Difference Between Hobbes And Rousseau

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Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Thomas Hobbes were 18th and 17th century thinkers with similar, yet opposed theories about human nature. While Rousseau lived in an era of relative peace, Hobbes wrote his masterwork Leviathan during the English Civil War, this would have a great influence on his writings. Hobbes’s theory is based upon the supposition that human nature is naturally aggressive and selfish; whereas Rousseau believes that men only become evil once they join society, which corrupts them. Both theories have been criticized for either being too pessimistic or in Rousseau’s case for being too naïve, this essay will show and compare their main points regarding the Social Contract, such as the State of Nature, the definition of the Social Contract, …show more content…
It is only once they join society, start acquiring property and forming relationships that differences and jealousies start to appear. He doesn’t deny that Hobbes’s view may be correct, just that his definition of the actual ‘State of Nature’ is inaccurate. According to Rousseau, the only sentiments left in the ‘State of Nature’ would be self-love and pity, and man would have no desire for power because there would be nobody to …show more content…
A lot of conclusions can be brought from this statement and Rousseau’s and Hobbes’s bear no resemblance. While the former believes that all men give themselves and their rights to the ‘body politic’ and that people ‘’place themselves under the supreme direction of the General Will’’ , the latter argues that all men should give themselves and all their rights to a third party, the sovereign. Hobbes believes that this sovereign stands above society and can punish those who disobey him, the reason why people accept this is because they acquire

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