The Rousseau 's Theory Of Human Nature

Decent Essays
People are not naturally cruel. Rather, negative actions towards others are a response to the pressures that civil society pushes onto the citizens of the community. This is what Rousseau argues in the Discourse on the Origin of Inequality. If Rousseau’s theory were to be true, that if civilizations of people do not form, pity and self-preservation would secure order in humanity, then Mill’s concern on the principal of liberty would also be successfully achieved. However, due to the inevitable rise of civil society, Rousseau’s theory of human nature is corrupted and I believe that from this, it would be necessary to then need a governmental structure that ensures order is provided. With this need of a governmental structure, I believe that in order to ensure humans do not harm others, Mill’s theory On Liberty would not be able to be fully maintained. From this, I believe that the solution would be to allow citizens the liberty to make decisions that could harm themselves. However, if one were to harm another, they must be punished. This provides a balance of structure, yet provides freedom, which is important for the government to both sustain order and preserve citizen’s liberty. Rousseau shares his theory that there are two principles, in a natural state, which are used to replace laws and regulations from a civil society. These principles are pity and self-preservation and provide a natural care to maintain order: “[i]t is therefore quite certain that pity is a natural
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