’ idea that upper class men take advantage of the undereducated citizens and guide them into believing myths such as witchcraft, which Hobbes discretely uses as a representation of the beliefs which the church instills in the less intelligent people’s minds. However, what I am inclined to disagree with or at least to be sceptical of is how Hobbes states that the value or worth of an individual can only be given to him by the “commonwealth” or by the market, as Professor Crawford observed. This, I believe, is true in a world where humans are treated as commodities. I think, however, that this is morally wrong, and I think many would agree with me here that each individual should be valued equally.

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