Aristotle vs. Hobbes: Equality Essay

Aristotle vs. Hobbes. constitutes a argument between two great minds from two deeply different periods of clip. Whereas Aristotle ( 384 – 322 BCE ) had been a portion of the Greek’s and more exactly. Athens’s Golden Age. Thomas Hobbes ( 1588 – 1679 ) had lived through the English Civil War of 1640s to go one of the most influential philosophers. Based on their ain personal experiences and milieus. both Aristotle and Hobbes had developed a position of what human equality should prolong.

However. Hobbes’ apprehension of natural equality is preferred.

as he provides society with the excess room for equality and chance that the topics of a good crowned head would see to be available to them. in comparing to Aristotle’s hierarchal division of people into natural higher-ups. inferiors and slaves. who are given really limited accomplishments and chances. Aristotle’s thought of equality would hold applied to all citizens who participate in the political life of the city state in which they live.

By making so. they would hold acquired the human virtuousnesss and excellences. every bit good as achieve their natural telos as a “political animal” ( Aristotle. p. 4 ) . Merely within a city state. citizens are able to take part and heighten their political and practical ground. therefore reach their human telos. As such. the city state is “among the things that exist by nature” ( Aristotle. p. 4 ) . and populating in one is the lone possible natural result for worlds. However. the term citizen in Aristotle’s position would non hold applied to everyone. but it would hold been instead limited within the city state.

Get quality help now
Writer Lyla

Proficient in: Aristotle

5 (876)

“ Have been using her for a while and please believe when I tell you, she never fail. Thanks Writer Lyla you are indeed awesome ”

+84 relevant experts are online
Hire writer

The city state had been formed as a family. a partnership between “persons who can non be without one another” ( Aristotle. 1252a27 ) and had later developed into a community of families. small towns. the telos of which consequences in a concatenation of small towns. city state. It had come into being to prolong our basic demands and it had stayed in order to back up a better manner of life. The family is the chief construction in the city state. which in fact provides citizens with the chance to hone their human virtuousnesss.

Not merely is the family a subsidiary to the political establishment. but besides within itself it is wholly formed by unequal relationships – natural swayer vs. natural slave. hubby vs. married woman. parent vs. kid. “The slave is entirely missing the deliberative component ; the female has it but it lacks authorization ; the kid has it but it is incomplete” ( 1260a11 ) . Womans had non been allowed to vote during Aristotle’s clip and as such their natural telos would hold been different from that of the work forces.

Together with the natural slaves. they would hold in different ways from one another. provided the work forces with the needed basic necessities to prolong life and therefore hold more clip to accomplish their telos as a “political animal” ( Aristotle. p. 4 ) . However. natural slaves would hold had no rights in comparing to the adult females. since the thought of an enslaved individual means that they are of course missing the rational powers and practical ground and therefore ought to be enslaved in order for them to carry through their natural telos as supplying for the natural swayer and giving their lives to humble responsibilities ( Aristotle. p. 15 ) .

Natural slaves are animals that are of course inferior to citizens. who would supply the citizens with adequate clip to heighten their lives and use themselves towards accomplishing their telos – political enrichment. The adult male of the family. the natural swayer. is in fact the citizen. person who “shares in disposal of justness and in offices” ( Aristotle. p. 66 ) . has the leisure clip to take part in the political life of the city state.

In fact. the good life for a citizen. described with Aristotle’s thoughts. would hold focused on developing oneself as a “political animal” ( Aristotle. p. 4 ) . Supplying pecuniary supplies for the family by the agencies of utilizing the exchange value of the merchandises should be merely to prolong the basic necessities and fulfill human life. Luxuries points and manner of life did non quality as fulfilling of one’s telos in the head of Aristotle. In fact. people would ne’er be satisfied with what they have. since the demand for more would increase with the ownerships owned ( Aristotle. p. 17-20 ) .

That is why the lone manner for people to accomplish their higher virtuousness would hold been through political relations and practical ground. It is merely natural to believe that. as Aristotle points out. because no other being posses the ability to ground. Therefore. it is the citizens’ chief end in life. to accomplish the natural telos. the good life. by heightening more upon his political engagement ( Aristotle. p. 3-5 ) . The natural slaves. nevertheless. can non accomplish any such telos due to their natural damage and lower status to the citizen.

