Human nature, ethics and politics in the philosophies of Thomas Hobbes and Immanuel Kant

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2013
Yağanak, Eray
The aim of this study is to make a comparison between Thomas Hobbes’ and Immanuel Kant’s theories of human nature, ethics and politics. This thesis defends the arguments of Kant’s republican political theory against the claims raised by Hobbes. In this thesis, I shall argue that Hobbes’ empiricist/mechanistic understanding of human nature cannot provide freedom of action for human beings within his ethical and political theory. In contrast to Hobbes, I shall defend the thesis that Kant’s understanding of human nature provides an a priori basis for freedom and morality. Kant advances the view that human beings are not only empirical beings but also rational beings, which means their nature and actions can be explained without reference to empirical factors. I shall compare Hobbes with Kant and will propose that the rights of citizens are more secured in the Kantian state.
Citation Formats
E. Yağanak, “Human nature, ethics and politics in the philosophies of Thomas Hobbes and Immanuel Kant,” Ph.D. - Doctoral Program, Middle East Technical University, 2013.