Essay on Jean Jacques Rousseau on Liberalism

:: 3 Works Cited
Length: 630 words (1.8 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Yellow      
Open Document

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Rousseau had many ideas about how society as a whole should work. His main ideas involve man requiring freedom. With this freedom we theoretically will not compare ourselves to one another, or strive towards being better than others. His other main ideas include the general will and the idea of a collective sovereignty. These suggest that society and government should please the general will and work together as a cohesive unit.

Rousseau has several famous books, one of which is The Social Contract. The book start with the words: “Men are born free, yet everywhere are in chains.” By this he means to say that the civil society, in which we live, oppresses our birthright of freedom. Without our freedom we are not man and can never be truly happy. He suggests that general will not only requires individual freedom and diversity but also the idea of well-being of the whole.

Many people believe that Rousseau is rather contradictory. Some people however, have tried to find a happy medium between his contradictory ideas. Even so, both groups of people can agree on some aspects of his philosophy, such as that of the idea that it is directly tied to sovereignty. This Sovereignty, however, is not who holds all of the power, rather the people in power doing things for the benefit of the people. Which is why Rousseau believed in participation rather than representation. He feels that if we are represented we will not necessarily be represented in the exact manner in which we please. If we were to participate in the government instead we could all deliberate with one another and come to a better understanding of what everyone’s ideas are.

Also in The Social Contract, Rousseau comments about how the grouping of people into a civil s...

... middle of paper ...

...o be perfect our flaws and inequalities emerge. This brings us to Rousseau’s idea that it is impossible to achieve perfection in society, for the only way to be perfect is to be in our natural state.
Rousseau believes that we can not let ourselves get caught up with trying to be perfect. Instead ,he wants us to be nice to one another, ignore any differences or imperfections, and do things purely to benefit everyone else rather than himself. We need to work as a single cohesive unit so we aren’t able to do things strictly for ourselves, everything we do will help or hurt everyone.

Works Cited

"Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy." Rousseau, Jean-Jacques []. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Oct. 2013.

"Internet History Sourcebooks." Internet History Sourcebooks. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Oct. 2013.

"Themes, Arguments, and Ideas." SparkNotes. SparkNotes, n.d. Web. 04 Oct. 2013.

Click the button above to view the complete essay, speech, term paper, or research paper

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

This essay is 100% guaranteed.

Title Length Color Rating  
Modern Liberalism and Political Policies Essay - Modern Liberalism Thomas Hobbes, John Locke and Jean Jacques Rousseau’s political philosophies and theories each differ from one another’s, but these three philosophers have all staked their claims as to what man would be like, prior to the formation of the state. This is the State of Nature. Their notions on the social contract reflect their position on the political spectrum. These three philosophers also examine the purpose and function of the government to individuals of the state. Modern liberalism is the philosophical standpoint for an increase in social progress....   [tags: Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, Jean Jacques Rousseau]
:: 3 Works Cited
1345 words
(3.8 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
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]
:: 3 Works Cited
1432 words
(4.1 pages)
Term Papers [preview]
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]
:: 3 Works Cited
2789 words
(8 pages)
Research Papers [preview]
The Freedom of Men in Jean-Jacques Rousseau's Work Essay - Out of the many philosophers of his time, Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s ideas were the most enlightened. His ideas were extremely controversial and he has influenced political and social change for over two hundred years. His ideas were enlightened by thinking ahead of the people of his time by talking about general will, liberty and the corruption of society, and how freedom was essential to being human. We find the Rousseau argued about the freedoms of men quite a bit in his work The Social Contract....   [tags: Jean-Jacques Rousseau, philosophy, freedom,] 511 words
(1.5 pages)
Good Essays [preview]
Essay on Jean-Jacques Rousseau and The Essence of Human Nature - Rousseau starts his discourse with the quote, “What is natural has to be investigated not in beings that are depraved, but in those that are good according to nature” (Aristotle. Politics. II). It is this idea that Rousseau uses to define his second discourse. Rousseau begins his story of human nature by “setting aside all the facts” (132). Rousseau believes the facts of the natural state of humanity are not necessary to determine the natural essence of human nature, and adding facts based on man’s condition in society does not show man’s natural condition....   [tags: Jean-Jacques Rousseau]
:: 1 Works Cited
1435 words
(4.1 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
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] 1833 words
(5.2 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Jean-Jacques Rousseau Essay - Jean-Jacques Rousseau      “I was born to a family whose morals distinguished them from the people.” (Josephson 9) Jean-Jacques Rousseau was born in Geneva, Switzerland on June 28, 1712. He became the son of Isaac Rousseau, a plebian class watchmaker, and Suzanne Bernard, the daughter of a minister who died shortly after giving birth to him. Rousseau’s baptism ceremony was a traditional one held at St. Peter’s Cathedral on July 4, 1712 by the reverend senebies. He had an elder brother who had a “loose character”, but Rousseau loved him anyway....   [tags: Jean Jacques Rousseau Biographies Essays] 1343 words
(3.8 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Force, Right, and Freedom in Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s Philosophy Essay example - In the Social Contract Rousseau discusses the best way to run a state and uses philosophical arguments to argue his case. He also uses the ideas of force, right and freedom to support his argument. He feels we require a civil state, as opposed to living in the state of nature, as ‘it substitutes justice for instinct….and gives his actions a moral quality’ and describes the civil state as having ‘transformed him from a stupid, limited animal into an intelligent being and a man’ (Unit, p109)....   [tags: Jean-Jacques Rousseau] 986 words
(2.8 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay on Comparison of Thomas Hobbes and Jean-Jacques Rousseau - Human nature and its relevance in determining behaviors, predictions, and conclusions has caused dispute among philosophers throughout the ages. Political philosophy with its emphasis on government legitimacy, justice, laws, and rights guided the works of the 17th and 18th century philosophical writings of Thomas Hobbes and Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Through Thomas Hobbes world-renowned publication Leviathan and Rousseau’s discourses on basic political principals and concepts, each man validated their thoughts on human nature and what is required for a successful society within their respective government confines....   [tags: Hobbes vs Rousseau]
:: 2 Works Cited
1096 words
(3.1 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay Jean-Jacques Rousseau's The State of War - Jean-Jacques Rousseau's "The State of War" Jean-Jacques Rousseau's "The State of War" elegantly raises a model for confederative peace among the states of Europe, and then succinctly explains its impossibility. Rousseau very systematically lays out the benefits of such a "perpetual peace" through arguments based only in a realism of pure self-interest, and then very elegantly and powerfully turns the inertia of the self-interest machinery against the same to explain why it can never come to be....   [tags: Rousseau The State of War] 1087 words
(3.1 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]