PHIL 115 Brookdale Thomas Hobbes Case in His Social Contract Theory Discussion


M 8 Discussion — Social and Political Philosphy

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Are we really brutes?

Much of political philosophy today is based on the idea of Thomas Hobbes that we are brutish animals, quarrelsome and violent and that we need to be controlled like any other wild animal. Is that true? People in the past have thought so, but new archaeological evidence suggests we are not. Pre-historic man was actually peaceful and believe it or not, very artistic. Please view the video here.

Oldest known figurative cave art discovered in Borneo Griffith University. April 30, 2018. You Tube. .

Since Hobbes theory of absolute rule is dependent upon his negative view of human nature, any evidence to indicate we are not brutes gives us some reason to think that a dictatorship is not the best form of government for us. In fact, after considering the information in the film, we could even feel justified in recommending a democracy instead, which is the view of J. S. Mill. To come to some conclusion about this, please answer the following questions:

  • What case does Thomas Hobbes make for his Social Contract Theory?
  • What is your impression of early humans from the video?
  • What case does J. S. Mill make for democracy in the section labeled Freedom?
  • Given the political world as we see it today, and using the information from the chapter, do you side with Hobbes or Mill in this discussion? Give good evidence for your view.
  • Please write about 1000 words for this essay.
  • Please respond to two of your classmates for maximum credit.


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