“Thomas Hobbes’ Dialectic of Desire”

Gary Herbert, The New Scholasticism, v. 50,  no. 2 (1976): 137-163

From the conclusion of the paper: “The central claim of the present paper has been that Hobbes’ philosophy proceeds by virtue of a dynamic, dialectical conception of nature, a conception which, I believe has its own origins in his thoughts about human nature, and specifically in his comprehension of the nature and role of the passions.  Human nature has its locus in the inexorable, natural predisposition (“found even in the embryo”) to endeavour to maintain itself.  Continuing success in that endeavor, Hobbes maintains, is human felicity.  But because of the internal complexity of this primitive endeavour–the reciprocal implication and negation of the need for preservation and augmentation, of fear and desire–it is not clear what will serve to secure human felicity.”