Thrasymachus perceives human nature as our ruthless drive toward superiority. He believes that unless we are foolish "moral simpletons," we will act according to what is best for us, namely living immorally on a quest to becoming ruler of the world. He believes that our human nature has no qualms about committing immoral actions. In describing human nature Thrasymachus says, "immorality has a bad name because people are afraid of being at the receiving end of it, not of doing it." (Republic 344c) When we finally reach the goal, the ideal of human nature, we will be able to practice "immorality in its most perfect form," stealing "what doesn't belong to [us] - consecrated and unconsecrated objects, private possessions, and public property - and [we do] so not on a small scale, but comprehensively."
On the other hand, Rousseau provides a more enlightened approach. He claims that in the state of nature, men are inherently innocent and are born with the potential of goodness. It is not that humans are intrinsically cruel and malicious to one another; it is that the social systems that are in place propagate animosity. With the establishment of political societies, inequalities arise, dividing extremes of poverty and wealth. The conflict between Hobbes’ and Rousseau’s perspective is that Hobbes believed that this clashing between individuals was simply a key feature of human nature, while Rousseau believed this was brought on throughout the course of social development.
Aristotle believes that humans are essentially good; therefore, they are more likely to achieve their full potential as good people, whereas Hobbes believe in fighting against original sin. The social contract is the opposite of Aristotle’s philosophy of humans being born essentially good. Hobbes’ state of nature considers humans as selfish and destructive beings that need must be tamed in order to survive; otherwise, chaos is bound to strike. Hence why I agree with Aristotle’s philosophy of exercising and cultivating the values that we originally possess. As one matures, one is capable of reasoning the quality we need in order to become incorporated into society.
Rousseau’s belief is defined by the term the state of nature, which in this case, is hypothetical. Jean- Jacques Rousseau’s philosophy on human nature states that individuals are good but is made ill by society. According to Rousseau, the idea of uncorrupted human beings is achieved when individuals are freed from the grasp of property, law, and moral inequality. Modern society has allowed unnecessary needs to become a necessity which then creates the idea of inequality that leads to desires other than the need to survive. Because property has become part of human needs, it has become a part of survival, thus corruption.
Therefore I believe that a government is a necessary element for society to control people’s greed over control. On the other hand, in contrast to Hobbes, Locke believes human are born good. I personally agree with Locke that humans are born good but society blinds our innocence and creates a second human nature to desire
He says, “all individuals are naturally good, but that corruption is born from living in the unnatural state created by society”.I believe that Golding’s is correct from his statement. In Rousseau’s statement above, what I believe he was trying to say was that all humans are born good, but since we have law and order, that makes us become bad. So he is suggesting that if we didn’t have government, we would have a modern society, which would lead to having a better environment. Although some of Rousseau’s beliefs, I believe, where a bit different, some of his beliefs are a little rambunctious. Rousseau’s most famous quote is “men are born free, yet everywhere are in chains.” What this means is that even though we have a lot of...
The Discourse on the Origin and Foundations of Inequality among Men is where Rousseau would give his own account of the state of nature. The traditional ideas of republicanism were also ideal, which Rousseau took to be descriptive of virtues. One’s virtues allowed an escape from vanity and superficial values that Rousseau thought to be so widespread in modern society. In conclusion, the logic of what one constitutes as human nature is highly debated. Either one believes that all is moral as it leaves the hand of the Creator; yet as soon as it enters the hands of man, it all degenerates.
A driving reason behind the nature of Hobbes’ contract is because he believed that humans naturally had a “perpetual and restless desire for power after power, that ceaseth only in death”. He claims that part of this perpetual desire is “love of Contention from Competition”, the nature of humans to compare powers and then war over this competitive nature. Another reason he believes his social contract is ideal is that he believes that due to human beings natural want to live the easiest life possible, civil obedience would come naturally. Aside from that reason he believes that the natural and continual insecurity of each man from harm of another man would be a strong enough motive for man to buy into the contract. He states that the egotism from competition leads man in the state of a nature into a war of all men against all men.
Locke and Marx put their trust in human reason while Machiavelli does not. These authors’ assumptions and different conceptions of human nature determine and lead to each of their conclusions regarding human nature. This paper will argue that Locke views human nature in a positive manner where humans are rational and reasonable. This paper will also argue that Marx denies the existence of human nature and instead concludes that social relations and society ultimately defines humans. Finally, this paper will argue that Machiavelli, unlike the other authors, has a negative understanding of humans as he thinks that man is selfish and that an individual should not be given too much power as they only act upon their own self-interest.
Rousseau states that the biggest of passions is sexual lust and that violent passions need laws to confine them. But, without laws, would these passions exist? Pity is a natural sentiment that contributes to mutual self-preservation. In the state of nature, it takes place of laws, morals, and virtues and mankind would never have evolved if it depended on reasoning alone. Rousseau says that he has focused on man’s beginnings in order to show that in the genuine state of nature, inequality has less influence than we believe.