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Political Theory - Essay Example

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Name: Institution: Instructor: Date: A. Rousseau’s Criticisms of Hobbes’s Notion of State of Nature Thomas Hobbes describes his idea of the state of nature using sovereign rule and social contracts. On the other hand, Jean-Jacques Rousseau challenged Hobbes assertions using a completely different version or interpretation of the state of nature (Plamenatz, Philp and Pelczynski 138)…
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Political Theory Essay
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Download file to see previous pages Also in Hobbes’s state of nature, human beings will never live together harmoniously, whilst in Rousseau’s state of nature is taken as period that is relatively peaceful and devoid of hostility that stems from the intricacies or discomfitures of a civilized society. From these positions, it is not difficult to see that, on nearly all aspects, it can be seen that Hobbes and Rousseau are optimistic about their positions and their difference in perspective only serves out school one another’s point of view. This paper therefore, explains Rousseau’s criticism of Hobbes account of the state of nature. In so doing, the paper will also explore how Rousseau’s criticism endorse a different conception of an ideal government and will look at Rousseau’s ideal state can help in ameliorating the problems generated by a civil society. Rousseau’s criticism The idea of complete freedom Hobbes’s take on the idea of complete freedom is that, in a state of nature access to complete freedom is possible when humans are equal and independent of each other. To discount this idea, Rousseau introduces the concepts of evolution, dependence and rational capacity as guiding principles in pursuance of people’s to satisfaction. Rousseau infers that because people are not able to meet all their desires, they evolved and came together because it through depending on each other that they will be able to satisfy their passions. In other words, what Rousseau is saying is that if the essence of man is merely to act upon his wishes and exercising complete freedom or liberty, then they are not making use of their rational capacity and as such they are creating the opportunity to hamper or infringe on the freedom of one another. Aspect of civil society Hobbes acknowledges the value of freedom or liberty as something that cannot be gotten in nature but only possible in civil society. However, the insufficiency with this definition is well exemplified when discussing the importance of positive or civil liberty that exists in any civil society as espoused by Rousseau. Rousseau argues that idea Hobbes idea creates a negative liberty or a civil society that is typified by ‘unlawful chains’ that compels people to conform to a system they actually do not agree with. Pre-social aspect Another criticism against Hobbes's state of nature relates to the existence of man as pre-social. Rousseau wonders how a man would be considered pre-social yet in the state of nature most qualities attributed to him are social in nature. Rousseau describes the aspect of pride as one that can only take place in a social environment. It must be understood, nonetheless, that both of these two scholars base their arguments on men’s qualities that are inter-personal in nature. According to Rousseau it is misleading when Hobbes claims that the life of man is solitary and yet he has inferred used the concept of neighborliness where people are not likely to get satisfied with resources at their disposal, because they are envious about what their neighbors have. B. An ideal Government The concept of power Hobbes supports a government that is headed by a ruler or king. In this case, people would confide their power or sovereignty in the hands of kings as a way of being more ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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