A concise and incisive analysis by Sharon A.
Internet Sources Even more than Bacon, Thomas Hobbes illustrated the transition from medieval to modern thinking in Britain.
His Leviathan effectively developed a vocabulary for philosophy in the English language by using Anglicized versions of the technical terms employed by Greek and Latin authors. Careful use of words to signify common ideas in the mind, Hobbes maintained, avoids the difficulties to which human reasoning is most obviously prone and makes it possible to articulate a clear conception of reality.
Leviathan I 4 For Hobbes, that conception is bound to be a mechanistic one: The chief purpose of scientific investigation, then, is to develop a geometrical account of the motion of bodies, which will reveal the genuine basis of their causal interactions and the regularity of the natural world.
Thus, Hobbes defended a strictly materialist view of the world. Human Nature Human beings are physical objects, according to Hobbessophisticated machines all of whose functions and activities can be described and explained in purely mechanistic terms. Even thought itself, therefore, must be understood as an instance of the physical operation of the human body.
Sensation, for example, involves a series of mechanical processes operating within the human nervous system, by means of which the sensible features of material things produce ideas in the brains of the human beings who perceive them.
Leviathan I 1 Human action is similarly to be explained on Hobbes's view. Specific desires and appetites arise in the human body and are experienced as discomforts or pains which must be overcome. Thus, each of us is motivated to act in such ways as we believe likely to relieve our discomfort, to preserve and promote our own well-being.
Leviathan I 6 Everything we choose to do is strictly determined by this natural inclination to relieve the physical pressures that impinge upon our bodies. Human volition is nothing but the determination of the will by the strongest present desire. Hobbes nevertheless supposed that human agents are free in the sense that their activities are not under constraint from anyone else.
On this compatibilist view, we have no reason to complain about the strict determination of the will so long as we are not subject to interference from outside ourselves.
Leviathan II 21 As Hobbes acknowledged, this account of human nature emphasizes our animal nature, leaving each of us to live independently of everyone else, acting only in his or her own self-interest, without regard for others.
This produces what he called the "state of war," a way of life that is certain to prove "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short. Leviathan I 14 Human Society Unable to rely indefinitely on their individual powers in the effort to secure livelihood and contentment, Hobbes supposed, human beings join together in the formation of a commonwealth.
Thus, the commonwealth as a whole embodies a network of associated contracts and provides for the highest form of social organization. On Hobbes's view, the formation of the commonwealth creates a new, artificial person the Leviathan to whom all responsibility for social order and public welfare is entrusted.
Leviathan II 17 Of course, someone must make decisions on behalf of this new whole, and that person will be the sovereign.
The commonwealth-creating covenant is not in essence a relationship between subjects and their sovereign at all. Rather, what counts is the relationship among subjects, all of whom agree to divest themselves of their native powers in order to secure the benefits of orderly government by obeying the dictates of the sovereign authority.
Leviathan II 18 That's why the minority who might prefer a different sovereign authority have no complaint, on Hobbes's view: The sovereign is nothing more than the institutional embodiment of orderly government. Since the decisions of the sovereign are entirely arbitrary, it hardly matters where they come from, so long as they are understood and obeyed universally.
Regarding these three forms, however, Hobbes himself maintained that the commonwealth operates most effectively when a hereditary monarch assumes the sovereign role.
Leviathan II 19 Investing power in a single natural person who can choose advisors and rule consistently without fear of internal conflicts is the best fulfillment of our social needs. Thus, the radical metaphysical positions defended by Hobbes lead to a notably conservative political result, an endorsement of the paternalistic view.
Hobbes argued that the commonwealth secures the liberty of its citizens. Genuine human freedom, he maintained, is just the ability to carry out one's will without interference from others.Johann Gottfried Herder offers a strikingly different view about human nature and human ideas and motivations.
Philosophy of history, Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall “Interpretation and the Sciences of Man”, in Philosophy and the Human Sciences: Philosophical Papers 2, C.
Taylor (ed.), Cambridge: Cambridge University. Approaching the issue of motivation from an ethical perspective can resolve the dilemma of how to deeply motivate employees. A core principle of ethical philosophy is that all people should be treated as ends and not as means to other ends.
Philosophy and the Science of Human Nature pairs central texts from Western philosophical tradition (including works by Plato, Aristotle, Epictetus, Hobbes, Kant, Mill, Rawls, and Nozick) with recent findings in cognitive science and related fields. George Berkeley, Bishop of Cloyne, was one of the great philosophers of the early modern period.
the Treatise Concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge (Principles, for short) He was also a wide-ranging thinker with interests in religion (which were fundamental to his philosophical motivations), the psychology of vision, mathematics.
What are the top 10 big philosophical questions most people wonder about? Update Cancel. ad by EverQuote. Below is my list of philosophical issues that I think concern people the most.
who did not have the kind of choices that the masters enjoyed.
Douglas McGregor developed a philosophical view of humankind with his Theory X and Theory Y (McGregor, ), which are two opposing perceptions about how people view human behavior at work and organizational life.