Political Theory: Property

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Introduction One of the most confounding concepts in the discipline of political theory is the issue of property. Classical philosophers like Plato and Aristotle dedicate a large part of their works to speculations about the state of nature and property ownership. However, a comprehensive theoretical exploration of the concept of private property ownership is credited to relatively modern philosophers like Thomas Hobbes, John Locke and Jean Jacques Rousseau. The writings of Locke and Rousseau on property ownership are quite fascinating to compare. Both philosophers portray the early stages of man in what they refer to as the State of Nature. This paper takes a critical look at Rousseau’s conceptualization of private property and the state…show more content…
He is deeply opposed to Locke’s idea of man as a sociable being. In his state of nature, man lacks the ability to identify even their own offspring. In the state of nature, Locke and Rousseau seem to agree on several issues especially in the theoretical nature of their conceptualization. Rousseau concurs that State of Nature is a largely nonviolent period. However, his revelation of the state of nature is much more appealing. While Locke appears to insinuate that man has progressed out of this State of nature, Rousseau praises it as a period of harmony and virtue. In addition, Rousseau does not simply take the contemporary man and place him in the State of Nature. Instead, he makes a convincing argument of a relatively different and primitive man who slowly evolves into the modern version. Locke’s version does not explain the evolution of man up untill the state of nature. Rousseau’s argument seems more convincing since facts that corroborate the evolution theory have been unearthed. Therefore, Rousseau’s theory appears entirely reasonable in allocating diverse attributes to ancient man and contemporary man. However, some of the attributes Rousseau’s gives to ancient man and his life in the state of nature are questionable. One these attributes is that man’s basic desires were mostly satisfied. Rousseau's idea of man relaxing while eating
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