The Relation between Laws and Legislators Thomas Hobbes, in Leviathan, and Immanuel Kant, in Grounding for the Metaphysics of Morals, present radically perspectives on our relation to the “Law”. This essay will critically explore both philosophers’ views, with particular reference to a range of specific issues in their respective texts, including: good will; the categorical imperative; liberty and autonomy; and sovereignty and dignity. Through a review of both arguments, this paper will reveal how Hobbes’ argument is fundamentally more persuasive given how it is better grounded in self-interest as opposed to duty. The distinct views of Hobbes and Kant with respect to our relation to the “Law” may be seen as crystallized in Kant’s argument...The end:
.....of society as composed of radically self-interested individuals, who strike a covenant to survive otherwise merciless competition, is more directly relevant to our perceptions of human nature than is Kant’s view that good willing leads to the categorical imperative by which reason determines our adherence to ethical laws. The reality of widespread unethical practices is indicative of the law of application of Kant’s theory while that of Hobbes’, it seems, incorporates a recognition of people as they are as much as of people as they should be. References Hobbes, Thomas. Leviathan. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008. Kant, Immanuel. Grounding for the Metaphysics of Morals. Third Edition. Trans. James Ellington. Indianapolis: Hackett, 1993.