Thomas Hobbes Questions and Answers

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What is Hobbes' argument in the first section ("Liberty") of De Cive

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English philosopher Thomas Hobbes (1588–1679) is an empiricist, which by definition means he believes all knowledge acquired by human beings comes from sensory experiences. His body of philosophical works on the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality, and existence primarily centers around his political views.

Hobbes develops his political theories out of frustration over the atrocities committed by Western European governments. Since he is enthralled with the scientific advances of his era, he reasons that scientific principles might be applied to politics resulting in a science of politics based on sound philosophical principles leading to a peaceful society free of abuses.

Originally published in 1642, De Cive articulates his political philosophy. He begins by stating,

The faculties of Humane nature may be reduc'd unto four kinds; Bodily strength, Experience, Reason, Passion.

Hobbes theorizes that human beings use their senses of reason to create natural laws and then yield to those laws...

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