Hobbes’ Conceptions of Natural Law and Natural Right


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Essay #: 055660
Total text length is 8,256 characters (approximately 5.7 pages).

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The beginning:
Hobbes’ Conceptions of Natural Law and Natural Right
The English philosopher Thomas Hobbes, in his Leviathan, presents a complex conceptualization of natural right and natural law that is challenging and, often, seemingly contradictory. This essay will explore in detail Hobbes’ of natural law and natural right and their relationship with each other. The thesis will be argued that to understand Hobbes’ use of these concepts, and their deployment within the larger framework of Leviathan, we must consider the idiosyncratic nature of their use in Hobbes’ work given that his concept of natural law does not seem to have an obligation to obedience, nor does his natural right entail an obligation of respect. Rather, it will be argued that Hobbes’...
The end:
.....y on his own strength and art,
for caution against all other men.
(Hobbes 106)
Thus, while natural laws were a reasonable means of moving beyond the insecurity of the world of natural right, Hobbes asserts that these are themselves insufficient to foster human security. It is only through the erection of a common power – a commonwealth – into which humans impart their sovereignty, that security will be achieved. In this way, we can understand Hobbes’ conceptualizations of “natural right” and “natural laws” as integral elements in the progression of his larger argument – in Leviathan – towards the justification of the absolute sovereignty of the commonwealth.
Hobbes, Thomas. Leviathan. Ed. Edwin Curry. Indianapolis:
Hackett, 1994.