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Perspectives on Human Nature and Government Hobbes, Locke, and Rousseau.

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2 Perspectives on Human Nature and Government Hobbes, Locke, and Rousseau

3 Without government, society would be solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short! Social order is created by humans. Therefore, they can change it. Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679)

4 Thomas Hobbes Without society, we would live in a state of nature, where we each have unlimited natural freedoms.Without 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).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).

5 Thomas Hobbes To 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.To 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.

6 People need order.People need order. People will be willing to give up individual liberties to maintain peace.People will be willing to give up individual liberties to maintain peace. The social contract is an agreement to obey the laws.The social contract is an agreement to obey the laws. But, human nature will not allow this to happen!But, human nature will not allow this to happen! Thus, the need for authoritarian government.Thus, the need for authoritarian government. Thomas Hobbes

7 Locke observed that, in society, people were rewarded based upon their industriousness.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.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?He proposed (like Hobbes before him) that people needed a sense of order. But how to achieve order while maximizing individual liberties? John Locke (1632-1704)

8 Locke stressed the moral imperative that prevented humans from pursuing a free-for-all.Locke 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.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.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. John Locke

9 Locke took the imperative to Locke took the imperative to originate in conscience, as the originate in conscience, as the divine voice speaking through divine voice speaking through the human spirit. The dictates the human spirit. The dictates of conscience are simply right of conscience are simply right and often resist further and often resist further justification. justification. Lockes faith in conscience stem Lockes faith in conscience stem from the idea that man was born a from the idea that man was born a clean slate (tabula rasa) and was clean slate (tabula rasa) and was taught morality by society. taught morality by society.

10 Tabula 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. Tabula 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. Proponents of tabula rasa favor "nurture" in the nature versus nurture debate. John Locke

11 In 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.In 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.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.

12 Rousseau believed in the concept of the noble savage; humanity unencumbered by civilization; the normal essence of an unfettered human.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.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.Pride and civilization distance humanity from its original, natural state of goodness. Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778)

13 Agreed with Hobbes Social Contract: mutual agreement to protect the rights of everyone; not only the wealthy.Agreed with Hobbes Social Contract: mutual agreement to protect the rights of everyone; not only the wealthy. No person is above the law.No person is above the law. Jean-Jacques Rousseau

14 "Man is born free; and everywhere he is in chains."

15 Human nature is basically goodHuman nature is basically good Admired the noble savage – humans living in a state of simple freedom governing themselves; compassionateAdmired the noble savage – humans living in a state of simple freedom governing themselves; compassionate Society & civilization are corrupting forces on the individualSociety & civilization are corrupting forces on the individual Society robs us of our freedom & makes us bloodthirstySociety robs us of our freedom & makes us bloodthirsty Jean-Jacques Rousseau

16 Hobbes (1588-1679): Without government, society would be solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, Without government, society would be solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short! and short! Without society, man would live in a state of nature, where we each Without society, man would live in a state of nature, where we each have unlimited natural freedoms. have unlimited natural freedoms. State of nature leads to Right to all things" and thus the freedom State of nature leads to Right to all things" and thus the freedom to harm all who threaten one's own self-preservation to harm all who threaten one's own self-preservation Right to all Things leads to War of all against all" (Bellum omnium Right to all Things leads to War of all against all" (Bellum omnium contra omnes), and thus chaos, anarchy, end of the world-type stuff. contra omnes), and thus chaos, anarchy, end of the world-type stuff. Humanity needs the Social Contract in which individuals honor the Humanity needs the Social Contract in which individuals honor the rights of others but lose certain freedoms. Unfortunately, human rights of others but lose certain freedoms. Unfortunately, human nature will not allow this to happen (we are essentially greedy and nature will not allow this to happen (we are essentially greedy and egocentric), thus, the need for authoritarian government. egocentric), thus, the need for authoritarian government.

17 Locke (1632-1704): People need a sense of order. People need a sense of order. Society avoids chaos because of the Moral Imperative. Society avoids chaos because of the Moral Imperative. The Moral Imperative is based on conscience (God). The Moral Imperative is based on conscience (God). Humans are born as blank slates (tabula rasa), which Humans are born as blank slates (tabula rasa), which means society can instill proper morality, and thus, a means society can instill proper morality, and thus, a conscience. conscience. Tabula rasa also implies self-determination and Tabula rasa also implies self-determination and nurture in the nature vs. nurture debate. nurture in the nature vs. nurture debate.