Their natural intent in life is to function the swayer and supply for them. since the natural slave deficiencies such capablenesss as ground. “For he is a slave by nature who is capable of belonging to another – which is besides why he belongs to another – and who participates in ground merely to the extent of comprehending it. but does non hold it” ( 1254b16-23 ) . Normally. as Aristotle points out. natural slaves bread other natural slaves. although. sometimes higher-ups are known to hold natural slaves every bit good.

However. he struggles to find whether the natural slave is in fact wholly rationally impaired and upon what grounds he should be enslaved. Therefore. this creates troubles when seeking to distinguish who should be enslaved. why and how to separate between a natural slave and a natural swayer. Aristotle seems to believe that the undertaking of separating natural slaves is far easier than idea. since all people have a natural disposition to be best in a certain undertaking that may non ever be political relations.

Therefore. he believes that non all people should take part in the kingdom of political relations. since they would profit more to society and themselves if they concentrate on their domain of cognition alternatively. Hobbes’ thoughts of the equality. inequality and the good life. differs enormously from Aristotle’s thought of natural slaves and natural telos for citizens in the political life. For Hobbes. nevertheless. the thought of equality applies to everyone in the physical sense of the word. He views human existences as equality vulnerable to decease or be killed. and every bit eager to find their desires and effort to accomplish them ( Hobbes. p. 169-170 ) .

Through the survey of Epistemology. the cognition of what we know. which we get thought our sense feelings. and Metaphysics. the thought that the lone things that exists in the existence are material and have mass. Hobbes is able do picture a really clear image of what human existences are like and where their motives originate. For Hobbes. worlds are ‘desiring machines’ . who are driven by enterprises. internal motions or emotions. which drives the human being “toward something which causes it. is called APPETITE. or DESIRE… when the enterprise is from ward something. it is by and large called AVERSION” ( Hobbes. p. 140 ) .

For Aristotle. the good of any citizen would be to take part in the political life of the city state. whereas the immorality is seen as the extra desire towards geting more goods for pecuniary exchange. However. Hobbes disagrees and in fact Tells us that worlds are wanting machines. therefore motivated by their enterprises towards certain things. as such. “the object of any man’s appetency or desire. that is it which he for his portion calleth good: and the object of his hatred and antipathy. evil ; and his disdain. vile and inconsiderable” ( Hobbes. p. 141 ) .

Such basic elements of emotions are described to be really visibly in the ‘state of nature’ . which Hobbes describes as neither historical nor realistically accurate topographic point. but instead logically accurate as it represents the construction and jobs from the nature of the human existences. a province of being outside any political system or authorization. In this province of nature. all individuals are physically and of course equal to each other. All human existences portion equal exposure to be killed and die. every bit good as equal hope to accomplish their ends or desires.

Due to this equality. nevertheless. distrust rises between two parties in a state of affairs where they have a common desire for the same mercenary good. “if any two work forces desire the same thing. which however they can non both enjoy. they become enemies ; and in the manner to the terminal. ( which is chiefly their ain preservation. and sometimes their delight only. ) enterprise to destruct. or subdue one another” ( Hobbes. p. 170 ) . This leads to the province of war. which in no manner is merely described by conflicts and contending. but “in the known temperament thereto” ( Hobbes. p. 171 ) .

Indifferent to the cause of war. which can be competitions. self-doubt or glorification: [ T ] here is no topographic point for industry… no Culture of the Earth ; no Navigation… no convenient Building ; no instruments of moving… no Knowledge of the face of the Earth ; no history of Time ; no Arts ; no Letters ; no Society ; and which is worst of all. continual feare. danger of violent decease ; And the life of adult male. lone. poore. awful. brutish. and short ( Hobbes. p. 170-171. quotation mark as written from Sparksnotes. com ) .

In Hobbes’ theory about the ‘state of nature’ . there is nil unfair. there are no societal contracts that can non be crossed because there is no higher power to implement any sort of penalty. It is in fact the fright of decease and desire to get more objects as to do life more comfy. which drives people to accomplish and seek peace. Humans’ are in fact bound by the Torahs of nature to prolong their lives. seek peace. contract by the manner of peace and maintain the compacts ( Hobbes. p. 172 ) . It is in their best involvement to remain alive and be provided with comfy lives.

