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bellum omnium contra omnes
nasty, brutish, and short
state of nature Reference library
Ronald D. Milo
The Oxford Companion to Philosophy (2 ed.)
This notion was employed by social contract theorists to indicate the condition of human beings prior to or without government. By showing what was lacking in this natural condition, or state of nature, they hoped to demonstrate the benefits of politically organized society and the rationality of accepting governmental authority. The state of nature was characterized by certain deficiencies for which government was said to be the proper remedy. It is therefore rational for individuals to pull themselves out of this condition by agreeing among themselves to accept some form of political authority. However, social contract theorists differed sharply with one another about what kind of government provides the best remedy, and this disagreement stems largely from how each characterizes the state of nature. ...