Explain Rousseau 's Claim That People Can Be Forced

1349 Words Dec 17th, 2015 6 Pages
Explain and assess Rousseau’s claim that people can be ‘forced to be free’.

Rousseau’s claim that people can be ‘’forced to be free’’ (Rousseau, 2012, pg. 30) means that people can be forced to obey the general will for the common good of everybody. Jacques is arguably one of the most influential philosopher and thinkers not only during the Enlightenment era in France and across Europe but also through the development of modern political and educational work where many have been inspired by his writings. His ideas result from his belief that every state has its origin in people that gave birth to its political structure, fundamental laws and civil liberties. (Rousseau lecture1) Moreover Rousseau paid great attention to nature and human feelings. He claimed that humans are naturally independent and held a belief that ‘’man is born free and everywhere he is in chains’’ (Rousseau, 2012, pg. 12 ) arguing that people in the state of nature were fundamentally good and pure but became corrupt and evil through the institution of civilised society (Bertram, 2010). On the contrary, Rousseau remains as a huge supporter of the social contract theory, which is considered by him as the source of states legitimacy, criticises social inequality, authoritarianism and feudalism. Rousseau, as an important social contract theorist, states that people are the creators of law as well as the subject of law and because they will provide themselves with the laws they wish to live by, the…
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