Hobbes and Spinoza are among the philosophers who believe in the necessity of dealing with political philosophy. They maintain that their political philosophies are systematically related to metaphysics and the anthropology that originates in it. In this regard, their v More
Hobbes and Spinoza are among the philosophers who believe in the necessity of dealing with political philosophy. They maintain that their political philosophies are systematically related to metaphysics and the anthropology that originates in it. In this regard, their views are clearly different from those of their predecessors and even from those of Descartes, who is almost contemporary with them. Spinoza has been influenced by Hobbes in some respects; however, because of the differences between the logic and general philosophy of each of them, there are some noteworthy differences between these two philosophers’ anthropological interpretations and the functions of their political philosophy. The main purpose of the present paper is to highlight the historical background of political philosophy in ancient Greece, particularly during the Middle Ages. While challenging this historical background, it also aims to discover the explicit and implicit metaphysical and anthropological principles and assumptions underlying the views of Hobbes and Spinoza regarding a desirable government and report the differences and similarities between them. The authors intend to demonstrate that Spinoza’s political philosophy is based on ethics and reason. The distinctive feature of his philosophy is its love of human beings and reason. On the other hand, Hobbes’ political philosophy is based on the senses, and its distinctive feature is having a pessimistic view of human beings and presenting a material interpretation of their nature. Accordingly, the principle of preserving the essence in Hobbes’ view is limited to preserving the body, and a superior government means absolute monarchy, the sole purpose of which is protecting the lives of its citizens and establishing security in society. Nevertheless, in Spinoza’s view, protecting the essence is beyond the protection of the body and extends to reason, perhaps even more than the body, because human essence mainly depends on their reason rather than their body. Hence a superior government in Spinoza’s view is of a democratic nature. He also emphasizes the role of government in promoting the human culture and the necessity of educational and ethical policy-making.