Essay about The Foundations of Political Life

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The Foundations of Political Life

To understand the theories of Hobbes, you must first understand his basis for those theories in relation to man in his state of nature. Hobbes argues along the lines of realist thinking, much like Machiavelli, that man in his state of nature will succumb to his natural passions. These passions are those which keep man constantly on the path of survival. Man has a natural right to everything in nature and he will acquire what he needs and desires at whatever cost he deems necessary, especially when dealing with the family and it’s protection and welfare. Much like these realist thoughts are applied in today’s world, Hobbes concludes that man will always strive for more power and authority over
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In comparison, Vico states that the first form of commonwealth was brought about in the age of divinity where man, by the natural law of divine, believed themselves and all their institutions to depend on the gods, since they thought everything was a god or was made or done by a god. (Vico 169) In this situation man’s sovereign power was the gods that he himself had created, and the fear of these gods kept man on the respectable path. Differing from Hobbes’s view on man’s state of nature, Vico states that human nature is one of intelligence, and hence modest, benign and reasonable, recognizing for laws conscience, reason, and duty. (Vico 168) Once man progressed from the age of divinity, he moved into the age of heroism where the nobles or elites, believing to be of divine origin, ruled the lesser people spawning from bestial origin. These common people allowed themselves to be ruled, according to Vico, because of their own knowledge that the ruling should be done by those of higher status and intelligence, and those with the experience of leadership. Eventually, Vico states, that a human government will form in which virtue of the equality of the intelligent nature, which is the proper nature of man, all are accounted equal under the laws, this being an early form of democracy. As the governments progress though, Vico states that the men change but they

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