IB Philosophy Core: Hobbes and Rousseau on society and the state of nature

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  • Created by: Milly
  • Created on: 12-04-13 12:02
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  • Hobbes and Rousseau
    • Hobbes
      • Leviathan
        • The Sovereign is the head of state and has control over all the poeple
        • All of the individuals in the society make up the body of the state and therefore support the Sovereign by agreeing to submit themselves
        • The state has authority over of of the land and the ultimate opinion
        • Individuals must give up almost all rights
          • Especially rights allowing you to exercise your disgretion in respect to law
          • However, if the Leviathan puts your life in danger you have the right to go against him
      • State of nature
        • War-like state
          • Equal desires for limited resources
          • Constant fear of a violent, sudden death
        • The horrors of the state of nature make individuals come together to agree on a Sovereign
          • Leviathan
            • The Sovereign is the head of state and has control over all the poeple
            • All of the individuals in the society make up the body of the state and therefore support the Sovereign by agreeing to submit themselves
            • The state has authority over of of the land and the ultimate opinion
            • Individuals must give up almost all rights
              • Especially rights allowing you to exercise your disgretion in respect to law
              • However, if the Leviathan puts your life in danger you have the right to go against him
          • The Sovereign's role is to ensure peace
          • They enter into a social contract motivated by self preservation
        • Thought experiment
        • Life would be , 'nasty, brutish and short'
        • Solitary
      • 17th century philosopher who was a product of the humanist literary culture of renaissance
    • Rousseau
      • State of nature
        • uncorrupt by civilization and the socialization process
        • Man would be isolated, timid, peaceful, mute and without foresight to worry about the future, because man is not naturally equal
        • No communities exist
        • Humans are not only motivated by self preservation but also pity, as we revolt at the suffering of others
      • Social contract
        • All men obey the laws of society, devised by the rich to secure property
        • The poor must make sacrifices in order to provide securty for the wealthy which prevents conflict
        • Society would develop in stages
        • First  humans organise themselves into temporary groups for specific tasks
        • Secondly humans would form more permanent relationships, like traditional families
          • Concepts of property, pride and competition develop
          • No pain or inequality exists yet
          • This is the stage of greatest happiness
        • Thirdly there is division of labour with distinct social classes and this is where conflicts begin from
      • Critised Hobbes for not acknowledging that the characteristics humans have in his state of nature as war was a result of society

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