Homework Help

In Leviathan, the condition that men are in during the time they live "without a common...

user profile pic

dmartin3 | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted April 24, 2011 at 12:40 PM via web

dislike 1 like

In Leviathan, the condition that men are in during the time they live "without a common power to keep them all in awe" is called...

 

1 Answer | Add Yours

user profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted April 24, 2011 at 12:47 PM (Answer #1)

dislike 2 like

So are you just asking what this time is called?  This time is called the state of nature.  In the state of nature, there is what is often called the war of each against all, though Hobbes' own words said that this war "is of every man, against every man."

According to Hobbes, this is why there is a need for a strong government.  If there is no strong government to keep everyone in awe, the people will simply fight against one another all the time.  They will constantly be trying to take each other's lands or possessions.  In this case, as Hobbes' famous line goes, people's lives will be "solitary, poore, nasty, brutish, and short."

So, Hobbes is saying that people will have terrible lives if they do not have a strong government to keep them all in line.  They will be in a perpetual state of war of every man against every man.

Join to answer this question

Join a community of thousands of dedicated teachers and students.

Join eNotes