Theories Of Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Karl Marx And Charles Darwin

1639 Words 7 Pages
Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Karl Marx and Charles Darwin were all famous philosophers that made great contributions on emphasizing how humans came into existence, and the changes required to better their existence. Rousseau (1922) focused on social conditions that created inequality, Marx (1992) focused on political aspects that governed class conflict and Darwin (1956) on the evolutionary formation of man today. I will argue however, that Rousseau is the most applicable theorist because his idea of the self and society are accurate in present day and his idea of a new ruling system are very similar to the democracy that we live in now. Throughout this essay, I will discuss all three theorists and how they distinguish humans from nature, tying this …show more content…
The actions taken by man is what has led to their demise and suffering, the only way to potentially fix this is for man to create a new state of nature where inequality is non-existent. Rousseau explains the want for individual property, thus creating a civil society. If one individual would have said the earth does not belong to anyone, a great number of atrocities could have been stopped (Rousseau 1922:44). However, geography fosters resourcefulness and by owning land man becomes rich in resources, power and wealth. Another form of inequality was the creation of laws and government. Laws were supposedly created to govern, protect and defend humans, however they only benefitted the rich. Laws abolished natural liberty, gave rise to property inequality, subjected men to labours for the profit of richer men, and killed thousands (Rousseau 1922:56). According to Rousseau, “The most decent people learned to consider it one of their duties to kill their fellow men. Finally, men were seen massacring one another by the thousands without knowing why” (1992:57). Rousseau is implying that people killed one another not because they wanted to, but it is what the law allowed them to. Rousseau expressed that humans needed to create a new state of nature, eliminating any form of inequalities. To have a ruler who is the strongest and chosen …show more content…
I will then compare Darwin’s theories to Rousseau’s, presenting similarities between the two. Darwin’s theory of Natural Selection explains how individuals that carry more favorable traits towards the environment will have a better chance of survival and producing offspring (Darwin 1956:131). According to Darwin, all features of man have been acquired through natural selection (Darwin 1956:271). Darwin implies that man is similar to animals and that there is no fundamental difference in mental set, however, man descended from a weak creature because he can feel (Darwin 1956:275). Humans have a conscience, are intellectual, sympathetic but not instinctive, act on impulse and are highly influenced by others (Darwin 1956:280). The wishes and opinions of others are expressed vocally and put into writing which form laws that are meant to influence and reinforce social norms, beliefs of law and religion influence us greatly and shape our later instinct in life (Darwin 1956:281). Everything that man does or feels has been learned or taught, obeying laws and believing in religion are all ways that society has made the induvial conform (Darwin 1956:281), and as natural selection would have it, if you don’t conform you die. Darwin’s comparisons of humans from

Related Documents