A Resolutive Account of the Hobbesian Laws of Nature: From the Body Politic to the Human Body

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Allen, Jeffrey
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University Honors College, Middle Tennessee State University
The purpose of this work is to facilitate a better understanding of how Thomas Hobbes’ interest in geometry and physics influenced his understanding of moral and political philosophy. He begins with sensation as a foundation, and builds a systematic structure for understanding the human condition and commonwealth. Since the Hobbesian laws of nature act as intermediaries between the state of nature and the nature of the state, they serve as the starting point for this work. Illustrative anecdotes are taken from Hobbes’ Behemoth and his translation of Thucydides’ Peloponnesian War. The laws are then resolved to their foundation. To understand Hobbes’ philosophy, it is important to understand the significant influence that geometry and physics had on his overall philosophical method. As such, this work aims to render in a resolutive fashion the Hobbesian laws of nature, so that their connection to the motion of physical bodies may be better understood.
Thomas Hobbes, laws of nature, Leviathin, ethics, political philosophy, 17th century, moral philosophy