What is the nature and function of sacrifice in Girard’s account of primitive social order? Write about 1/2 of a page each for the following 3 questions:
?? What is the nature and function of sacrifice in Girard’s account of primitive social order?
?? What is Hobbes’ view of the natural condition of human beings? What makes the sovereign power necessary and how does it come about?
?? What would you say is the main point of Kierkegaard’s The Present Age?
?? Then pick one of the movies and show which theory you think is most related to it, and why.
1/2 page each = around 2 pages (4 paragraphs)
John Carpenters The Thing (1982)
The Wicker Man (1973)
The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence(1962)
Those are the names of the movies associated with the writings
The readings will be attached Leviathan
Chapters 1315 1
by Thomas Hobbes
CHAPTER XIII OF THE NATURAL CONDITION OF MANKIND AS
CONCERNING THEIR FELICITY AND MISERY
NATURE hath made men so equal in the faculties of body and mind as that, though there be
found one man sometimes manifestly stronger in body or of quicker mind than another, yet when
all is reckoned together the difference between man and man is not so considerable as that one man
can thereupon claim to himself any benefit to which another may not pretend as well as he. For
as to the strength of body, the weakest has strength enough to kill the strongest, either by secret
machination or by confederacy with others that are in the same danger with himself.
And as to the faculties of the mind, setting aside the arts grounded upon words, and especially
that skill of proceeding upon general and infallible rules, called science, which very few have and
but in few things, as being not a native faculty born with us, nor attained, as prudence, while we
look after somewhat else, I find yet a greater equality amongst men than that of strength. For
prudence is but experience, which equal time equally bestows on all men in those things they
equally apply themselves unto. That which may perhaps make such equality incredible is but
a vain conceit of ones own wisdom, which almost all men think they have in a greater degree
than the vulgar; that is, than all men but themselves, and a few others, whom by fame, or for
concurring with themselves, they approve. For such is the nature of men that howsoever they may
acknowledge many others to be more witty, or more eloquent or more learned, yet they will hardly
believe there be many so wise as themselves; for they see their own wit at hand, and other mens at
a distance. But this proveth rather that men are in that point equal, than unequal. For there is not
ordinarily a greater sign of the equal distribution of anything than that every man is contented with
From this equality of ability ariseth equality of hope in the attaining of our ends. And therefore
if any two men desire the same thing, which nevertheless they cannot both enjoy, they become
enemies; and in the way to their end (which is principally their own conservation, and sometimes
their delectation only) endeavour to destroy or subdue one another. And from hence it comes to
pass that where an invader hath no more to fear than another mans single power, if one plant,
sow, build, or possess a convenient seat, others may probably be expected to come prepared with
forces united to dispossess and deprive him, not only of the fruit of his labour, but also of his life
or liberty. And the invader again is in the like danger of another.
And from this diffidence of one another, there is no way for any man to secure himself so
reasonable as anticipation; that is, by force, or wiles, to master the persons of all men he can
so long till he see no other power great enough to endanger him: and this is no more than his
own conservation requireth, and is generally allowed. Also, because there be some that, taking
pleasure in contemplating their own power in the acts of conquest, which they pursue farther than
their security requires, if others, that otherwise would be glad to be at ease within modest bounds,
should not by invasion increase their power, they would not be able, long time, by standing only
on their defence, to subsist. And by consequence, such augmentation of dominion over men being
necessary to a mans conservation, it ought to be allowed him.
Again, men have no pleasure (but on the contrary a great deal of grief) in keeping company
where there is no power able to overawe them all. For every man looketh that his companion should
value him at the same rate he sets upon himself, and upon all signs of contempt or undervaluing
naturally endeavours, as far as he dares (which amongst them that have no common power to keep
them in quiet is far enough to make them destroy each other), to extort a greater value from his
contemners, by damage; and from others, by the example.
So that in the nature of man, we find three principal causes of quarrel. First, competition;
secondly, diffidence; thirdly, glory.
