Individual Rationality, Government and Morality Essay by sensuousbanana

Individual Rationality, Government and Morality
Discusses Thomas Hobbes' view of the relationship between government, individual rationality and morality.
# 64596 | 1,285 words | 2 sources | MLA | 2005 | CA

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This paper argues that Thomas Hobbes believes that government is necessary in order to make morality individually rational. This argument is carried out by looking at the distinction between individual rationality and collective rationality (morality). The tension between these two concept is illustrated by the prisoner's dilemma thinking exercise. Drawing on the evidence of the prisoner's dilemma, the paper then explains how government makes it rational for people to be moral. Lastly, the paper briefly compares Hobbes' view with Kant's view of morality.

From the Paper:

"Like individual rationality, collective rationality is also based on the natural right and desire of self-preservation. As the name entails, collective rationality is the exercise of reason to discover what is in the best interest of all. Three laws of nature are found by collective reasoning. Firstly, because survival is much easier in conditions of peace rather than in war, every one is to "seek peace, and follow it" (Hobbes, 404) unless there is a need for defense. Secondly, to foster peace, individuals have to surrender their rights to all things and "be contented with so much liberty against [others], as [they] would allow [others] against [themselves]" (Hobbes, 405)."

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