Presentation on theme: "Perspectives on Human Nature and Government"— Presentation transcript:
1 Perspectives on Human Nature and Government Hobbes, Locke, and Rousseau
2 Thomas Hobbes ( )Social order is created by humans. Therefore, they can change it.Without government, society would be solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short!
3 Thomas HobbesWithout society, we would live in a state of nature, where we each have unlimited natural freedoms.The downside of this general autonomy is that it includes the "right to all things" and thus the freedom to harm all who threaten one's own self-preservation; there are no positive rights, only laws of nature and an endless "war of all against all" (Bellum omnium contra omnes).
4 Thomas HobbesTo avoid this, we jointly agree to an implicit social contract by which we each gain civil rights in return for accepting the obligation to honor the rights of others, giving up some freedoms to do so.
5 Thomas Hobbes People need order. People will be willing to give up individual liberties to maintain peace.The social contract is an agreement to obey the laws.But, human nature will not allow this to happen!Thus, the need for authoritarian government.
6 John Locke ( )Locke observed that, in society, people were rewarded based upon their industriousness.But, people should not accumulate too much money, otherwise society could become a horrible place.He proposed (like Hobbes before him) that people needed a sense of order. But how to achieve order while maximizing individual liberties?
7 John LockeLocke stressed the moral imperative that prevented humans from pursuing a free-for-all.A moral imperative is a principle originating inside a person's mind that compels him to act.Originally defined by Immanuel Kant, the imperative was meant to be a dictate of pure reason, in its practical aspect. Not following the moral law was seen to be self-defeating and thus contrary to reason.
8 John Locke Locke took the imperative to originate in conscience, as thedivine voice speaking throughthe human spirit. The dictatesof conscience are simply rightand often resist furtherjustification.Locke’s faith in conscience stemfrom the idea that man was born aclean slate (tabula rasa) and wastaught morality by society.
9 John LockeTabula rasa (clean slate) refers to the epistemological thesis that individual human beings are born with no innate or built-in mental content, in a word, "blank," and that their entire resource of knowledge is built up gradually from their experiences and sensory perceptions of the outside world.Proponents of tabula rasa favor "nurture" in the nature versus nurture debate.
10 John LockeIn Locke's philosophy, tabula rasa is the theory that data is added to the human mind and rules for processing are formed solely by one's sensory experiences.As understood by Locke, tabula rasa emphasizes the individual's freedom to author his or her own soul. Each individual is free to define the content of his or her character.
11 Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778) Rousseau believed in the concept of the noble savage; humanity unencumbered by civilization; the “normal” essence of an unfettered human.Since the concept embodies the idea that without the bounds of civilization, humans are essentially good, the basis for the idea of the noble savage lies in the doctrine of the goodness of humans.Pride and civilization distance humanity from its original, natural state of goodness.
12 Jean-Jacques Rousseau Agreed with Hobbes’ Social Contract: mutual agreement to protect the rights of everyone; not only the wealthy.No person is above the law.
13 Jean-Jacques Rousseau "Man is born free; and everywhere he is in chains."
14 Jean-Jacques Rousseau Human nature is basically goodAdmired the noble savage – humans living in a state of simple freedom governing themselves; compassionateSociety & civilization are corrupting forces on the individualSociety robs us of our freedom & makes us “bloodthirsty”
15 Hobbes ( ):Without government, society would be solitary, poor, nasty, brutish,and short!Without society, man would live in a state of nature, where we eachhave unlimited natural freedoms.State of nature leads to “Right to all things" and thus the freedomto harm all who threaten one's own self-preservationRight to all Things leads to “War of all against all" (Bellum omniumcontra omnes), and thus chaos, anarchy, end of the world-type stuff.Humanity needs the Social Contract in which individuals honor therights of others but lose certain freedoms. Unfortunately, humannature will not allow this to happen (we are essentially greedy andegocentric), thus, the need for authoritarian government.
16 Locke (1632-1704): People need a sense of order. Society avoids chaos because of the Moral Imperative.The Moral Imperative is based on conscience (God).Humans are born as blank slates (tabula rasa), whichmeans society can instill proper morality, and thus, aconscience.Tabula rasa also implies self-determination and“nurture” in the nature vs. nurture debate.
17 Rousseau ( ):Believed in the concept of the Noble Savage, in whichhumans come from a state of compassionate simplicity.Believed that Human Nature is essentially good.Pride and civilization distance humanity from its original,natural state of goodness. "Man is born free; andeverywhere he is in chains."Agreed with Hobbes’ Social Contract, but felt moreoptimistic of its success.
18 Lawrence Kohlberg’s Theory of Moral Development Moral ReasoningLawrence Kohlberg’sTheory of Moral Development
19 Why do some people feel they must obey the letter of the law while others believe that there is a higher law?Most countries, including the United States, are founded through illegal acts of rebellion or revolution.In order to answer this question, Kohlberg began to look at the ways in which people develop morally.Lawrence Kohlberg
20 Kohlberg’s StagesKohlberg suggested a stage theory of moral development:Preconventional Morality1. Punishment / Obedience2. Personal Reward Orientation (individualism)Conventional Morality3. Interpersonal Orientation (good for group)4. Authority and Social Order (law & order)Postconventional Morality5. Social Contract Orientation6. Universal Ethical Principle Orientation
21 Kohlberg’s Stages: Preconventional Morality Stage 1: Punishment-Obedience OrientationMotivation: Avoid (physical) punishmentMORALITY IS WHAT YOU CAN GET AWAY WITHExample: I’ll do the right thing so I don’t get hit.Stage 2: Personal Reward OrientationMotivation: Satisfy own needsOBEYS RULES TO OBTAIN REWARDSExample: I’ll do the right thing if you give me a cookie.
22 Kohlberg’s Stages: Conventional Morality Stage 3: Interpersonal OrientationMotivation: “Good boy, good girl”OBEYS RULES TO GET APPROVAL.Example: I’ll do the right thing to please others.Stage 4: Authority and Social Order OrientationMotivation: Maintain Law and OrderOBEYS LAWS BECAUSE THEY MAINTAIN THE SOCIAL ORDERExample: I’ll do the right thing because I have respect for the rules.
23 Kohlberg’s Stages: Postconventional Morality Stage 5: Social Contract OrientationMotivation: Majority RuleBELIEF IN DEMOCRATICALLY ACCEPTED LAWSExample: I’ll do the right thing because it is in everyone’s best interest.
24 Kohlberg’s Stages: Postconventional Morality Stage 6: Universal Ethical Principle OrientationMotivation: Maintain universal principles of justice, equality, trust, and respect, regardless of the reactions of others.CONSCIENCEExample: I’ll do the right thing because my heart tells me it’s the right thing to do.
25 Kohlberg’s MethodIn order to determine at which stage of moral development a person was, Kohlberg presented the person with moral dilemmas“The Case of Heinz and the Druggist.”Mr. Heinz's wife is dying. There is one drug that will save her life but it is very expensive. The druggist will not lower the price so that Mr. Heinz can buy it to save his wife's life. What should he do? More importantly, why?Moral dilemmas were judged, not according to the respondent’s position (to steal the drug or not), but on the basis of the kind of reasoning the answer exhibited.
26 Heart of DarknessWhy do some people maintain their sense of morality in the absence of law, while others revert to immoral, amoral, or even savage behavior?Do people need law in order to behave in a moralistic fashion?Can those who live in the absence of “civilization” maintain a sense of morality? On what do they base their behavior?WHY DO GOOD?