The first maketh men invade for gain; the second, for safety; and the third, for reputation. The
first use violence, to make themselves masters of other mens persons, wives, children, and cattle;
the second, to defend them; the third, for trifles, as a word, a smile, a different opinion, and any
other sign of undervalue, either direct in their persons or by reflection in their kindred, their friends,
their nation, their profession, or their name.
Hereby it is manifest that during the time men live without a common power to keep them all in
awe, they are in that condition which is called war; and such a war as is of every man against every
man. For war consisteth not in battle only, or the act of fighting, but in a tract of time, wherein the
will to contend by battle is sufficiently known: and therefore the notion of time is to be considered
in the nature of war, as it is in the nature of weather. For as the nature of foul weather lieth not in
a shower or two of rain, but in an inclination thereto of many days together: so the nature of war
consisteth not in actual fighting, but in the known disposition thereto during all the time there is no
assurance to the contrary. All other time is peace.
Whatsoever therefore is consequent to a time of war, where every man is enemy to every man,
the same consequent to the time wherein men live without other security than what their own
strength and their own invention shall furnish them withal. In such condition there is no place
for industry, because the fruit thereof is uncertain: and consequently no culture of the earth; no
navigation, nor use of the commodities that may be imported by sea; no commodious building; no
instruments of moving and removing such things as require much force; no knowledge of the face
of the earth; no account of time; no arts; no letters; no society; and which is worst of all, continual
fear, and danger of violent death; and the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.
It may seem strange to some man that has not well weighed these things that Nature should
thus dissociate and render men apt to invade and destroy one another: and he may therefore, not
trusting to this inference, made from the passions, desire perhaps to have the same confirmed by
experience. Let him therefore consider with himself: when taking a journey, he arms himself and
seeks to go well accompanied; when going to sleep, he locks his doors; when even in his house
he locks his chests; and this when he knows there be laws and public officers, armed, to revenge
all injuries shall be done him; what opinion he has of his fellow subjects, when he rides armed; of
his fellow citizens, when he locks his doors; and of his children, and servants, when he locks his
chests. Does he not there as much accuse mankind by his actions as I do by my words? But neither
of us accuse mans nature in it. The desires, and other passions of man, are in themselves no sin.
No more are the actions that proceed from those passions till they know a law that forbids them;
which till laws be made they cannot know, nor can any law be made till they have agreed upon the
person that shall make it.
It may peradventure be thought there was never such a time nor condition of war as this; and I
believe it was never generally so, over all the world: but there are many places where they live so
now. For the savage people in many places of America, except the government of small families,
the concord whereof dependeth on natural lust, have no government at all, and live at this day in
that brutish manner, as I said before. Howsoever, it may be perceived what manner of life there
would be, where there were no common power to fear, by the manner of life which men that have
formerly lived under a peaceful government use to degenerate into a civil war.
But though there had never been any time wherein particular men were in a condition of war
one against another, yet in all times kings and persons of sovereign authority, because of their
independency, are in continual jealousies, and in the state and posture of gladiators, having their
weapons pointing, and their eyes fixed on one another; that is, their forts, garrisons, and guns upon
the frontiers of their kingdoms, and continual spies upon their neighbours, which is a posture of
war. But because they uphold thereby the industry of their subjects, there does not follow from it
that misery which accompanies the liberty of particular men.
To this war of every man against every man, this also is consequent; that nothing can be unjust.
The notions of right and wrong, justice and injustice, have there no place. Where there is no
common power, there is no law; where no law, no injustice. Force and fraud are in war the two
cardinal virtues. Justice and injustice are none of the faculties neither of the body nor mind. If they
were, they might be in a man that were alone in the world, as well as his senses and passions. They
are qualities that relate to men in society, not in solitude. It is consequent also to the same condition
that there be no propriety, no dominion, no mine and thine distinct; but only that to be every mans
that he can get, and for so long as he can keep it. And thus much for the ill condition which man
by mere nature is actually placed in; though with a possibility to come out of it, consisting partly
in the passions, partly in his reason.
