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Did Rousseau correctly argue that previous philosophers had not gone back far enough in search of the state of nature - Essay Example

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Did Rousseau Correctly argue that Previous Philosophers had Not Gone Back Far Enough in Search of the State of Nature? By Candidate’s Name 2012 FACULTY OF ART, DEPARTMENT OF PHILOSOPHY (This page intentionally left blank) Introduction Prior to commencing a discussion on whether or not Rousseau correctly argued that previously philosophers had not gone back far enough in search of the state of nature, it is only proper to ponder on what is meant by the term ‘State of Nature’…
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Did Rousseau correctly argue that previous philosophers had not gone back far enough in search of the state of nature
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Download file to see previous pages Thus, although the term ‘State of Nature’ refers to a logical construction, it does not necessarily refer to a historical period, although in the early period of human existence when organised societies with laws did not exist, individuals were free to do what they wanted based on their natural desires, psychological makeup, interests and situations, etc. It is possible to argue that humans living in isolation, far removed from the present-day civilisation without any contact with organised societies will illustrate human behaviour in a state of nature without any fabricated laws to impinge on their behaviour. In a state of nature, there were no kings and no government to impose their will on humans. The State of Nature in Rousseau’s Philosophy Rousseau employs the device of state of nature to depict the conditions under which man existed in natural conditions to argue that in the pure state of nature man’s existence would be peaceful and contented. ...
Thus, Rousseau presents a belief in the natural goodness of man who had abhorrence for giving consent to others to govern, or for entering society. Rousseau places an emphasis on historical context when thinking about the state of nature rather than considering this notion in terms of a hypothetical context. For Rousseau, the state of nature is a pre-political condition that existed prior to man acceded to the social contract to lose his natural freedom while gaining civil freedom, property and the relative protection of the group. 6 Rousseau suggests that in the state of nature, people did not know each other enough to interfere with each other, but they did present normal moral values, which the social contract for living in a society tarnishes. However, because Rousseau takes a historical rather than a hypothetical view of the state of nature concept, it makes sense to ask whether at any time in history, man has been able to demonstrate the capacity for not succumbing to immoral behaviour in relation to others. Certainly, religious doctrine contained in the old testament of the Bible does not support the views presented by Rousseau about man in the state of nature because ever since the time of Genesis, man has demonstrated moral flaws even in dealings within the same family. Thus, it will appear that Rousseau’s arguments concerning the state of nature present flaws, and it makes sense to examine his views in comparison to other noted political theory philosophers, especially those that lived before him. Rousseau’s concept of an early state of nature presents men and women as solitary animals that come together only to reproduce. 7 8 Although, a mother in the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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