Difference Between John Locke And Rousseau

analytical Essay
1750 words
1750 words

In The Social Contract philosophers John Locke and Jean-Jacques Rousseau discuss their differences on human beings’ place of freedom in political societies. Locke’s theory is when human beings enter society we tend to give up our natural freedom, whereas Rousseau believes we gain civil freedom when entering society. Even in modern times we must give up our natural freedom in order to enforce protection from those who are immoral and unjust. In The Social Contract, John Locke explains his social contract theory. Rousseau explains Locke’s philosophy as, “Man was born free, and he is everywhere in chains” (R169). Both philosophers agree that no individual should ever be forced to give up his or her natural rights to a king or any other successor …show more content…

Rousseau presumes that in the beginning, humans were living in a peaceful state of nature and lived in equality, but as civilization progressed it began to change man as challenges became more elaborate, lives became more complicated, development of the possession of property began, and habitually more comparisons were made amongst us. The first law of nature also contributed to our sense of ownership. The first law of nature recognized by Rousseau is self-preservation; we care about ourselves then society and this law is used to defend or prove our own independence. As a result or this change of civility, we shifted to a state of nature that was far from grace, where we desired the suffering of others, only cared about ourselves, and developed the meaning of inequalities. People realized that their natural rights could no longer coexist with their freedom in the state of nature and also that they would perish if they did not leave the state of nature. Therefore, the state of nature no longer became desirable and society restored that motive; in this new societal environment we develop morals to handle conflicts and help preserve ourselves. Locke believes that while in our natural state we all have morals, though Rousseau challenges that belief by claiming that society generates a moral character within us. Rousseau insists that everyone can be free and live …show more content…

John Locke’s social contract theory applies to all types of societies in any time era. Although, Jean-Jacques Rousseau did write during the Renaissance era, his philosophy limits itself to fix the problem of an absolute monarchy and fails to resolve other types of societies. These philosophers have such profound impacts on modern day societies. For example, the United States’ general will is codified in the Constitution and Bill of Rights, meanwhile individual rights are distinguished in the Declaration of

In this essay, the author

  • Compares john locke and jean-jacques rousseau's views on human beings' place of freedom in political societies in the social contract.
  • Explains locke's social contract theory and rousseau’s philosophy. both philosophers agree that no individual should ever be forced to give up his or her natural rights to a king or any other successor.
  • Analyzes how john locke, a radical philosopher and conspirator against the european absolute monarchy, would agree that absolute power limits the freedom of the people and therefore is an act of war.
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