The passions that incline men to peace are: fear of death; desire of such things as are necessary to commodious living; and a hope by their industry to obtain them. And reason suggesteth
convenient articles of peace upon which men may be drawn to agreement. These articles are they
which otherwise are called the laws of nature, whereof I shall speak more particularly in the two
CHAPTER XIV OF THE FIRST AND SECOND NATURAL LAWS, AND
THE right of nature, which writers commonly call jus naturale, is the liberty each man hath to
use his own power as he will himself for the preservation of his own nature; that is to say, of his
own life; and consequently, of doing anything which, in his own judgement and reason, he shall
conceive to be the aptest means thereunto.
By liberty is understood, according to the proper signification of the word, the absence of
external impediments; which impediments may oft take away part of a mans power to do what
he would, but cannot hinder him from using the power left him according as his judgement and
reason shall dictate to him.
A law of nature, lex naturalis, is a precept, or general rule, found out by reason, by which a
man is forbidden to do that which is destructive of his life, or taketh away the means of preserving
the same, and to omit that by which he thinketh it may be best preserved. For though they that
speak of this subject use to confound jus and lex, right and law, yet they ought to be distinguished,
because right consisteth in liberty to do, or to forbear; whereas law determineth and bindeth to one
of them: so that law and right differ as much as obligation and liberty, which in one and the same
matter are inconsistent.
And because the condition of man (as hath been declared in the precedent chapter) is a condition of war of every one against every one, in which case every one is governed by his own reason,
and there is nothing he can make use of that may not be a help unto him in preserving his life
against his enemies; it followeth that in such a condition every man has a right to every thing, even
to one anothers body. And therefore, as long as this natural right of every man to every thing
endureth, there can be no security to any man, how strong or wise soever he be, of living out the
time which nature ordinarily alloweth men to live. And consequently it is a precept, or general rule
of reason: that every man ought to endeavour peace, as far as he has hope of obtaining it; and when
he cannot obtain it, that he may seek and use all helps and advantages of war. The first branch of
which rule containeth the first and fundamental law of nature, which is: to seek peace and follow
it. The second, the sum of the right of nature, which is: by all means we can to defend ourselves.
From this fundamental law of nature, by which men are commanded to endeavour peace, is
derived this second law: that a man be willing, when others are so too, as far forth as for peace and
defence of himself he shall think it necessary, to lay down this right to all things; and be contented
with so much liberty against other men as he would allow other men against himself. For as long
as every man holdeth this right, of doing anything he liketh; so long are all men in the condition
of war. But if other men will not lay down their right, as well as he, then there is no reason for
anyone to divest himself of his: for that were to expose himself to prey, which no man is bound to,
rather than to dispose himself to peace. This is that law of the gospel: Whatsoever you require that
others should do to you, that do ye to them. And that law of all men, quod tibi fieri non vis, alteri
To lay down a mans right to anything is to divest himself of the liberty of hindering another
of the benefit of his own right to the same. For he that renounceth or passeth away his right giveth
not to any other man a right which he had not before, because there is nothing to which every
man had not right by nature, but only standeth out of his way that he may enjoy his own original
right without hindrance from him, not without hindrance from another. So that the effect which
redoundeth to one man by another mans defect of right is but so much diminution of impediments
to the use of his own right original.
Right is laid aside, either by simply renouncing it, or by transferring it to another. By simply
renouncing, when he cares not to whom the benefit thereof redoundeth. By transferring, when he
intendeth the benefit thereof to some certain person or persons. And when a man hath in either
manner abandoned or granted away his right, then is he said to be obliged, or bound, not to hinder
those to whom such right is granted, or abandoned, from the benefit of it: and that he ought, and
it is duty, not to make void that voluntary act of his own: and that such hindrance is injustice,
and injury, as being sine jure; the right being before renounced or transferred. So that injury or
injustice, in the controversies of the world, is somewhat like to that which in the disputations of
scholars is called absurdity. For as it is there called an absurdity to contradict what one maintained
in the beginning; so in the world it is called injustice, and injury voluntarily to undo that which
from the beginning he had voluntarily done. The way by which a man either simply renounceth
or transferreth his right is a declaration, or signification, by some voluntary and sufficient sign, or
signs, that he doth so renounce or transfer, or hath so renounced or transferred the same, to him
that accepteth it. And these signs are either words only, or actions only; or, as it happeneth most
often, both words and actions. And the same are the bonds, by which men are bound and obliged:
bonds that have their strength, not from their own nature (for nothing is more easily broken than a
mans word), but from fear of some evil consequence upon the rupture.
