PSYCHOLOGICAL ASPECTS IN THOMAS HOBBES' POLITICAL DOCTRINE
Languages of publication
The paper focuses on some similarities between the features of human nature described by Thomas Hobbes and the establishments of developmental psychology. As can be seen from the psychological perspective, the main theses proposed by the English philosopher about the role of human passions and the relationship between feelings, reason and actions largely resemble the patterns of behaviour observed in children. This finding allows to depart from the simplified picture of Hobbes' man who has been traditionally seen as a malicious egoist and a 'cruel wolf' and see a child instead, whose harmful or damaging actions are mainly the result of immaturity, incapability to control or delay reactions, and its sensitivity to emotional signals. What is also noteworthy is that the theory of perception assumes dependence of each action on the emotions that induce it (such as lust or repulsion). This approach suggests that in the event of a damage or evil caused, it is not only a particular human nature to blame, but rather, or mainly, the circumstances in which the damage has occurred. From that point of view, the state of (human) nature and the state of a state are two extremes of diametrically different stimuli that either discourage (like in the former case) or encourage (in the case of a state) safe interpersonal relations. Although there is nothing that can change the human nature, a properly organised state will help to explore its positive aspects, of which the need for constant activity is the most important.
Publication order reference
CEJSH db identifier