European Political Philosophers: John Locke and Jean-Jacues Rousseau

1938 Words Feb 23rd, 2018 8 Pages
Locke is a 17th century political philosopher due to him writing his works in the late 1600s. On the other hand Rousseau is an 18th century political philosopher with his writings coming approximately 100 years after Locke’s. While it is known that most philosophers build off the works of their predecessors, there is a vast range between Locke and Rousseau when it comes to the concept of private property. On the one hand, Locke considered the right of property to be a God given right and one that everyone is entitled to. When compared to Locke, Rousseau viewed the notion of owning property to be a negative addition to society. By placing these two political philosopher’s views against each other, this paper will argue that their difference of opinions is based in their account of how each define the state of nature. Rousseau states, “The philosophers who have examined the foundations of society have all felt the necessity of returning to the state of nature…was civilized man they depicted” can be viewed as Rousseau admitting he knows there is a difference between himself and Locke. By exploring the differences between Locke’s civil man and Rousseau’s natural man, this will clarify why these two political philosophers have different foundations and theories when it comes to private property. Rousseau states “the first person…
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