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# It is still an open question precisely how Hobbes

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It is still an open question precisely how Hobbes  [#permalink]

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18 Aug 2018, 03:06
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It is still an open question precisely how Hobbes conceptualized the state of nature; neither he nor his interpreters have been completely clear. Hobbes offers three scenarios. In De Cive, the state of nature is an empirical physical location in which war ―is perpetuated in its own nature….They of America are examples hereof.In Leviathan, Hobbes appears to conceive of the state of nature as a facet of personality, accessible through introspection or intuition: ―Nosce teipsum, read thyself…whosoever looketh into himself…shall thereby read and know what are the thoughts and passions of all other men.
In De Corpore, Hobbes suggests that principles of human nature can be derived by ratiocination from ―the first part of philosophy, namely, geometry and physics.Among Hobbes scholars consensus lacks regarding how, and indeed whether, these scenarios reconcile. Conclusions seem to change sometimes within a single tract. Within the space of two lines in Konstantin‘s influential Leviathan Logic, the state of nature changes from a mere ―act of imagination into a far more ambitious ―ideal conception.(What is more, Konstantin‘s assertion that the state of nature could never be empirically observed contradicts Hobbes‘s own reference to ―they of America.) LaJoie calls the state of nature a creation of logic, not history,while for Saccente the state of nature is a ―thought-experiment designed not to chronicle the essential condition of humankind, but to illuminate it.
It has long been a commonplace idea that a state of nature is the conceptual starting point of Hobbesian political thought. A war in which ―every man is Enemy to every man‖ chiefly characterizes this state in which, because of limited resources and the absence of any summum bonum to fortify a moral order, anarchy rules and life is never without wantand fear. Even scholars who offer otherwise contrasting readings of Hobbes agree that its foundation is the state of nature. For LaJoie, Hobbes‘s stateof nature ―sets in motion the dominoes of deduction‖ from which ultimately issue the politics proper. Saccente cautions against framing Hobbes‘sthought within an ―architectural analogue according to which the state of nature is the foundation of a structure and civil philosophy is its roof, yetshe too maintains that for Hobbes ―civil philosophy begins with knowledge of human nature.Hobbes presents no exception to the rule that at the outset, every social theorist, whatever else he or she argues, of necessity makes fundamental and seminal assumptions concerning human nature.
To the extent that it involves a politics—what Hobbes calls civil philosophy—built on a philosophy of human nature, Hobbes‘s thought constitutes a system in which the problems of political life in civil society are intertwined with the basic nature of the human condition. By this view, humankind exists in a universe the entire content of which is no more or less than matter and motion. A strict, raw, nominalist materialism circumscribes reality in this billiard-ball world of efficient causes, which manifest in personality as the passions that drive behaviour.
What is usually termed will is unreal, nothing more than the final derivative of appetite or aversion. To understand the operation of these passions in human behaviour, we are invited by Hobbes to explore a setting in which nothing impedes people‘s acting on appetites and aversions. This setting is, of course, the state of nature. In addition to the absence in this state of any positive law, there is also no natural law in the scholastic sense of providentially-prescribed rational commands of right conduct for everyone. ‗Good‘ is radically individual and utilitarian; it is always and only that to which appetite or aversion drives a person. Possessed of a natural liberty to compete for limited resources and to win what security they can by whatever means they choose, actors in the natural state vie, according to the famous phrase, for ―Power after power, that ceaseth only on Death.

1. Of all of the following, which is NOT addressed by the author in the passage?
A. The relationship between physics and human nature
B. Hobbes‘s basic conception of the nature of universe
C. The role of self-reflection in relation to the principles of human nature
D. The requirements for emergence from the state of nature into civil society
E. Hobbe‘s definition of will

2. Which of the following best characterizes the claim that ―every social theorist,whatever else he or she argues, of necessity makes fundamental and seminal
assumptions concerning human nature?
A. It supports a viewpoint regarded by the author as widespread but groundless.
B. It is at odds with the subsequent claim that Hobbes‘s conception of the state of nature is an open question.
C. It broadens the scope of a claim with which the author agrees.
D. It demonstrates the systemic character of Hobbesian thought.
E. It narrows the views of the author about a particular claim