18 Rousseau (1712-1778): Believed in the concept of the Noble Savage, in which Believed in the concept of the Noble Savage, in which humans come from a state of compassionate simplicity. humans come from a state of compassionate simplicity. Believed that Human Nature is essentially good. Believed that Human Nature is essentially good. Pride and civilization distance humanity from its original, Pride and civilization distance humanity from its original, natural state of goodness. "Man is born free; and natural state of goodness. "Man is born free; and everywhere he is in chains." everywhere he is in chains." Agreed with Hobbes Social Contract, but felt more Agreed with Hobbes Social Contract, but felt more optimistic of its success. optimistic of its success.

19 Moral Reasoning Lawrence Kohlbergs Theory of Moral Development

20 Why do some people feel they must obey the letter of the law while others believe that there is a higher law?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.In order to answer this question, Kohlberg began to look at the ways in which people develop morally. Lawrence Kohlberg

21 Kohlbergs Stages Kohlberg suggested a stage theory of moral development: Kohlberg suggested a stage theory of moral development: Preconventional MoralityPreconventional Morality 1. Punishment / Obedience 2. Personal Reward Orientation (individualism) Conventional MoralityConventional Morality 3. Interpersonal Orientation (good for group) 4. Authority and Social Order (law & order) Postconventional MoralityPostconventional Morality 5. Social Contract Orientation 6. Universal Ethical Principle Orientation

22 Kohlbergs Stages: Preconventional MoralityPreconventional Morality Stage 1: Punishment-Obedience Orientation Motivation: Avoid (physical) punishmentMotivation: Avoid (physical) punishment MORALITY IS WHAT YOU CAN GET AWAY WITHMORALITY IS WHAT YOU CAN GET AWAY WITH Example: Ill do the right thing so I dont get hit.Example: Ill do the right thing so I dont get hit. Stage 2: Personal Reward Orientation »Motivation: Satisfy own needs »OBEYS RULES TO OBTAIN REWARDS »Example: Ill do the right thing if you give me a cookie.

23 Kohlbergs Stages: Conventional MoralityConventional Morality Stage 3: Interpersonal Orientation Motivation: Good boy, good girlMotivation: Good boy, good girl OBEYS RULES TO GET APPROVAL.OBEYS RULES TO GET APPROVAL. Example: Ill do the right thing to please others.Example: Ill do the right thing to please others. Stage 4: Authority and Social Order Orientation Motivation: Maintain Law and OrderMotivation: Maintain Law and Order OBEYS LAWS BECAUSE THEY MAINTAIN THE SOCIAL ORDEROBEYS LAWS BECAUSE THEY MAINTAIN THE SOCIAL ORDER Example: Ill do the right thing because I have respect for the rules.Example: Ill do the right thing because I have respect for the rules.

24 Kohlbergs Stages: Postconventional MoralityPostconventional Morality Stage 5: Social Contract Orientation Motivation: Majority RuleMotivation: Majority Rule BELIEF IN DEMOCRATICALLY ACCEPTED LAWSBELIEF IN DEMOCRATICALLY ACCEPTED LAWS Example: Ill do the right thing because it is in everyones best interest.Example: Ill do the right thing because it is in everyones best interest.

25 Kohlbergs Stages: Postconventional MoralityPostconventional Morality –Stage 6: Universal Ethical Principle Orientation Motivation: Maintain universal principles of justice, equality, trust, and respect, regardless of the reactions of others.Motivation: Maintain universal principles of justice, equality, trust, and respect, regardless of the reactions of others. CONSCIENCECONSCIENCE Example: Ill do the right thing because my heart tells me its the right thing to do.Example: Ill do the right thing because my heart tells me its the right thing to do.

26 Kohlbergs Method In order to determine at which stage of moral development a person was, Kohlberg presented the person with moral dilemmas In 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?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 respondents position (to steal the drug or not), but on the basis of the kind of reasoning the answer exhibited.

27 Heart of Darkness Why do some people maintain their sense of morality in the absence of law, while others revert to immoral, amoral, or even savage behavior?Why 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?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?Can those who live in the absence of civilization maintain a sense of morality? On what do they base their behavior? WHY DO GOOD?


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