This, in turn, leads to an obvious question:
Thomas Hobbes and Jean Jacques Rousseau Natural state of man has been one of the major themes in political philosophy for centuries. However, for Rousseau, this is not a valid argument because he firmly believes that man was much happier at least in his early natural state.
In other words, both Hobbes and Rousseau in their theories appeal to the state of nature as a phase before the formation of political society, but their views of the state of nature are quite different.
In the light of the information above, this paper will explain the differences between these two views and examine the effects of their differing views of state of nature on their understanding of the legitimacy and bases of the social contract.
Man is also always in the fear of being killed in a painful way because everyone is an enemy to each other. In such a state, one cannot expect peace and order; therefore, there must be a political institution that would guarantee these aspects.
On the other hand, Rousseau considers human nature good, yet it is to be corrupted 1 by society due to some reasons. Also, he says that in his natural state man is solitary, but not brutal to others. In this state, he is like an animal, searching for the ways of satisfying himself physically for survival.
For that reason, man is not an enemy to his fellow men, but there is a sort of cooperation and collaboration for surviving together. It is actually related to four features of human nature such as lack of rationality, lack of morality, physical freedom and no coercive impact of society.
In other words, they are dependent on each other in order to struggle with natural conditions in their environment. Secondly, their views are different from each other in terms of the phase after man has left his natural state.
For Hobbes, man became much happier after getting rid of his natural state, because his life was based on peace and order. Man transferred all his rights to the sovereign and signed a social contract in which he obtained self-protection with the laws that the state imposed. For Rousseau, this brought inequality as well because man became greedy for power and wealth.
Considering these statements, one can 2 conclude that Rousseau was not satisfied with the social institutions that man founded because for him, it triggered inequality because while some of them became richer, others remained poor in the race of power and wealth.
Finally, Hobbes and Rousseau have a different outlook on the basis and legitimacy of social contract. For Hobbes, social contract is an inevitable process because man needs a central power for self-preservation. He cannot protect himself from outside dangers; therefore, he needs sovereign power for survival.
Nevertheless, for Rousseau, social contract is needed, but it unavoidably creates inequality as well as peace and order. If man were more just and fair in his actions, social contract would be more beneficial to his life.
In his natural state, man was more caring and cooperative, but with social contract, he is more individualistic and greedy. That is why, Rousseau does not believe in the good side of social contract.
As this statement implies, social contract enslaves man to unequal chances and opportunities according to Rousseau, but for Hobbes, it is the best form of self-protection.
Otherwise, man cannot survive and become happy. First, it is good enough to comprehend the essence of political societies. Hobbes comes up with plausible explanations about how man needed for a political society, but Rousseau remains insufficient in terms of making the reader comprehend how man gave consent to shifting to the formation of political society.
Second, it well depicts the need for a social contract which would provide self-preservation or self-protection. It is for sure that without social contract, man cannot survive by himself.
He has to possess some kind of peace and order, which social contract provides with. Moreover, in social contract, man gives up all his rights and transfers 3 them to the sovereign, which is logical in terms of the beginning of political societies.
This argument is valid for the natural state of man. Man is never equal to his fellow men as long as personal, physical and social differences exist.
Secondly, whereas Hobbes regards the formation of political societies as a need for stability, peace and order by getting rid of natural state, Rousseau considers it a need arising out of growing population and changing life conditions.
Finally, for Hobbes, social contract is a great necessity for society, because it is a guarantee for peace, order and self-protection, whereas for Rousseau it meant to be inequality in society.
As a result of these, one can conclude that natural state of man needs to be analyzed for the sake of understanding the essence of political societies and the meaning of social contract. Works Cited Hobbes, Thomas.
Norton and Company, Jul 28, · Although the concept of the social contract is recognizable in the works of some of the ancient Greek philosophers, and Rousseau was the first to coin the term “social contract”, Thomas Hobbes is widely recognized to be the founder of social contract theory in western philosophy.
The State of Nature: Thomas Hobbes and Jean Jacques Rousseau Natural state of man has been one of the major themes in political philosophy for centuries. This is because the discussion over the state of nature reveals the underlying reasons why man has had to establish political societies according.
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