Compare and contrast theories of Thomas Hobbs and Karl Marx as they relate to political philiosphy.

Expert Answers

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

Hobbes believed that human nature was fixed, that it never changed irrespective of differences in time, place, and culture. It was the immutability of human nature that allowed Hobbes, in his political philosophy, to treat human beings as if they were objects to be studied in minute detail.

As Hobbes was convinced that human nature never really changed, he felt confident in making sweeping assertions—not always backed-up by well thought-out arguments—about the essential selfishness and rapacity of humankind. According to Hobbes, humans were fundamentally selfish and were therefore in need of an all-powerful sovereign to rule over them. This was the only way, thought Hobbes, to prevent people from being at each other's throats all the time. We can see, then, that there is an indissoluble link between Hobbes's conception of human nature and the specific political arrangements he endorses.

Marx, on the other hand, did not believe that human nature was fixed. On the contrary, he thought...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 1081 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

Posted on

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

Posted on