The State of Nature and Socratic Morality
Required Reading: Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan (Selections) – Ch. XIII, XIV, XV, XVII
Prompt: For this discussion board, you will consider a question in two parts. First consider Socrates’s position that a social contract could be sustained by moral virtue (Additionally, recall the recommended readings posted over the past few weeks.) Again, one way to consider Socrates’ position in the work is calling for a ‘tacit social contract’. Second, consider that Hobbesian position, where a social contract develops out of coercion by authority, the immediacy of meeting the basics demands of life, and is not tacit so much as it is explicit.
To answer this discussion board prompt, provide an exposition of the selection from Leviathan, then briefly reiterate the position Socrates advocates in Crito. Compared to the Hobbesian view, does Socrates have expectations of human nature that set the bar for our interaction too high? Explain you position.