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Leviathan, Hobbes

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Michael Modesti


Friday, October 20, 2017

Poli 207

                                                              Casual paper

        In the Leviathan, Hobbes argues that out of the state of nature comes a state of war. Hobbes outlines his independent variable as the state of nature and the dependent variable as the state of war. When men interact with each other in the state of nature, it develops into a state of war. The intervening variable in Hobbes’ argument is the equality of man. Since men are all equal they desire the same things and this leads to diffidence, one of the causal mechanisms that leads to war. Since we know that men value power and if there is no inequality men will fight to be superior to other men. As Hobbes states, “And therefore if any two men desire the same thing, which nevertheless they cannot both enjoy, they become enemies;” (Leviathan, XIII). With diffidence amongst men no man can feel secure and the feeling of insecurity heightens the probability of conflict. Men will continue to fight until there is no threat to him or his security by a higher power than himself. With the nature of men some will want to further their power passed what is required for them to be secure. They do this not for a strategic purpose but for pleasure. Men feel that maintaining their power from just defence will not last so the urge to continually conquer to gain power even if not needed is prevalent. All these roads to conflict all stem from the intervening variable of equality. This equality causes constant paranoia of other men because their abilities, desires and strengths match one another’s.

         The causal mechanisms that lead a state of war are “First, Competition; Secondly, Diffidence; Thirdly, Glory..”(Leviathan, XIII). Since according to Hobbes all men desire these things conflict will arise when men interact. The three desires of man each give a chance for conflict. In the case of competition man invades and fights for gain as Hobbes states. With diffidence men fight for safety, and with glory men fight for reputation. These causal mechanisms indicate how men can fight because a differing opinion or from a desire for one's possessions. Each one is a motivation for conflict that stem from the equality of men (IntV) found in the state of nature (DV) which leads to a state of war (IV).




                                                       Work cited

Hobbes, Thomas. The Leviathan . Project Gutenberg, 2009.



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