Political Theory: Comparing Locke, Rousseau and Plato Essay

3770 Words Apr 30th, 2013 16 Pages
Locke: What is the purpose of politics

- we could live in the state of nature, we don’t need contract or soverign

- life, liberty and property

State of nature: men live according to reason and governed by reason

- man exists in the state of nature in perfect freedom to do as they want, a state of perfect freedom

- not necessarily good or bad, bit is calm and peaceful

- men give up some of their freedom to secure the advantages of civilized socity

- men have the right to protect their freedom (killing if necessary)

- bound by the laws of nature

- contrast with hobbes: everyone has the right over everything, there exist no private property

- Liberty to do as
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• First part says that the aim of the contract is to protect and defend the common goods of each member. Consistent with Locke’s claims that the purpose of society is protect the security of each members. Rousseau adds a second and more disctinctly original claim.
• The contract must ensure the conditions for mutual protection, but also in uniting with one another each person obeys only himself and remains as free as he was before.
• Isn’t the essence of the social contract giving up part of our natural freedom?
• How can we remain as free.
• Total alienation of each associate together with all of his rights to the entire community
• Total alienation, entire community.
• To ensure the terms of the agreements, persons must totally give themselves up for the social contract.
• When we alienate ourselves, this must be given to the entire community. This is to ensure that the general will works.
• General will is only legitimate sovereign. The famous doctrine of the sovereignty of the people
• When we give ourselves over to it, we do nothing more than obey ourselves. Sovereign is not third party, it is simply the people as a whole acting in their collective capacity.
• How do we remain as free as we were before?
• Formula for freedom or tyranny of the majority?
• Only through total alienation do we remain free, because nobody is
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