Show Summary Details
Page of

(p. 6) 1. The state of nature 

(p. 6) 1. The state of nature
Chapter:
(p. 6) 1. The state of nature
Author(s):

Jonathan Wolff

DOI:
10.1093/hepl/9780199658015.003.0002
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD POLITICS TROVE (www.oxfordpoliticstrove.com). © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Politics Trove for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 01 December 2020

This chapter examines whether it is possible for human beings to live in a state of nature. Sometimes it is claimed that not only have human beings always lived under a state, but that it is the only way they possibly could live. On this view, which is often associated with Aristotle, the state exists naturally in the sense of being natural to human beings. In response, some theorists argue that human beings have been able to live without the state. To elucidate the issue further, this chapter analyses the views of Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, and Jean-Jacques Rousseau. It also considers the arguments of anarchists and suggests that the gap between rational anarchism and the defence of the state is vanishingly small.

Access to the complete content on Politics Trove requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.