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Abha Singhal Joshi

In: Challenging the Rule(s) of Law: Colonialism, Criminology and Human Rights in India

Chapter 12: Law and Life in the State of Nature: Archiving Stories from Legal Literacy

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Law and Life in the State of Nature: Archiving Stories from Legal Literacy
Law and life in the state of nature: Archiving stories from legal literacy
AbhaSinghalJoshi

England circa 1651: Hobbes wrote his treatise1 outlining the theory of the State as a social contract. The theory presupposes human beings as primarily selfish and always in competition with each other. Force and fraud are mentioned as the ‘cardinal virtues’ of this state of existence, which Hobbes called the ‘state of nature’. There is a lack of the finer instincts or aesthetic or literary development.

India 2006: Hobbes’ description of the life of man in the state of nature as ‘solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short’ seems to sum up the condition that a vast majority of people live under. ...

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