The Struggle For Hope: Exploring the Human Condition Through Hobbes and Eliot

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Authors
Gallagher, Tristan
Advisor
Greiner, Katherine
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Date of Issue
2024
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Title
The Struggle For Hope: Exploring the Human Condition Through Hobbes and Eliot
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Abstract
What is most necessary to improve the human condition? What are the greatest dangers to human societies? Both 17th-century political philosopher Thomas Hobbes and 20th-century poet T.S. Eliot struggle to find hope for the human condition within their respective periods. Through the theory of Hobbes and the experience of Eliot, a greater understanding of human nature can be inferred. This comparison reveals two different kinds of hope. Eliot views human nature as something inherently good and believes in the ability for regrowth and positive progression. Hobbes is pessimistic about the human condition and therefore believes there is a limit to the progress of humankind. Neither Hobbes nor Eliot have a complete understanding of the complexity of human nature, nor do they have the answers as to why society isn’t better. But they do illuminate the aspects of human nature that both cause suffering and healing, allowing for a hopeful outlook on the future of humankind. By comparing Hobbes and Eliot, human nature can be explored and the human condition illuminated, as both struggle to find hope in the contemporary human condition.
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Honors Scholars Program