The role of fear in Hobbes' political thought College
Born on the day of the invasion of the Spanish Armada, Thomas Hobbes said himself that he was born a twin with fear. Living with the turmoil of the ongoing English civil war, Hobbes lived in fear and uncertainty. When he became convinced that the English parliament was going to turn against King Charles I, Hobbes fled to France, where he later wrote Leviathan, his most significant work, regarded as one of the most influential political and philosophical texts from the 17th century. In this work, and, more broadly, in Hobbes’ political thought, the effects of fear play an observably pivotal role in the formulation of his theories. It is clear that Hobbes perceives and applies fear, both as a catalyst of chaos and as a force of good. Referencing human nature, Hobbes argues that in the trivial anarchical society, people would live with constant fear, which in turn would make them conduct criminal acts for the sake of their own survival or wellbeing. He also underlines that a certain amount of fear for the Leviathan, the supreme ruler, is needed to create loyalty and to maintain respect. Therefore, fear plays a significant but versatile role in Hobbes’ political thought.
From the principles of self-preservation, and through his...
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