Locke and Rousseau present themselves as two very distinct thinkers. They both use similar terms, but conceptualize them differently to fulfill very different purposes. As such, one ought not be surprised that the two theorists do not understand liberty in the same way. Locke discusses liberty on an individual scale, with personal freedom being guaranteed by laws and institutions created in civil society. By comparison, Rousseau’s conception portrays liberty as an affair of the entire political community, and is best captured by the notion of self-rule. The distinctions, but also the similarities between Locke and Rousseau’s conceptions can be clarified by examining the role of liberty in each theorist’s proposed state of nature and
Jean-Jacques Rousseau, A Discourse Upon the Origin and the Foundation of the Inequality Among Mankind
The last paragraph of the prelude to the Second Discourse is an impassioned appeal whose scope transcends the boundaries of time and space alike, calling for readers to pay attention to the history of man and society that Rousseau is on the verge of putting forth. Beginning with this authorial intrusion—a form of literary apostrophe—the essay adopts historical writing as its primary narrative mode. This method stands in direct contrast with the approach Thomas Hobbes takes in his Leviathan, in which the Englishman sets out to prove propositions as one might do geometrically, by preceding from valid arguments and sound premises. Rousseau’s rejection of philosophy, at least as he understands it in the Second Discourse, embodies the emphasis
From the mid seventeenth to nineteenth centuries, there was an Enlightenment' movement that swept across Europe. The theorists behind this act rejected the original sin' concept, maintained the argument that humans could grow and progress, and stated that humans could reorganize society on the grounds of equality, justice, and freedom. Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, and Jean-Jacques Rousseau were all members of The Enlightenment movement, and each had their own idea on how human society should be structured and run. Locke and Hobbes lived around the same time, and some of their political theories were the same, however, by the time Rousseau came along, much had changed.
Rousseau sees the first step of exiting the state of nature and getting closer to origin of tyranny is when man decides to leave the lifestyle of being alone and always wandering to settling down and making a house and trying to provide for his basic needs and the ones that are not as necessary as: nourishment, rest, shelter and self-preservation. This is the stage where you see the element playing a part in man’s life and in the way civil society came to be. Man is no longer just worried about himself he has to provide not only for himself but for his entire family which he is searching for. Natural man or savage man lives within himself whereas Rousseau argues that civil man lives in the judgement of others. This is one of the big reasons has to how inequality fomed. All the inequalities Rousseau does take about or basically economic things that happen in nature. This type of economic ineuality is among the many other inequalities but is one of many that inequality originated from. If man had stayed restricted to working by themselves they would have remained free, healthy, good and happy as
From Aristotle to John Locke to Thomas Jefferson, the ideas of great philosophers influenced the foundations of the United States. When Jefferson began writing the Declaration of Independence, he wanted to make this new country based on the basic fundamentals. He wanted to base the country on what was considered the natural laws. Jefferson had many philosophical minds to ponder when writing the document, such as Aristotle and most importantly John Locke.
99). Rousseau viewed property as a right “which is different from the right deducible from the law of nature” (Rousseau, p. 94). Consequently, “the establishment of one community made that of all the rest necessary…societies soon multiplied and spread over the face of the earth” (Rousseau, p. 99). Many political societies were developed in order for the rich to preserve their property and resources. Rousseau argues that these societies “owe their origin to the differing degrees of inequality which existed between individuals at the time of their institution,” (Rousseau, p. 108). Overall, the progress of inequality could be constructed into three phases. First, “the establishment of laws and of the right of property” (Rousseau, p. 109) developed stratification between the rich and poor. Then, “the institution of magistracy” and subsequently “the conversion of legitimate into arbitrary power” (Rousseau, p. 109) created a dichotomy between the week and powerful, which ultimately begot the power struggle between slave and master. According to Rousseau, “there are two kinds of inequality among the human species…natural or physical, because it is established by nature…and another, which may be called moral or political inequality, because it… is established…by the consent of men,” (Rousseau, p. 49).
John Locke (“Locke”) and Jean-Jacques Rousseau (“Rousseau”) are two of the most well known European political philosophers to this day. 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.