As such. people need Torahs. person to make them and person to implement them. The best result for Hobbes would be that all people give up their rights to a crowned head. higher power given to one individual who would maintain his topics alive and supply them with the basic necessities for life. Equally shortly as the autonomous sets in power. nevertheless. the equality equation alterations instantly. Whereas all worlds were to be equal to each other. they became topics to a superior swayer. whose regulation is to stay undisputed and undisturbed. as his chief intent is to set up and keep peace.

Therefore. equality for Hobbes does non needfully intend political equality and rights for everyone. It merely represents the physical similarity among worlds to decease and be killed. and the equal right for everyone to take and accomplish a end. In fact. the good life for Hobbes. is within a province of inequality. under the regulation of crowned head. a higher power. which can prolong order and peace among the savage-like worlds. who are bound to mistrust and come in in the province of war. when there is no political authorization nowadays.

Worlds are known to be ‘desiring machines’ . looking after their ain opportunism. fulfilling merely their ain enterprises. with a chief intent to keep their lives and prolong a comfy manner of life. Hobbes’ thought of equality is in fact more appealing than Aristotle’s hierarchal construction within the family and city state. Whereas Aristotle defines worlds are of course superior or inferior. Hobbes gives an equal start to everyone sing their physical exposure and ability to find their ain good and get it.

In Hobbes’ version of equality. the topics of the crowned head do in fact give up a batch of their rights and free some autonomies. However. in the instance of a good crowned head their lives would be better off under a common regulation that will supply them with peace and the needed basic necessities. It would besides give them the excess room for chances and personal development. The good life for Hobbes is described by a set of people. peacefully connected within a society. ruled by a good crowned head. where all are sustained and provided for.

Under an Aristotelean regulation. the topics would hold limited accomplishments that would hold been predestined base on their societal position. As Aristotle points out. natural slaves collapsible shelter to bread more natural slaves and therefore the rhythm of limited chances can non be broken. Merely citizens can take part in the political ream. although. even so some of them do non. Some have a limited ability to develop practical ground in comparing to some other domains that they might be more interested in.

In other words. Aristotle’s. equality applies merely to those who experience some kind of political regulation. All others are at that place to supply them with the leisure clip and basic necessities to prolong life. Aristotle’s thought of a good life is available merely to the chosen few citizens who can take part in political relations. Everyone else experience a telos that is non as fulfilling. Aristotle’s thought of natural human telos. natural slave and natural swayer provides an penetration to the period of clip. during which he has lived.

It is an thought of societal inequality that provides the good ‘ends’ merely to the few citizens who can accomplish it through their family and their practical logical thinking. The remainder of the members of that society are simply the suppliers and subsidiaries to the political kingdom. Hobbes’ theory on equality. nevertheless. provides all human existences with the same base – ‘We are all equal because we can all kill each other and we all want to find what is good for us. ‘ He gives humans the rubric of ‘desiring machines’ . which satisfy their ain demands and opportunisms.

Because such behavior leads to war-like conditions. Hobbes believes that through fright of decease and desire of more ownerships. people would seek peace on their ain. and as a consequence subdue their rights to a crowned head.

However. Hobbes’ apprehension of natural equality is preferred. as he provides society with the excess room for equality and chance that the topics of a good crowned head would see to be available to them. in comparing to Aristotle’s hierarchal division of people into natural higher-ups. inferiors and slaves. who are given really limited accomplishments and chances Hobbes. Thomas.

Leviathan. Modern Political Thought – Readings from Machiavelli to Nietzsche. Ed. David Wooton. Hackett Publishing Company. Inc. : Indianapolis/Cambridge. 1996. Aristotle. The Politics. C. D. C. Reeve. Hackett Publishing Company. Inc. : Indianapolis/Cambridge.

Cite this page

Aristotle vs. Hobbes: Equality Essay. (2017, Aug 25). Retrieved from

Aristotle vs. Hobbes: Equality Essay
Let’s chat?  We're online 24/7