Based on Hobbes' philosophy, how might he have felt about the government having authority to take someone's property for the public good?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

In order to answer this question, it is important to remember that the major argument that Hobbes makes is that the government (in the person of the monarch) should have absolute power.  Hobbes believed that people gave up all of their rights to the sovereign when they formed societies.  This was not like Locke's idea in which people retain their fundamental rights and the government is required to protect those rights.  Instead, government should do whatever the sovereign thought was appropriate.  Therefore, based on Hobbes' philosophy, Hobbes would have felt that there was absolutely no problem with the idea of the government taking a person's property so long as that was what the government thought was best.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

Posted on

Soaring plane image

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial