The Social Contract: Hobbes Vs. Rousseau

1773 Words 8 Pages
Hobbes and Rousseau both go into great depth regarding how humans come together to form the social contract. This social contract ultimately leads to civil society. The two both contain similarities and also apparent differences on topics such as: the state of nature, human nature, the establishment and powers a sovereign possess, and rights gained and taken away after the social contract. Also, one can easily compare either of these philosophers to more modern day philosophers, including Peter Singer. If looking at Hobbes’ and Rousseau’s ideas from a current standpoint, one could only assume what their input would be on society in America today. Hobbes and Rousseau both discuss the state of nature. The state of nature consists of no structural society including: no government, no laws, and the absence of religious institutions. Hobbes describes man in the state of nature as, “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and …show more content…
Hobbes states, “The plenty of materials is limited by nature to those commodities which from land and sea, God usually either freely gives or for labor sells to mankind. The matter of this nutriment consists in animals, vegetables, and minerals” (Hobbes, 135). With this being said, Peter Singer would definitely disagree with Hobbes in regards to consuming animals. Singer explains taking into importance of taking into account one’s interests whether nonhuman or human. The main interests both nonhumans and humans share is avoiding suffering. One may argue animals are essential in order to maintain nutrients. However, it can be argued one can find essential dietary nutrients through other resources including plants and other resources. Also, Hobbes does not take into account animals in his social contract. Peter Singer is a utilitarian meaning everyone’s happiness counts the same. Knowing this about Peter Singer, it can be assumed he would consider nonhumans a part of the social

Related Documents