Professor David Hill
July 15, 2015
1) Explain the main differences and similarities between the ideas of Hobbes and Locke’s. Similarities include: rights, state of nature, atheism, powers of a sovereign, and the idea that governments are beneficial.
John Locke and Thomas Hobbes are two social contract theorist who share similarities in their Social Contract Theories, however they both have differences. The social contract theory is a voluntary agreement among individuals by which organized society is brought into being and invested with the right to secure mutual protection and welfare or to regulate the relations among its members.
John Locke’s theory that persons’ moral and/or political obligation are …show more content…
No morality exists. Everyone lives in constant fear. Because of this fear, no one is really free. However, in the state of nature everyone has the right to everything because there is no limit to natural rights. His theory that common security should be favored and that a bit of individual liberty should be sacrificed by each person to achieve it is an inaccurate policy. Hobbes believes the contract is a mutual transferring of rights. Individuals should not give up their natural rights because we are all born into a civil society with laws and contacts in place and if we abide by all laws within a civil society we would not be forced to give up our …show more content…
Both theorists believe in natural rights and freedoms and how men establish governments in order to secure peace however they differ on the purpose of government. Hobbes believed the purpose of government is to impose law and order to prevent the state of war. Locke believed the purpose of government is to secure natural rights, namely man’s property and liberty. Both refer to a “state of nature” in which man exists without government, and both speak of risks in this state. However, while both speak of the dangers of a state of nature, Hobbes is more pessimistic, whereas Locke speaks of the potential benefits. 2) How did the ideas of Rousseau challenge the central concepts and assumptions of Locke and Hobbes? What are the major problems in Rousseau 's thought? How are Rousseau 's ideas still with us?
Rousseau is a social contract theorist who believes men in a state of nature are free and equal. In a state of nature, men are “Noble Savages.” His social contract theory states that humans are corrupted by society, all people must enter a social contract that requires people to recognize a collective “good will” which represents the common good or public interest. All citizens should participate and should be committed to the good of all, even if it is not in their personal best