Why Should I Be Govered? State of Nature.

The State of Nature according to Rousseau, Locke, Hobbes and Rawls.


Hobbes, State of Nature

  • Believed life in a state of nature is 'nasty, brutish and short'.
  • A state of nature is equivalent to a state of war.
  • This is because we are only interested in ourselves.
  • And this is because we are essentially evil.
  • In a state of nature we have the right to defend ourselves from exploitation, and so our brutality grows.
  • We are all equal in the sense that we are equally capable of killing someone to defend ourselves or to exploit others.
  • To escape this, we commit to a social contract.
  • And so we commit to a social contract out of fear.
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Rousseau, State of Nature

  • Rousseau puts forward the concept of the noble savage.
  • In a pre-society, we are innocent, we have no pride and have limited wants.
  • We were savage because we had no laws and that is why we were noble.
  • Society is what corrupts us.
  • We are free and Rousseau agrees with Locke here. He Disagrees with Locke when Locke claims we had rational powers.
  • The noble savge has no concpetion of justice. Evil is simply not a factor.
  • Laws implant temptation towards evil within us.
  • In a State of Nature we are free and naturally good, but we are weak.
  • We moved to a social contract because we, society, felt unfullfilled.
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Locke, State of Nature

  • As a pluralist, Locke believes that State of Nature is a state of perfect and complete liberty and freedom.
  • He believes people are essiantally good and moral, the opposite to Hobbes and what he claims.
  • Our morals were implanted within us by God.
  • Property is actually what corrupts us.
  • A state of nature, to Locke, means pre-pollitical and not pre-moral.
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