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Difference Between Hobbes And Rousseau

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Words have evolved, within the political sphere. For instance, the notion of democracy as it is known today is diametrically opposed to Plato's definition of democracy. One can also note the same variation, as far as equality and inequality are concerned. For the sake of this essay, the definitions provided by Hobbes and Rousseau, on the notions of equality and inequality, as well as their views on the state of nature and the idea of a social contract will be analyzed. “Nature hath made men so equal in the faculties of body and mind as that, though there be found one man sometimes manifestly stronger in body or of quicker mind than another, yet when all is reckoned together the difference between man and man is not so considerate as…show more content…
Rousseau also argued that the growth of societies, due to the race for discovery, caused an increase in self-love (amour propre), which was part of what he saw as being the “empire of opinion”, and vanity. The idea of self-love is defined, amongst other things, by the appearance of being virtuous and by the use of manners, in society. This idea of self-love is fueled by reason and is reinforced by the idea of reflection. For Rousseau, reason is also “what turns man in upon himself3” and what “separates him from all that troubles him and afflicts him4”. The Genevan thinker also argues, within the Discourse on Inequality, that the notion of reason and philosophy strengthen the selfish side of mankind, in society: “No longer can anything but danger to the entire society trouble the tranquil slumber of the philosopher and yank him from his bed. His fellowman can be killed with impunity underneath his window. He has merely to place his hands over his ears and argue with himself a little in order to prevent nature, which rebels within him, from identifying him with the man being assassinated.5” Reason is not found in the mind of what Rousseau calls the “savage man”, which explains that “for lack of wisdom and reason he is always seen thoughtlessly giving in to the first sentiment of humanity6.”. On the other hand, the “empire of opinion” that
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