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Political philosophy - Essay Example

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Political philosophers like Hobbs (1588-1679), Locke (1632-1704), Rousseau (1712-1778) and others proposed their own different convictions on Social Contract Theory, as…
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Download file to see previous pages agree that people were to renounce their liberty for the sake of social contract, regarding the issues like state of nature and subsequent development of social contract, they are deeply at odds.
Hobbs introduced a state of nature which has certain horrific features. According to him, human beings are at incessant conflict or war. This war is visible at every sphere of life since the individual level to the international level. However in my opinion, Hobbs offers the best account of the state of nature. An array of examples could be given for supporting his view. Conflicts between the individuals, between ethnic groups, between nations all represent the basic nature of human propensity to fight. This endless insecurity made the social contract inevitable for maintaining peace.
As compared to Hobbs, Locke’s approach to state of nature is rather mild. He states that people lived under a law of nature before the emergence of political power. Since they were self centered and lacked proper interpretation of right and wrong, inevitably conflicts occurred. In order to protect the individual interests they developed social contract initially in the form of society and further government.
Rousseau was against the theories of the other two. According to him, natural human beings are neither good nor bad with limited reasoning capacity. If they think that government is their own, they would act in favor of that and therefore according to him, state is the result of dominance of the rich over poor and anything against the general will is against the human freedom.
All these theories were criticized by Hegel. He proposed an extremely different opinion to defend the political power of state. According to him, state is not inherently the foe of man; instead, it is the system that realizes and defines his role as a citizen (Hinchman, 257). Hegel criticized the view that liberty existed before the establishment of the state. However, Hobbs theory stands up ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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