3. According to the author, which of the following would be most analogous to conditions in the state of nature?
A. In a nuclear family, parents allow children to share in decision-making as the children develop a capacity to communicate increasingly thoughtful opinions.
B. In warfare, belligerents adhere to principles such as proportionality, non-combatant immunity, and other norms of the just war principle.
C. In international politics, sovereign states pursue their individual interests without reference to an overarching authority whose laws are backed by the threat of coercive force.
D. In a crime-ridden neighbourhood, a paroled criminal burgles homes and businesses despite the emergence of a vigilante group of hostile neighbourhood residents convinced that police are incapable of capturing the criminal.
E. In a classroom one student is punished severely for not having completed his homework while another is pardoned for the same

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Re: It is still an open question precisely how Hobbes  [#permalink]

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18 Aug 2018, 03:37
Isn't this way too long to be an actual GMAT question at this point of time?
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Re: It is still an open question precisely how Hobbes  [#permalink]

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18 Aug 2018, 04:13
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Just a pinch

However, it fits. Good one.

Regards
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Re: It is still an open question precisely how Hobbes  [#permalink]

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18 Aug 2018, 08:05
Please post the explanations for first two questions.
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Re: It is still an open question precisely how Hobbes  [#permalink]

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20 Aug 2018, 20:09
This set of questions was super hard. Reading the passage took too much time (~3.5 minutes) and skimming led me to miss out on critical details asked in the questions.

Can someone share their strategy to approach these long and detailed passages?
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Re: It is still an open question precisely how Hobbes  [#permalink]

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28 Aug 2018, 08:18
2
Quote:
Please post the explanations for first two questions.

OE for first one

1) A scattered detail question. While three of the answer choices summarize ideas or points made throughout the passage, (D) is never discussed in the passage.Though Hobbes may address this question somewhere in his writings (and many reading this passage will know that he does), it‘s not mentioned anywhere in the passage itself.
(A): Opposite. The passage discusses Hobbes‘ argument that the laws of human nature can be derived from laws of geometry and physics.
(B): Opposite. ¶4 describes Hobbes‘ view of the universe as one ―the entire content of which is no more or less than matter and motion.
(C): Opposite. ¶1 discusses introspection, stating that ―Hobbes appears to conceive of the state of nature as a facet of personality, accessible through introspection or intuition.
(E): Opposite. This can be inferred from the information in the passage.
Strategy Point:
Remember not to bring outside knowledge into your reading of the passage! Everything you need to score perfectly on the passage is on the page.

OE for second one

2) An evaluation question in a somewhat unusual format. The answer choices are broad, so remember to read them back into the passage to make sure that any potential right choice actually matches with what‘s going on in the passage. Read the quote in context: the author says immediately before that Hobbes ―presents no exception‖ to the rule quoted in the question. Paraphrase it all: The author believes that Hobbes makes assumptions about human nature. How does this belief fit in with everything else in the paragraph? It immediately follows claims by scholars that the foundation of Hobbes‘ thought is the state of nature. Evaluate: the author agrees with the scholars‘ claims and says that it‘s a trait of every social theorist. (C) accurately describes the author‘s agreement and broadening.

(A): Opposite. The author doesn‘t believe that the view the scholars outline is groundless; rather, that it‘s true not just for Hobbes but for all social theorists.
(B): Out of Scope. The author makes a clear distinction between what everyone more or less agrees on, that Hobbes‘ foundation is in the state of nature, and what they don‘t: what exactly he thought that state of nature was.
(D): Faulty Use of Detail. While ¶4 discusses the fact that Hobbes‘ thought is systemic, this quote refers to the points made above it. The author also isn‘t trying to prove anything about Hobbes‘ thought here, but rather only to agree with what has been said before and to broaden it to social theorists in general.
(E): Opposite. This actually broadens the claim.
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Re: It is still an open question precisely how Hobbes &nbs [#permalink] 28 Aug 2018, 08:18
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