Evolution and the Modern Social Contract Theory : Essay Outline

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The Emergence of the Modern Social Contract Theory

Essay Outline

POLS 14033 – Political Ideas and Ideologies

The Emergence of the Modern Social Contract Theory

Essay Question:

Firstly, in this essay, we will describe and analyze the various concepts of the evolution and emergence of the modern social contract theory thru the analysis of several of its key political thinkers. We will provide a detailed review of the concepts that have developed and that were crucial for the emergence and evolution of this theory including the questions of the origin of society and the legitimacy of the authority of the state over the individuals. We will describe the social context in which the modern social contract theory has
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Rousseau, Jean-Jacques. “Du Contrat Social ou Principes du droit politique”, France, 1762.

With the changes humanity faced and as the overall population increased, the concept of communities and divisions of labour were introduced and one could say they “gave” rise to leisure time. Private property, how ever was the most significant concept that influenced his social contract theory the most. According to Rousseau, private property constituted greatly in the pivotal moment of our evolution out into competitiveness and other “greedy” one could argue stat and out of the simple and more “pure”. Rousseau had great thoughts on “the state of nature” and that this state was happy and equal before the invention of property. Rousseau analyzes the invention of property as a “fall from grace” that was the State of nature. 3. Hobbes, Thomas. “Leviathan”, Great Britain, 1651.
Like Rousseau, Thomas Hobbes believed in a previous “state of nature” where he describes life as being lived/led by instincts such as fear and the will to survive that essentially led to selfishness. He however described human beings as their desire for security and order that he explained with important terms: self-protection and self-preservation. Also most importantly, human beings enter in contract to secure self-protection and self-preservation, and to avoid pain and misery. He solidifies this theory by arguing that human beings, when submitted to authority,

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