What Is The Difference Between Hobbes And Rousseau

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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. For that reason, each man’s belief of the natural state of men sets the…show more content…
Both theorists also have different stances on what unites individuals. They agree that the sovereign must be unified but Hobbes combines sovereignty over its subjects and Rousseau emphasizes the solidarity between the citizens. Hobbes believes men are inherently immoral and stupid, and must be governed by a superior power. In Hobbes 's perspective, sovereignty is not an opportunity for human liberation but a necessary subordination. Hobbes asserts that it is one sovereign ruler that unites all people. Rousseau disagrees. Rousseau states that men are simply disconnected individuals who have been dominated and under the control of the same ruler. According to Rousseau, this set of individuals would not constitute a body politic, which can be measured by the extent of its territory and number of people. It is instead an aggregation. Therefore, the following questions must be asked. Is there a people? What constitutes a people? Ultimate authority is not allocated on a sovereign that stands above society, but with the citizens themselves. It is a shared identity that truly unites the community of citizens together, or so Rousseau…show more content…
However, in order to comprehend the disparity between political thought, the very primary ideas needed to be described. While the central aim of Rousseau’s writing was to explain how the freedom of the individual can be integrated with the authority of the state. Hobbes illustrated the need for political societies which he calls the Leviathan, with the purpose of the dire and natural state of man to be saved. Although, both agree with the inherent equality of men, Hobbes believes men are intrinsically malicious and must be governed by a superior power. In contrast, Rousseau believes men are born with the potential of goodness but the social systems in place propagate animosity. Despite the fact that Hobbes and Rousseau are both concerned with self-preservation, Hobbes supports the idea of an authoritarian regime ruling men in order to prevent a state of war, and Rousseau specifies that freedom consists in men giving themselves their own laws. Years later, many of the issues of inequality and questions of the nature of men are still relevant in our societies. Hobbes and Rousseau have deeply impacted the world of philosophy with their arguments and theories. Despite their differences, both dominant intellectual figures wrote these texts with the central aim to highlight the necessary conditions for the subsistence of a society and ideal governing body and
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