Contrast on Observation of Human Nature Essay

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  4
Wordcount:  921 Words
Date:  2022-03-02


The state of existence is a phenomenon addressed by most philosophers in their journey for enlightenment. Human nature has been studied by two such political philosophers, namely John Locke and Thomas Hobbs. It is crucial to note that the age of reason, which was a movement that occurred in Europe in the early 18th Century, saw many philosophers rise to address common hurdles that influenced characteristics human beings possess. Political and social cultures influenced such Philosophers to endow their writing in understanding and mastery of what they fathomed to be human nature as it will be discussed. The two philosophers, therefore, each connoted a different view of what they perceived to represent human nature (Burgess 45).

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Thomas Hobbes advances a pessimistic literal view of what the state of existence entails. Hobbs first and foremost sets forth the idea of all human beings being equal; an unexpected contrary twist follows when he stipulates in his work that existence is held by those who fight self-permanent wars with themselves daily (Macpherson). Hobbs expounds that the presence of one person poses a threat to the life of the other human being. The theme of oppression is addressed by Hobbs when he specifies that it is politically right to oppress others when in power or a state of particular 'cunning' advantage. Hobbs, in his view, proposes that strength and the act of being cunning are essential parts of being in existence (Burgess 87). Hobbs then states that all human beings strive to satisfy the same want meaning that everyone has almost the same tastes and preferences. Hobbs warns that desire and greed are driven by the people who covet other people's property, and if one is given a chance to infringe on other's rights, there is absolute moral correctness. Hobbs finally states the ideology of human beings trying to outdo others in their struggle for survival and existence. He eventually coerces that the main reason why people are in a state of a permanent self and emotional war is trying to satisfy their prideful egos and attempting to maintain a certain level of social status and reputation (Hegel and Arnold 23).

John, however, seems to have contrary perspectives when it comes to people being subjugated by others in power. Locke advances the philosophy of having natural innate freedoms that are only constrained by the laws of nature. The ideology of self-sufficiency and the ability to work alone without depending on anyone is addressed in his literal work. Locke states that no one is allowed to inflict any harm to others on any grounds unless he is in an agreed prejurisdicted area governed by specific laws. Locke, in his work, therefore, permits the government to exercise absolute power on citizens. Locke has thus advanced an ideology of existence in an orderly way (Hegel and Arnold 45).

The Contrast on Why Government Exists and Principle of Social Contract

Hobbs and Locke formulated contrasting ideologies at a time there was political instability in England after the Monarch had been abolished and the time of Puritan uprising. Thomas Hobbs believed in a system of order with people denying their independence to a common rule of law. Hobbes believed in the creation of a Commonwealth state which he terms as a Leviathan whose sole purpose is to protect the interest of the people, maintain peace and tranquility in the country. The people were to choose a single leader according to his ideology, whom they would obey (Hegel Arnold 57).

Lockes, however, did not have the same view of creating a sole leader with absolute powers. John Locke believed in separating the powers to three arms of the government, each representing a defined executive power. Locke thought that the sheer power of the Monarch was not sufficient enough to protect the interests of the people (Macpherson 64).

Social Contract

Thomas Hobbes believed that the existence of a contract between the people and the state to appoint one sole leader would be valid as the Monarch would execute absolute powers over their subjects. Locke was, however, impartial to the Monarch as he advocated for an exponential separation of powers to Judiciary, legislature and the executive. He believed that once the government was divided into three arms, there would be equal representation of the people.

How the Two Ideologies Shaped the American System of Government

American system comprises of both the two ideologies merged into a democratic state. The method of the American government borrowed a leaf from Locke's doctrine of separation of powers. It also gave the legislature more skills with the Judiciary taking the role of maintaining peace, as demonstrated by Locke (Roscoe 30).


Federalism is a system of governance that courses different states within a jurisdiction area, each maintaining its rudimental political rectitude.

How Federalism Differs From Unitary and Confederate Systems of Governance

Federalism system of government involves powers shared between one major central organ of government while the other provinces are given legislative roles. The Unitary form of government gives the central power all the governing, and control is not divided between other weaker states (Roscoe 32). Confederate system of government gives the choice of other countries to unite and follow one powerful central government.

Works Cited

Burgess, Michael. Federalism and the European Union: the building of Europe, 1950-2013 Routledge, 2012

Hegel, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich, Arnold Vincent Miller, and John Niemeyer Findlay. "Phenomenology of spirit." (2017)

Macpherson, Crawford Brough, and Frank Cunningham. The political theory of possessive individualism: Hobbes to Locke. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2013

Roscoe, Douglas D. The promise of democratic equality in the United States. Routledge, 2018.

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