Publication Date

Spring 4-16-2013


Helms School of Government


Government: Pre-Law

Primary Subject Area

Philosophy; Law; Political Science, General


State of Nature, State of Peace, State of War, State of Exception, State of Preservation, Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, David Hume


Ethics and Political Philosophy | Political Theory


Great minds have addressed the issue of forming a polity, dating back to Plato. Yet, most of these great minds, such as Thomas Hobbes, John Locke and Jean-Jacques Rousseau, argue for the need to escape the state of nature into a civil form of government. However, after taking the three essential elements of man that these philosophers all comment on, self-preservation, reason, and will, a new state of nature model is created that is stronger. It is stronger because of its definition of man and the analytic inferences that flow from that definition. Therefore, the state of nature theory does not preclude man from living outside the bounds of government.