The purpose which Rousseau ostensibly gives his social contract is to free man from the illegitimate chains to which existing governments have shackled him. If this is his aim, then it follows that he should be most concerned with the preservation of freedom in political society, initially so that savage man might be lured out of nature and into society in the first place, and afterwards so that Rousseau’s framework for this society will prevent the present tyranny from reasserting itself. Indeed, in his definition of purpose for man’s initial union into society, he claims that, despite his membership in an association to which he must necessarily have some sort of obligation if the
With the exception of Native Americans, there is no race of people that originated in America. Yet today, we all come together under the colors of red, white and blue, sing the National Anthem and call ourselves "Americans". Despite our differences in religion, norms, values, national origins, our pasts, and our creeds, we all combine under one common denominator. Alain Locke addresses this issue of cultural pluralism in his article, "Who and What is `Negro'?" In this article, Locke states that, "There is, in brief, no `The Negro'. " By this, he means that blacks are not a uniform and unchanging body of people. He emphasizes that we, as Americans, need to mentally mature to a point where we do not view
Racism. Fines. Jail time. Exploitation. Lack of security. On September 27th 2014, those of colour in Ferguson, Missouri, talked about their frustration towards their system of government. After one of the biggest scandals of 2014, the shooting of Michael Brown, the people of Ferguson are forced to face with the after math and the continued discrimination. Only this time it is in regards to paying fines. Those in Ferguson believe they are receiving unjustified fines that render them unable to pay back and to correct. This raises the question, what would you do if you were in this situation of exploitation? Would you just simply leave or would you wait it out? Two philosophers who discuss their ideas of the people being in control of their future are John Locke and Toussaint L’Ouverture. Throughout this paper I will be discussing Locke’s idea of leaving the state in which you are not pleased with, additionally with L’Ouverture’s idea of; you are compelled to follow those in powers will. I will also be comparing Locke’s idea of parental authority and their limitations with L’ Ouverture letting circumstances happen just to save selves from future misery. I will be arguing between Locke and L’Ouverture idea of how people can determine their futures regardless of hierarchy. As I argue in favour of L’Ouverture, I will be demonstrating how Locke opposes to L’Ouverture’s argument.
Thomas Hobbes, John Locke and Jean-Jacques Rousseau all claim an integral space in the realm of political philosophy. Through their respective dissertations, each author analyzed man in his natural state and derived a form of civil society from that conclusion. While each author observes man in his own way and thus come to his own forms of subsequent government, equality seems to be a defining feature in all of their theories. All authors engage this notion heavily within their texts and use this comparison of man to man to draw powerful inferences from that. This paper will briefly summarize Hobbes’, Locke, and Rousseau’s definition of the state of nature and then critically analyze the role of equality in crafting the construction of government.
John Locke, born August 29th, 1632 in England became one of the most influential people during the 17th century. Locke was born in a tiny cottage by a church in Waringhton, Somerset, near Bristol to John Locke and Agnes Keene. Both he and his father shared the same name, John Locke. Senior Locke was a country lawyer and a clerk to the Justices of the Peace who fought on the Parliamentarian forces as a captain of cavalry during the English Civil War of 1640s. Using his connections through the war, he placed his son in the prestigious Westminster School in London. After Locke Jr. finished his studies at Westminster School in 1652, he received admission into the Christ Church College in Oxford, where he focused on the basic curriculum of logic,
What is common in Locke, Hobbes and Rousseau is state of nature. In the state of nature all people are equal – although they have different talents they are equal, because having different talents doesn’t prevent equality - and have same rights but in time they try to command each other and make domination upon them. Hobbes associate this desire with the effort to dispel the insecurity which is caused by equality between people. According to his opinion, if two people desire the same thing that they can not possess at the same time, they turn on each other. – we can affirm that this hostility is generated by equality-. Mainly for the purpose of protecting their entity, sometimes only by enjoying they try to destroy or dominate each other.
Jean-Jacques Rousseau was a Swiss-born French Enlightenment thinker most famous for the 1762, “The Social Contract.” “The Social Contract” is Rousseau’s most valued work due to its ties within the French Revolution.