Comparison of Thomas Hobbes and Jean-Jacques Rousseau Essay

Comparison of Thomas Hobbes and Jean-Jacques Rousseau Essay

Length: 989 words (2.8 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview


While Hobbes and Rousseau address many of the same issues and topics in both The Leviathan as well as The Discourses, the way that Hobbes and Rousseau look at these issues such as, human nature, the state, and inequality are extremely different from each other. In some cases Hobbes and Rousseau’s opinions on these certain ideas are completely contradicting and opposite of each other. While it is tough to say which viewpoint, Hobbes’ or Rousseau’s is correct, one or the other can be considered sounder by their logic and reasoning. The view that Hobbes takes on the matters of human nature, the state, and inequality is sounder and more logical than that of Rousseau.
Rousseau believes that humans are not naturally wicked and that in nature humans could work together for one greater good. This idea of pity is mainly supported through human’s characteristic of pity. Rousseau says that through pity humans want to help their neighbors because they know that in the future, their neighbor will be able to help them when they are in need. Because of this Rousseau also believed that a strong central authority was not necessary for human society. Rousseau believed that humans could live in harmony together and work for one greater good. However Rousseau states that because of the division of labor that occurred over time, oppression and inequality started. Rousseau said that when one person decided that they owned a particular area of land, which hypothetically started the entire division of labor and inequality that we have in today’s society. Rousseau says in The Leviathan that, “This repeated interaction of the various with himself as well as with one another must naturally have engendered in man’s mind perceptions of certain relations....


... middle of paper ...


... on many of the same issues that the other does. With that said, almost everything they argue is a complete opposite contradiction of the other’s argument. Many people would like to believe Rousseau’s take that humans don’t need a strong central authority because they are born with pity, and that humans naturally are good-hearted people that look out for one another in order to benefit the whole. This however is not true, if someone were to look back on history and see all of the times in which this is not true, it would be obvious. Humans have always been greedy and competitive and have always had the desire to get an advantage on the next person. Because of this, as Hobbes explains, a strong central authority is necessary for the betterment of the whole society. Hobbes without a doubt has not only the more realistic outlook, but the most logical outlook as well.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Comparison of Thomas Hobbes and Jean-Jacques Rousseau Essay

- While Hobbes and Rousseau address many of the same issues and topics in both The Leviathan as well as The Discourses, the way that Hobbes and Rousseau look at these issues such as, human nature, the state, and inequality are extremely different from each other. In some cases Hobbes and Rousseau’s opinions on these certain ideas are completely contradicting and opposite of each other. While it is tough to say which viewpoint, Hobbes’ or Rousseau’s is correct, one or the other can be considered sounder by their logic and reasoning....   [tags: Hobbes vs Rousseau]

Strong Essays
989 words (2.8 pages)

A Comparison Of Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, And Marx 's Views On Minority Rights

- On Minority Rights A Comparison of Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Burke and Marx Minority right was not well discussed in the early liberalism works. However, it becomes more important when more states had a mix of people of different identities. This paper will first investigate how Hobbes, Locke and Rousseau’s goal to unify people harms the minority. Then, it will compare Burke’s conservatism with their liberalism, and show how Burke’s theory, by embracing the traditions, leaves room for the minority rights....   [tags: Political philosophy, Jean-Jacques Rousseau]

Strong Essays
1335 words (3.8 pages)

Essay on Comparing Locke´s Natural Law with Rousseau´s Discourse on Inequality

-   The relationship between nature, the state and individuals is a complex one; political philosophers have been studying these relationships ever since the dawn of time, with the goal being to determine the best way in which the people relate to nature. Based on the ideas of philosopher John Locke, the state does not have the ability to infringe upon the right of people to determine their own destiny; he believes that mankind’s best state is to bring the best parts of their natural instincts into society, collecting together into a “state of perfect freedom.” Conversely, philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau believed that mankind was at its best in its natural state, behaving like an animal and...   [tags: John Locke, Jean-Jacques Rousseau]

Strong Essays
2789 words (8 pages)

Hobbes And Jean Jacques Rousseau On Self Preservation And Fear Of The State Of Nature