Whensoever a man transferreth his right, or renounceth it, it is either in consideration of some
right reciprocally transferred to himself, or for some other good he hopeth for thereby. For it is
a voluntary act: and of the voluntary acts of every man, the object is some good to himself. And
therefore there be some rights which no man can be understood by any words, or other signs, to
have abandoned or transferred. As first a man cannot lay down the right of resisting them that
assault him by force to take away his life, because he cannot be understood to aim thereby at any
good to himself. The same may be said of wounds, and chains, and imprisonment, both because
there is no benefit consequent to such patience, as there is to the patience of suffering another to
be wounded or imprisoned, as also because a man cannot tell when he seeth men proceed against
him by violence whether they intend his death or not. And lastly the motive and end for which
this renouncing and transferring of right is introduced is nothing else but the security of a mans
person, in his life, and in the means of so preserving life as not to be weary of it. And therefore
if a man by words, or other signs, seem to despoil himself of the end for which those signs were
intended, he is not to be understood as if he meant it, or that it was his will, but that he was ignorant
of how such words and actions were to be interpreted.
The mutual transferring of right is that which men call contract.
There is difference between transferring of right to the thing, the thing, and transferring or
tradition, that is, delivery of the thing itself. For the thing may be delivered together with the
translation of the right, as in buying and selling with ready money, or exchange of goods or lands,
and it may be delivered some time after.
Again, one of the contractors may deliver the thing contracted for on his part, and leave the
other to perform his part at some determinate time after, and in the meantime be trusted; and then
the contract on his part is called pact, or covenant: or both parts may contract now to perform
hereafter, in which cases he that is to perform in time to come, being trusted, his performance is
called keeping of promise, or faith, and the failing of performance, if it be voluntary, violation of
When the transferring of right is not mutual, but one of the parties transferreth in hope to gain
thereby friendship or service from another, or from his friends; or in hope to gain the reputation of
charity, or magnanimity; or to deliver his mind from the pain of compassion; or in hope of reward
in heaven; this is not contract, but gift, free gift, grace: which words signify one and the same
Signs of contract are either express or by inference. Express are words spoken with understanding of what they signify: and such words are either of the time present or past; as, I give, I
grant, I have given, I have granted, I will that this be yours: or of the future; as, I will give, I will
grant, which words of the future are called promise.
Signs by inference are sometimes the consequence of words; sometimes the consequence of silence; sometimes the consequence of actions; sometimes the consequence of forbearing an action:
and generally a sign by inference, of any contract, is whatsoever sufficiently argues the will of the
Words alone, if they be of the time to come, and contain a bare promise, are an insufficient sign
of a free gift and therefore not obligatory. For if they be of the time to come, as, tomorrow I will
give, they are a sign I have not given yet, and consequently that my right is not transferred, but
remaineth till I transfer it by some other act. But if the words be of the time present, or past, as,
I have given, or do give to be delivered tomorrow, then is my tomorrows right given away today;
and that by the virtue of the words, though there were no other argument of my will. And there is
a great difference in the signification of these words, volo hoc tuum esse cras, and cras dabo; that
is, between I will that this be thine tomorrow, and, I will give it thee tomorrow: for the word I will,
in the former manner of speech, signifies an act of the will present; but in the latter, it signifies a
promise of an act of the will to come: and therefore the former words, being of the present, …
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