Thomas Hobbes’ conception of the natural state of man without the presence of a governing institution is primarily asocial; man is in constant war with other individuals, motivated by competition, self-preservation and reputation. These selfish desires remain present in man’s natural state that impedes the creation of a harmonious society. In Hobbes’ political treatise Leviathan, he mentions: “So that in the nature of man, we find three principal causes of quarrel; first, competition; secondly, diffidence; thirdly, glory” (Hobbes 84).
Every individual is motivated by personal gain without any just cause to give importance with other individuals other than oneself. Man’s natural state is in constant conflict and may be considered primitive since the chaotic context provides no absolute conception of laws or moral codes in which to govern behavior among individuals. From the natural state, man progresses from its primitive consciousness, governed by reason, to aspire for peace.
Thus, the creation of society comes from the individual’s initiative to impose a right that would not allow man to do harm upon himself and other people as well. Hobbes’ natural condition of man implies the presence of subjectivity in the midst of its primitive environment wherefore laws and moral codes represent the need for objectivity in order for a governing body to be formed.
Indeed, man’s natural state is primitive and asocial; individuals naturally act upon instinct such as self-preservation, personal glory and other tendencies that leads to extreme individualism rather than an objective social reality. Man’s nature is selfish in essence as rational animals; however, reason separates the instinctive consciousness of the individual into forming social systems that naturally perpetuate man’s desire of peace and a harmonious society. Work Cited Hobbes, Thomas. Leviathan. Minneola, N. Y. Dover Publications, 2006.
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