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Three Theories of Social Contract

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1 Three Theories of Social Contract
Hobbes, Locke, and Rousseau

2 Here is a fit place to examine a Question which some have moved, Whether it be a Sin for a Subject to disobey the King, if the Command any thing contrary to his Laws? For satisfaction in this point, we must resolve that not only in Humane Laws, but even in Divine, a thing may be commanded contrary to Law, and yet Obedience to such a Command is necessary. The sanctifying of the Sabbath is a Divine Law; yet if a Master command his Servant not to go to Church upon a Sabbath-Day, the best Divines teach us, That the Servant must obey this Command, though it may be Sinful and Unlawfull in the Master; because the Servant hath no Authority or Liberty to examine and judge whether his Master sin or no in so commanding: For there may be a just Cause for a Master to keep his Servant from Church, as appears Luke yet it is not fit to tie the Master to acquaint his Servant with his secret Counsels, or present Necessity: And in such Cases, the Servant’s not going to Church, becomes the Sin of the Master, and not of the Servant. The like may be said of the King’s commanding a Manto serve him in the Wars, he may not examine whether the War be Just or Unjust, but must Obey, since he hath no Commission to Judge of the Titles of Kingdoms, or Causes of War; nor hath any Subject Power to Condemn his King for breach of his own Divine Right Patriarcha   (1680)  by Sir Robert Filmer

3 Bishop Jacques-Benigne Bossuet
IT IS GOD who establishes kings. He caused Saul and David to be anointed by Samuel; He vested royalty in the House of David, and ordered him to cause Solomon, his son, to reign in his place. . . Princes thus act as ministers of God and His lieutenants on earth. It is through them that He rules.... This is why we have seen that the royal throne is not the throne of a man, but the throne of God himself. "Jehovah hath chosen Solomon my son to sit upon the throne of the kingdom of Jehovah over Israel." (I Chronicles 28: 5) And again: "Then Solomon sat on the throne of Jehovah." (Ibid., 29:33) . . .

4 Thomas Hobbes Desire, to know why, and how, CURIOSITY; such as is in no living creature but Man; so that Man is distinguished, not only by his Reason; but also by this singular Passion from other Animals; in whom the appetite of food, and other pleasures of Sense, by predominance, take away the care of knowing causes; which is a Lust of the mind, that by a perseverance of delight in the continual and indefatigable generation of Knowledge, exceedeth the short vehemence of any carnal Pleasure. Leviathan, 1651

5 Hobbes: The Man and the Time
Lived during the English Civil War ( ) The radical, conservative or the conservative radical ??? Psychological egoism is the thesis that we are always deep down motivated by what we perceive to be in our own self- interest From this equality of ability ariseth equality of hope in the attaining of our ends. And therefore if any two men desire the same thing, which nevertheless they cannot both enjoy, they become enemies; and in the way to their end (which is principally their own conservation, and sometimes their declaration only), endeavor to destroy or subdue one another

6 Leviathan: The Social Contract
He infers mechanistic theory of human nature that humans are necessarily and exclusively self-interested, but we are also rationale creatures His theory is informed by mechanism, the general view that everything in the universe is produced by nothing other than matter in motion. According to Hobbes, this extends to human behavior Imagines the world in the hypothetical state of nature and for the necessity of creating a social contract First, they must agree to establish society by collectively and reciprocally renouncing the rights they had against one another in the State of Nature. Second, they must instil some one person or assembly of persons with the authority and power to enforce the initial contract. In other words, to ensure their escape from the State of Nature, they must both agree to live together under common laws, and create an enforcement mechanism for the social contract and the laws that constitute it

7 John Locke The state of nature has a law of nature to govern it, which obliges every one: and reason, which is that law, teaches all mankind, who will but consult it, that being all equal and independent, no one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty, or possessions Second Treaties on Government, 1690

8 Locke: The Man and the Time
Obtained a bachelor’s of medicine in 1674 Locke served as Secretary of the Board of Trade and Plantations and Secretary to the Lords Proprietor of Carolina Returns from exile following the Glorious Revolution “The great question which, in all ages, has disturbed mankind, and brought on them the greatest part of their mischiefs ... has been, not whether be power in the world, nor whence it came, but who should have it.”

9 Two Treaties on Government: The Social Contract
The State of Nature is a state of perfect and complete liberty to conduct one’s life as one best sees fit, free from the interference of others. Nature is given to us by God, and he commands that we not harm others with regards to their “life, health, liberty, or possessions” So, the State of Nature is a state of liberty where persons are free to pursue their own interests and plans, free from interference, and, because of the Law of Nature and the restrictions that it imposes upon persons, it is relatively peaceful It can, however devolve into a state of war, in particular, a state of war over property disputes. Since the State of Nature lacks civil authority, once war begins it is likely to continue. Therefore men have to abandon the State of Nature by contracting together to form civil government A breach of this contract causes a tyrant to place himself in the State of Nature (a state of war) and people have the right to self-defense as they originally had in making the compact

10 Jean-Jacques Rousseau the Romantic: The Counter-Enlightenment
By stripping this Being, so constituted, of all the supernatural gifts he may have received, and of all the artificial faculties he could have only acquired by prolonged progress; by considering him, in a word, such as he must have issued from the hands of Nature, I see an animal less strong than some, less agile than others, but, all things considered, the most advantageously organized of all. On the Origin of Inequality, 1754

11 Rousseau: The Man and the Time
Born in the Calvinist stronghold of Geneva in 1712 Academy of Dijon essay contest winner Whether the arts and sciences have a purifying effect upon morals? Discourse on the Origins and Foundations of Inequality The first man who, having enclosed a piece of ground, to whom it occurred to say this is mine, and found people sufficiently simple to believe him, was the true founder of civil society. How many crimes, wars, murders, how many miseries and horrors Mankind would have been spared by him who, pulling up the stakes or filling in the ditch, had cried out to his kind: Beware of listening to this impostor; You are lost if you forget that the fruits are everyone's and the Earth no-one's

12 The Social Contract As society has developed, division of labor and private property required the human race to adopt institutions of law. These were originally established by the powerful and wealthy in order to protect their interests. In this degenerate phase of society, man is prone to be in frequent competition with his fellow men (conditioned by the laws) while at the same time becoming increasingly dependent on them. This dependence is a double edged sword as it both threatens his survival and offers him a way to his freedom. According to Rousseau, by joining together into civil society through the social contract and abandoning their claims of natural rights (a wholly false philosophical concept), individuals can both preserve themselves and remain free. This is because submission to the authority of the “general will” of the people, as a whole, guarantees individuals against being subordinated to the will of the powerful and also ensures that they obey themselves because they are, collectively, the authors of the law.

13 Concluding Ideas Why is the idea of a “social contract” a radical departure from existing beliefs? Consider the historical context of the time and place.

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