Lisa asked in Arts & HumanitiesPhilosophy · 3 weeks ago

Does Hobbes ultimately allow that people like what they like, or does his teaching strive to alter the objects of people’s appetites?

Hi I am currently writing an essay on this Hobbes' Leviathan and need a little help on this question, I can't decide if appetites and aversions are those innate within all men and women and that they each identify their own likes and dislikes as they go through life, the confusing part here is I am not sure whether Hobbes' is trying to change these appetites, or is just "nudging" people's appetites into the right direction of his idea state, would that count as altering? What if its both that he allows them to like what they like but also try to push them in the right direction in life.

Full Question:

Does Hobbes ultimately allow that people like what they like and want what they want, or

does his teaching fundamentally strive to alter the objects of people’s appetites and the

intensity of their passions?

5 Answers

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  • j153e
    Lv 7
    3 weeks ago
    Favorite Answer

    Both (when the question's phrasing is clarified).  Passions in the state of nature are for Hobbes like a herd of cats (each going her own way).  This may be elaborated by applying e.g. Porter's five forces analysis (which is somewhat a state of nature, aka free market competition):  e.g., new cat on the block; the bargaining power of various cats; rival cat alliances; changes in the fish supply; etc.

    Hobbes posits that cats (or humans, businesses, sports leagues, etc.) need a "common measure"--like the function of currency (money as a means of exchange)--the reasoning (as a means of exchanging and harmonizing passions) by Big Brother, the adult in the room, the cat shepherd, the Sovereign.

    The illogic of the question ought be made clear by this restatement:  Hobbes *fundamentally* posits state-of-nature cat-herd passions and *ultimately* strives to alter the cat-herd state of nature by the cat shepherd, the Sovereign. 

    p.s. The garbled quality of the question imho does not reflect a particular teaching tactic, but an incomplete understanding of the fundamental point Hobbes is making: that natural man is nasty and brutish, and as unorganized passionate individuals, benefit by some kind of overarching directive.

    If your instructor has not clearly appreciated Hobbes, and also promotes a socialist or marxian analysis, there may be a psychological dynamic termed by some "infantile leftism": that which (particularly early) Marx portrayed; in fine, infantile leftism is a developmental fixation on the oceanic, oral aspect of mother, combined with a strong resistance to father as muscular working reality principle. In sub-Saharan African folk wisdom, the following exegesis of infantile leftism (given in its more polite form): the child may play with the mother's breasts, but not with the father's testicles.

    Voltaire's and Marx' infantile leftism posited a happy primitives fantasy, arising per Voltaire's and Marx' infantile leftist notion of all is good at mother's social breasts, and bad daddy warbucks spoils the mood. In point of fact, modern anthropology has proven that Hobbes' assessment of primitive societies as nasty and brutish is accurate, and modern psychology of healthy individuals has found that muscular or capable self-actualization re mastery of levels of work is indeed the way: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maslow's_hierarchy_o... and also Dr. Maria Montessori's work https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maria_Montessori which demonstrated that children who are interested in what they are themselves are able to do, learn better.

    Infantile leftism as doctrinaire socialism or marxism simply has not learned the basic truths about human nature, society, and productivity; the garbled quality of your presumably class-originated question does raise a concern as to whether the instructor simply hasn't clearly read and understood the basic line Hobbes posits, or whether the garbling also reflects a psychologistically-based present lack of capability to understand the general dynamic of successful individuals and polities.

  • 3 weeks ago

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  • From what I understand, the sovereign is given the position of superior, and all under his dominion are to be molded by his dicates. To Hobbes, man governing himself is fated to a downfall, and must be re-engineered into the man under sovereign.

    Its kind of like the Oriental philosophy of The Mandate of Heaven and the Ruler of Heaven, where the dictator/ruler is conditioned and learnt in such a manner as to be able to rule the best.

    It also coincides with the philosopher King (of Plato), but I am not aware of any mention of this (P.K.) in Hobbesian philosophy. 

  • 3 weeks ago

    youre going to get a d- dylan, stop trying

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  • 3 weeks ago
    • That cartoon depicts what is happening in most parts of our world, where thought inferiors and superiors are at conflict and battle with one another. The question: Who will listen to who?

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