- The emergence of society from a pre-political state of nature can be explained by the concept of the social contract. Thomas Hobbes and Jean-Jacques Rousseau have contrasting social contract theories. Hobbes’ social contract is founded on self-preservation and fear of the state of nature. It aims to establish one’s security, peace, and a system of justice by all voluntarily agreeing to a third party ruler or state. In comparison Rousseau’s social contract aims to find an association that will defend and protect an individual with common effort, established on one’s freedom in the state of nature....   [tags: Political philosophy, Social contract]

Strong Essays
1573 words (4.5 pages)

John Locke: Founding Father of Modern Era Liberalism Essay

- Thomas Hobbes, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, and John Locke are all great thinkers who were greatly influential in forming philosophies that would affect the future of politics. By analyzing each philosopher’s ideology, we can identify which thinker’s theory reflected modern era liberalism the most. For this paper I will be arguing that, John Locke provides a more compelling framework of modern era liberalism because of his perception of the state of nature, the social contract and the function of government....   [tags: Thomas Hobbes, Jean Jacques Rousseau]

Strong Essays
1432 words (4.1 pages)

Essay on Thomas Hobbes And Jean Jacques Rousseau

- Thomas Hobbes and Jean-Jacques Rousseau sought to create new political theories which would deal with the issues of their time. Both authors have had their works interpreted and applied to the international realm. Many international relations scholars have taken the theories developed by Hobbes and Rousseau as being indicative to the “realists” school of thought. However, an understanding of the realism school of thought will provide us with a means by which we can measure and better understand the two authors place within the paradigm....   [tags: Political philosophy, Jean-Jacques Rousseau]

Strong Essays
1317 words (3.8 pages)

Essay on Thomas Hobbes And Jean Jacques Rousseau

- Thomas Hobbes and Jean-Jacques Rousseau both sought to create new political theories which would deal with the issues of their time. Both authors have had their works interpreted and applied to the international realm. Many international relations scholars have taken the theories developed by Hobbes and Rousseau as being indicative to the “realists” school of thought. However, an understanding of the realism school of thought will provide us with a means by which we can measure and better understand the two authors place within the paradigm....   [tags: Political philosophy, Jean-Jacques Rousseau]

Strong Essays
1318 words (3.8 pages)

Natural Law and Civil Law Essay

- Leviathan as bearer of supreme authority and nationals who posses certain inalienable rights. We should draw attention to Hobbes’ reasoning about natural law and civil or positive law. According to Hobbes they both match with scope, form and content. However, natural law, which is impartial, equitable, legitimate, and moral in natural state is not the law itself; it just disposes people to peace, mercy, and obedience. Natural law is the laws that have existed and will exist forever. Governors and judges come and go, but natural law will exist forever because it is divine law....   [tags: supreme authority, Thomas Hobbes]

Strong Essays
918 words (2.6 pages)

Essay on The Discourse On Inequality By Jean Jacques Rousseau

- In the Discourse on Inequality, Jean-Jacques Rousseau asserts that the process of socialization impels man to cultivate the ability to love. With the development of political institutions and artificial inequality, man sheds primitive morality and gains the desire to consult the faculty of reason. Upon the cultivation of reason, the institution of merit, beauty and abstract ideation stimulate the transformation that introduces the concept of love. In this regard, attraction acquires a metaphysical objective, and is not solely relegated to the physical sphere of existence....   [tags: State of nature, Jean-Jacques Rousseau]

Strong Essays
1502 words (4.3 pages)

Sir Isaac Newton, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, and Thomas Hobbes Essays

- Isaac Newton Isaac Newton was born in 1642, the same year Galileo died, in Woolsthorpe, Lincolnshire, England on Christmas Day. He is considered one of the greatest scientists in history. As an English mathematician and physicist, Newton made important contributions to many fields of science. His discoveries and theories laid the foundation for much of the progress in science since his time. The three most important offerings of Newton are solving the mystifications of light and optics, formulating his three laws of motion, and deriving from them the law of universal gravitation....   [tags: Jean-Jacques Rousseau Essays]

Free Essays
1833 words (5.2 pages)