10 February 2004Aristotle and Hobbes Aristotle argues that valid conduct, as defined by the law, is acting in accordance with virtue. The choices and actions of .
individual people do have worth, because these actions are chosen deliberately and therefore indicate the desires of men (1746). Desire is crucial to .
understanding the construction of Aristotle's legal ideals, because the entire purpose of the law is to turn men's desires towards desiring that which is good. .
Since the law seeks to create in men a habituation of the right desires, valid conduct becomes a definition of what it means to continually desire what the state .
defines as good. The law applies even further as it seeks to forbid exactly what is not valid conduct; moreover it forbids exactly what is not in accordance with .
the correct desires.Hobbes portrays valid conduct in the realm of the interactions between men. Instead of shaping the desires of individual men, the law instead .
exists to create a perfect balance between the natural desires, actions, and liberties of men. The actions of men carry no intrinsic value; instead they only .
have weight when they are applied within an institution. Valid conduct, therefore, can only apply where there is law (89). The law exists as a result of the .
commonwealth, and exists to promote peace and the protection of liberty. The law does not exist because there is an intrinsic right or wrongness to actions. .
Conduct only becomes invalid when it enters into a conflict of desire between two men, and this conflict is the entire purpose of the law.For both philosophers, .
the idea of valid conduct cannot be separated from the law, and the law cannot be separated from justice. Hobbes and Aristotle contend that without a formal .
system of law, there is no justice, as justice does not exist as an independent concept. Thus, what exactly is justice? According to Aristotle, that which is .
just is that which is lawful, equal, and fair (1781-1785).