Well, I can surely say that I found the argument in Leviathan much more compelling than anything Plato sent out on in The Republic. I am not saying I adored this book or anything, I just thought it went a bit deeper than The Republic did. I did however, find a few comparisons between the texts. One formidable example of this was the discussion of speech. Both show the dangers of arts and specifically language. Plato argued that language was a destructive creation. It allowed for the diluting and destruction of exact meaning. Words, being so subjective and interpreted, were considered bad by Plato’s standards. He hoped to build a world of certain truths, removing all possibilities for mistake from it. Hobbes argues similar ideas, but not to the extreme extent that Plato does. Hobbes says that language is of great importance. He identifies the four effective uses of speech. He points out each idea, stating how they each work to produce “speech” as a whole. this is a difference from Plato’s argument. Hobbes does not banish the art form of speech altogether, he presents a more level-headed and introspective view of his form of communication. He is certain, regardless, to bring forth the negative facets of speech. He points to things such as lies and misinterpreted words as negative aspects of language.
On another note, I really enjoyed and agreed upon the idea of wit. Hobbes states that there are two types of wit, being natural wit and acquired wit. I fully agree that there are two types of wit present in society. One, being the creations which we, as a society, have deemed important, and therefore learned by the individual seeking to acquire wit. However, this is very different from natural wit. This is a type of wit that is biological. It is found present and ingrained in the human at birth. This is what Hobbes would argue, makes one “smart” or “stupid”. This is the same phrase which I heard growing up as “street smarts” or “book smarts”. In my mind, these two notions go hand in hand. Streets smarts is the common sense and logic found naturally in the form of “natural wit”. “Book Smarts” are the opposite, being the type of knowledge which is acquired rather than naturally present.