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Rousseau Reflection Paper

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Since my previous reflection, I have continued to operate the 24-Hour Hotline with the Domestic Abuse Project each weekend, which entails answering calls that report domestic abuse in Minneapolis, and providing immediate follow up and resources for the victims. Along with Locke and Hobbes, I have also been able to connect my work with the philosophers read in the second half of this course. Specifically, I have made connections between the purpose of the Domestic Abuse Project and Rousseau’s understanding of human life and the role of the government, which primarily focus on the importance of one’s ability to self-govern in pursuit of the common good. Although Rousseau primarily refers to the relationship between the government and the citizens of a body politic, I have…show more content…
When each person has the equal capacity to participate in governance, Rousseau believes that a body politic will be more likely to pursue what is best for the common good, rather than their private interests, which ultimately allows all people to embrace their freedom of conscience and live their best human lives. When trapped in an illegitimate relationship, Rousseau argues that one loses their capacity to self-govern, which inhibits a society from reaching the ideal that is the General Will. In abusive relationships, the aggressor takes away the victims ability to self-govern by endangering their freedom of conscience, health, and sometimes even life. Rousseau would say that even if the victim is convinced that they deserve the abuse, this relationship is in pursuit of the private will of the aggressor rather than the good of both people, and he would call on the sovereignty to step in a create laws to prevent these sorts of relationships to allow victims to self-govern and move towards his concept of an ideal
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