Rousseau Vs Hobbes
Philosophical anarchists make the argument that obedience to state commands is unjustifiable as it fundamentally clashes with the individuals’ obligation to be morally autonomous. And in order for a state to function, it needs to be able to issue moral obligations. As Robert Paul Wolff puts it ‘The state is a group of persons who have and exercise supreme authority within a given territory’ (Wolff, p. 5). Further, Wolff argues that the authority of a state gives it the right to command, and to be obeyed irrespective of what that command is. Essentially, there is a moral obligation to comply with the states command – even though one need not have …show more content…
5. How does Rousseau’s account of the state of nature differ to Hobbes’s? Is it more plausible?
Contrary to Hobbes, Rousseau was of the opinion that it was society that had the potential to corrupt a man’s morals, and that man in his natural state lives in harmony with nature (Rousseau, p. 72). Rousseau built on the idea that men are born as blank slates, and that it is the environment and society that influences our moral actions. This is clearly contradictory to Hobbes narrative that humans in their natural state experience a state of war.
I feel that while Rousseau raises valid criticisms of Hobbes’ work, and indeed, the debate of whether the behaviour of man is inherited or moulded by society is a debate that is still highly prolific today. Indeed, this is known as the “Nature versus Nurture debate” which is often referred to in academic fields such as psychology. However, recent scientific discoveries, including in the field of Epigenetics, suggest that nature and nurture may influence each other to the point where it is difficult to distinguish between them. So as it stands, it may be reasonable to suggest that both theories are at least