KANT: THE KINGDOM OF ENDS & HOBBES: THE SOCIAL CONTRACT. Phil 100, Intro to Philosophy Benjamin Visscher Hole IV

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1 KANT: THE KINGDOM OF ENDS & HOBBES: THE SOCIAL CONTRACT Phil 100, Intro to Philosophy Benjamin Visscher Hole IV

2 Kant The Kingdom of Ends

3 Review Formula of Universal Law Act only according to that maxim by which you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law of nature (357). Objections 1. Rigorism 2. Vacuity 3. Covert Consequentialism

4 Review Formula of Universal Law Act only according to that maxim by which you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law of nature (357). Question What are the rational will s wider purposes?

5 Review Formula of Humanity Act so that you treat humanity, whether in your own person or in that of another, always as an end and never as a means only (380). Question How do you respect the ends of others?

6 Kant s 3 rd Formulation of the Categorical Imperative The Kingdom of Ends So act as if you, by your own maxims, were at all times a legislative member in the universal realm of ends. Kingdom of ends A systematic union of rational beings by common objective laws. Self-Legislation We, as rational agents, legislate the law to which we are subject. Co-Legislation Our maxims must be consistent with the idea of the will of every rational being as a will giving universal law.

7 Social Contract Theory The Social Contract (Definition) The imaginary device through which equally imaginary individuals, living in solitude come together to form a society, accepting obligations of some minimal kind to one another and immediately or very soon thereafter binding themselves to a political sovereign who can enforce those obligations (Honderich, T., The Oxford Companion to Philosophy, 2 nd eds, OUP 2005, pg. 174) Socratic Roots

8 Social Contract Theory The Social Contract (Definition) The imaginary device through which equally imaginary individuals, living in solitude come together to form a society, accepting obligations of some minimal kind to one another and immediately or very soon thereafter binding themselves to a political sovereign who can enforce those obligations (Honderich, T., The Oxford Companion to Philosophy, 2 nd eds, OUP 2005, pg. 174) Why enter the social contract? It is rationally required. In fact, we have a moral obligation to enter the social contract to give our rational will space to operate. This is because a state of nature would be unlivable.

9 Thomas Hobbes The Social Contract (From The Leviathan)

10 One of the earliest and most influential versions of the general idea of a social contract as the basis for government is that presented by English philosopher Thomas Hobbes ( ) in his Leviathan (449).

11 Translated Thucydides History of the Peloponnesian War (1628) The English Civil War ( )

12 Social Contract Theory The Social Contract (Definition) The imaginary device through which equally imaginary individuals, living in solitude come together to form a society, accepting obligations of some minimal kind to one another and immediately or very soon thereafter binding themselves to a political sovereign who can enforce those obligations (Honderich, T., The Oxford Companion to Philosophy, 2 nd eds, OUP 2005, pg. 174) Why enter the contract? State of nature: the situation in which human beings would exist in the absence of government (449).

13 a) Multiple individual interests b) Common (but finite) resources

14 Nature hath made men so equal, in the faculties of body, and mind; the difference between man, and man, is not so considerable, as that one man can thereupon claim to himself any benefit, to which another may not pretend, as well as he might (450).

15 So that in the nature of man we find three principle causes of quarrel. First, competition; secondly, diffidence; thirdly, glory (450).

16 In such condition, there is no place for industry; because the fruit thereof is uncertain: and consequently no culture of the earth; no navigation, nor use of the commodities that may be imported by sea; no commodious building; no instruments of moving, and removing, such things as require much force; no knowledge of the face of the earth; no account of time; no arts; no letters; no society; and which is worst of all, continual fear, and danger of violent death; and the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short (451).

17 a) It is individually rational not to cooperate. b) It is collectively rational to cooperate.

18 The Social Contract Hobbes The mutual transferring of rights, is that which men call CONTRACT PACT, or COVENANT (542) Editors What is needed in order to escape the state of nature is an agreement a contract in which people mutually surrender their natural rights to attack each other in pursuit of their own survival (453).

19 Kant and Hobbes agree that we are rationally required to leave the state of nature and submit to a coercive authority in order to adjudicate between conflicts of individual interests. Kant s rationale is autonomous. Hobbes rational is heteronomous.

20 Thus the only viable solution, in Hobbes view, is for all in a given area to surrender all their rights of self-defense and all their power and authority to one sovereign (either a single person or group, but we will speak as though it is a single person), thereby creating a commonwealth (453).

21 Terminology The Law of Nature Hobbes A LAW OF NATURE (lex naruralis) is a precept, or general rule, found out by reason, by which man is forbidden to do that, which is destructive to his life, or Editors Hobbes seems to mean something like a requirement of rational prudence or rational selfinterest (451) The Right of Nature Hobbes The RIGHT OF NATURE, which writers commonly call (jus naturale, is the liberty each man hath, to use his power, as he himself will himself, for the preservation of his own nature Editors A right of nature is liberty established on the same basis (451).

22 Laws of Nature 1. First, (a) seek peace and follow it ; (b) by all means, we can, to defend ourselves. 2. Second, a man be willing, when others are so too, as for peace, and defence of himself he shall think it necessary to lay down his right to all things; and be contented with so much liberty against other men as he would allow other men against himself. (page 452)

23 Discussion Question Hobbes holds a view of human nature according to which human beings are self-interested individuals for whom society is of value only if and to the extent that it leads to greater security or other concrete advantages Others have held views according to which human beings are essentially social creatures, incapable of having satisfactory lives outside of society. What do you think about this question? Is Hobbes right? If not, how seriously does this undermine his arguments? (458)

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