Thomas Hobbes Social Contract Analysis

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Through the ages, man has struggled with such concepts as natural rights and the role of government infringing upon those rights. Thomas Hobbes and John Locke go into detail on this particular discussion, and in doing so bring up some contrasting ideas concerning human nature and "the social contract." What is the "social contract," some may ask. It is not so much a concrete principle or tangible piece of paper as an idea or a theory, introduced by Hobbes and Locke in such a way as the agreement that we make when we ask to be governed; or ask for governance. To further understand the social contract theory, you must start by analyzing how humans act towards one another in a completely class and structure free environment. Thomas Hobbes and …show more content…
And in that jealousy arises the need for some sort of law or structure, after all, Hobbes would make the point that with no ruling body life would be a constant battle of neighbor versus neighbor all in an effort to gain what the next man has. Since there is no law in the state of nature, there is no justice, and no body to call out whether or not an action is "unjust." This directly influences his views of how society should be organized. Thomas Hobbes, through his piece on "The State of Nature and The Basis of Obligation" argues that the folly of man calls for stringent government to keep everyone from killing one another. John Locke, on the other hand, takes a whole different viewpoint concerning the state of nature, and thus takes a differing viewpoint on how man and government should interact. Locke 's idea of the State of Nature is more that everyone is equal.. "a state of perfect freedom to order their actions and dispose of their possesions and persons, as they think fit.." (p 80). Locke does not share Hobbes 's idea that men, left to their own devices, would be vicious and contemptable to one another. And this directly affects his ideals of social organization. To tie this …show more content…
Though overall, they mostly make the same points --that men are created equal, endowed with natural rights, and echange these rights for inclusion in society-- they are opposed in their views of the nature of man on an individual level. Hobbes is much more cynical, supposing that man is always out for his best interest, even if it means the harm of his neighbor; and John Locke takes the more righteous view of mankind. Which philosopher hit closer to the mark, in relation to actual human behavior, is hard to

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