The State Of Nature And The Development Of Society

2224 Words Dec 15th, 2016 9 Pages
Hobbes and Rousseau: The State of Nature and The Development of Society Humans are taught to act and behave in a certain way. They are told what is wrong and what is right based off of the society they live in. They are given social norms and expectations depending on their race, socioeconomic class and gender. Our calculated behaviors are controlled by the perceptions and consequences from the outside world: society. But what if humans were born and lived within a nonsocial world, how would we behave and what would be our main concerns? In a world of no structure or class system, how would we treat one another? This is the question of the state of nature. The question of whether humans are innately violent, indifferent and/or loving beings have been discussed and debated by many philosophers and political theorist. Two philosophers who talk largely about the state of nature are Thomas Hobbes and Jean-Jacques Rousseau. There are key similarities between the theories of both philosophers, as well as significant differences that alter the conclusions that both theories propose about the state of nature and ultimately the development of society. Rousseau 's theory includes that a natural state is changed to a civil one when there is an understanding of sufficient resources for all and the innate quality of pity. While Hobbes theory states humans natural state is a violent and threatening one. Philosopher Thomas Hobbes discusses extensively about the state of nature in his…
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