Rousseau, Hobbes, and Locke : Interpretations of Human Nature

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Through time people have always wondered what it is that makes us who we are. It has been our human nature that has kept us intrigued with ourselves, and our relationships with others. With this curiosity came various interpretations as to our human nature, each changing the way we see the societal world we live in. With each interpretation came a new understanding of people and the relationship they hold with each other. Human nature has been one of the most studied elements of the world we live in. From our nature came the interest of how we as humans interact with each other, through the development of our nature some have served and others had ruled. Three philosophers that have focused their political ideas around human nature…show more content…
If mankind is so self centered it would be hard to create a stable society. Hobbes says, “So that in the nature of man, we find three principal causes of quarrel. First, competition; secondly, diffidence; thirdly, glory” (293). Through this one can see that people do actually act according to their own benefit. If each person seeks things for their benefit, it wouldn’t be long before fights would break out. These fights would soon become mini wars and maybe worse than that. If there is no control mechanism for this kind of society there would be no trust amongst the people and war would be never ending. Hobbes looked further into the issue and came to the conclusion that mankind was being selfish not merely for that reason but for the sake of survival. He believed that man was inherently prone to fight to survive but without a structure to that mindset survival would transform to what I have mentioned before selfishness. Hobbes goes on to speak about mankind’s “natural right,” he says, “as long as this natural right of every man to every things endureth, there can be no security to any man” (295). The only way to balance this fact of human nature is to establish an absolute power that can put some control amongst the people. Hobbes proposed something that would meet the requirements to control a society that is naturally looking for their own survival. He goes on to say, “a common power, to keep them in awe, and to direct their actions to
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