Thomas Hobbes was one of the first Western Philosophers that the world had seen. Hobbess philosophies marked a departure in the English philosophy from religious emphasis of Scholasticism. Hobbes was born in 1588 in Malmesbury, Wiltshire. His father was a vicar of the parish during Queen Elizabeth time. He valued not learning and only read the prayers of the church. Hobbes obtained his education from his uncle and moved onto Oxford at the tender age of fifteen. By the time he reached Oxford he was already a scholar in Latin and Greek. He left Oxford in 1608 and began his companionship with the eldest son of Lord Cavendish of Hardwicke, later know as Earl of Devonshire.
Hobbes traveled the European continent three times in his lifetime. These trips allowed Hobbes to get most of his work down and he usually traveled with a pupil. His first trip he took was in 1610 were he visited France, Italy and Germany. This trip he took with is pupil, Lord Hardwick. He learned the French and Italian languages along the way. This first tour of the continent did not allow Hobbes to learn his life purpose, but he did gain experience that could help him along his way.
His second tour of the European continent took place in 1629 and lasted for two years. In 1628 his pupil and friend Lord Hardwick passed on and Hobbes had no duties to fulfill in the house. The second trip Hobbes took he had a new pupil the young earl, who was eleven when they left for the journey. When Hobbes arrived back he took over the education of his new pupil. Around the time he was educated the young earl, his philoschical views began to take place. It was not until his third trip across the continent that he began to fit in with the other philosophers of the world.
The third trip he was accomplice by the young earl, Earl of Devonshire. The trip lasted three years, 1634 to 1637. The trip began a new chapter in Hobbes life, he began to publish books and his theories were starting to be written out into books. During the trip he was an intimate of Meresenne, who at the time was at the center of the scintitific circle. That circle include the like of Descartes and Gassendi. His first publication was when he returned titled, Elements of Law and politic. This book showed the theories that he began to evovle for him during this third and final trip.
Hobbes fled to France for eleven years because of the fear of getting arrested from his book. He called himself a man of feminine courage. In France he taught the Prince of Whales, later known as King Charles II, mathematics. While in London he also wrote his most famous book Leviathan. This book should Hobbes views on all the theories and ethical decisions. It was published in 1651, the same year he moved back to England. He moved back because he felt safer now in England then he did in France. In actuality he moved back because his book caused him to fear arrest by the authorties in France.
He felt safer in England because of his former pupil took over the throne and Hobbes came into favor with the House of Commons. In 1666 however the house passed a bill to inspect his book Leviathan of charges of atheistic tendencies. This inspection caused Hobbes to burn many of his papers and delayed three publications of future books.
His philosical theories were that people could have more then one loyalty and that they could be competing with each other. Mainly he was talking about the loyalty to God. Religion was a big deal back then and he stated that God could have a competing loyalty and that people should decide what is best for them. Loyalty to a person or a king should stop when death could occur to you. He stated that loyalty is a social act and that anything a person does is self-serving. Anything a human being does come full circle and benefits them in a way.
A theory that Hobbes had, that I believe was pretty big, was that a person living in a world with moral rules is better off then a person living in a world without them. I did not understand what he meant but I do understand now. Hobbes was trying to say that without moral rules and values that people would be at each others throats and attacking each other. With rules and morals people get along with each other and are happy to help each other out. The reason why Hobbes made this point was because he stated that people are selfish creatures and he would do anything we could to get what we wanted. This would only work if we enforced the rules, and that would lead to safety and ensure people that they could trust each other.
Hobbes said strong people prey off the weakness of weak people. People have their own morals and their own morals will determine what loyalty they have to another. Hobbes also said that no man should give up self-assertion. Hobbes was a confusing person to try and understand but the more and more you read what he stood for, you realized that what he was trying to state. He meant that when you might have two competing values, take the value that will help you the most, as long as it does not lead to death.
He also said that people, during the state of war, have three natural causes:
competion for limited supplies
distrust of one another
glory insofar as people remain hostile to preserve their powerful reputation.
During this sate of was he stated that no morality existed. Hobbes was getting his point across by telling people that when push comes to shove that others will do anything to remain on top.
Hobbes says that we also have to end war because until the state of war ends each person has the right to another persons life. Beside that motivation others that Hobbes stated:
the fear of death
the desire to an adequate living
Unless we stop the state of was and qurlling among ourselves, people are going to try anything they can to do what they want with whom ever they want.
With this in mind I entered the group discussion confused but having a sense of what he stood for. I really could argue either way for the topic on doctor George but after the first meeting and listening to others I found that Hobbes would have lead to believe that doctor George is good thing and could save peoples lives. Hobbes said that every thing has to be self-serving and the act of self-serving was the money that the program director was going to make. I still was not sure until I heard some of the other philosophers and what they thought on the topic. Half way through the first discussion I really thought that I could argue more in favor of the show then I could against it.
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