Liberty, or freedom according to Hobbes


Please access the reading using this link;
Read the reading Chap 21 section 1 to 4 and answer the 2 questions below. (300 to 400 words max in total)

1. According to Hobbes, what is liberty, or freedom, and how is it different from power? Using this Hobbesian picture, give me an example of a person’s liberty being constrained and a person’s power being constrained. [Discussed in Leviathan, Part 2, Ch. 21, Sects. 1-3]

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2. According to Hobbes, human actions, like other things in nature, proceed from causes that are part of a long causal chain. For example, Ball A hits and moves ball B, which hits and moves ball C, which hits and moves ball D, etc. If we focus on ball D, we notice that it was a part of a causal chain, and hence, we can say that it necessarily moved. Humans are like this ball (specifically when viewed from the point of view of God). And yet, Hobbes also says that humans have liberty. How does this make sense? How is it that all human actions are necessary, and yet some of these actions can be deemed free? (Hint: focus on Hobbes’ specific definition of liberty, necessity, and his example of water in the beginning of section 4.) What do you think of Hobbes’ resolution to this liberty-necessity puzzle? [Discussed in Leviathan, Part 2, Ch. 21, Sect. 4].


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