Comparison of Thomas Hobbes and Jean-Jacques Rousseau Essay

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While Hobbes and Rousseau address many of the same issues and topics in both The Leviathan as well as The Discourses, the way that Hobbes and Rousseau look at these issues such as, human nature, the state, and inequality are extremely different from each other. In some cases Hobbes and Rousseau’s opinions on these certain ideas are completely contradicting and opposite of each other. While it is tough to say which viewpoint, Hobbes’ or Rousseau’s is correct, one or the other can be considered sounder by their logic and reasoning. The view that Hobbes takes on the matters of human nature, the state, and inequality is sounder and more logical than that of Rousseau. Rousseau believes that humans are not naturally wicked and that in …show more content…

This then lead to some jobs being looked at as more honorable or important than others. From this people began to develop social classes and that eventually leads to oppression and inequality. When you look at Hobbes’ idea of human nature he says that humans are born with characteristics such as greed. He believes that human are born wanting to better themselves and themselves only while in the state of nature. Because of this characteristic of power and greed, human society depends upon a strong central authority to govern, instill fear and hold together their society. One argument that against Hobbes’ viewpoint, in which he addresses in The Leviathan is that people ask if animals can live together peacefully without a central authority or within the commonwealth then why cant humans. Hobbes refutes this by saying, “…men are continually in competition for honour and dignity, which these creatures are not;” (108). This is basically saying that it is in human nature to want to be better and more honorable than the person next to you. Ants and other animals do not have this characteristic. They simply do the tasks that they are supposed to in order to benefit the whole “commonwealth”. Hobbes also goes on to address the fact that each person has the ability to consciously submit to the commonwealth and in return, they are given order and protection.

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