Hobbes And Rousseau 's View Of State Of Nature

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For centuries, many political philosophers used “state of nature” as the starting point of their theories about society, chief among them Hobbes and Rousseau. Even though both philosophers saw state of nature as the phase prior to formation of societies, Hobbes saw the state of nature as a step to the better phase (a political society ruled by sovereign), while Rousseau saw it as a step to man’s misery. For Hobbes, man’s natural state is fearful and chaotic phase which create the need for an institution that provides self-protection. Rousseau opposed Hobbes’s view of state of nature as he strongly believed that man was much happier in the state of the nature and Hobbes’s picture of human in sate of nature to be false. In simpler words,…show more content…
Everyone can follow their primary instincts to take other men’s belongings and property for self-protection and glory. Hobbes state that “the passions that incline men to peace are: fear of death; desire of such things as are necessary to commodious living; and a hope by their industry to obtain them” (185). Peace and order can never be established in this state, therefore there is need for a political institution. On the other hand, Rousseau see human nature to be good and pure and consider society as the cause of its corruption .In the Rousseauian state of nature, solitary exist but men are not brutal to each other. Each man struggles to satisfy his physical needs in order to ensure survival. A man in state of nature does not see fellow men as threats and consider cooperation and collaboration between each man as the best way to guarantee mutual survival. In other words, men in state of nature are linked together by their common struggle with the natural conditions of the environment they live in. However, as political societies are formed, greediness and social inequalities rise. These features are not part of human nature and are caused by “artificial” societies. He considered social sense to be unnatural and stated that if one want to figure out human nature, one should consider a man in state of nature. He states “it will be understood how much less difference from man to man must be in the state
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