Provide an assessment of the Hobbes' impact / connection to Western Civilization.  3. Provide an assessment of the Hobbes' impact / connection to Western Civilization.  

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Hobbes primary contribution to Western Civilization was to reconfigure how human beings were conceived.  Hobbes was able to argue that human nature reflected one of self interest, capable of doing terrible things and in need of some level of overall control.  While thinkers were arguing that human beings were either instruments of God or doomed by Original Sin, Hobbes was able to argue that human beings lived an existence that was "nasty, petty, brutish, and short."  With this in mind, Hobbes argued the need for an autocratic form of rule that would be able to suppress all of these intensely negative human attributes to ensure that there would be a level of peace present.  While Western Civilization looked at Hobbes as a particularly negative thinker, one could not deny the fact that he was able to explain why human beings are capable of some of the worst of actions.

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