Political Philosophy : By Jean Jacques Rousseau Essay

Political Philosophy : By Jean Jacques Rousseau Essay

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Matthew Firestone
December 17, 2015
Political Philosophy: Dudas
Final Paper: Option #1
As we navigated through eight different political philosophers this semester, we have read, first-hand, how each writer has perceived different crises and problems in his study of humans and their societies. Although some of their issues overlap, the philosophers do not wholeheartedly agree on their methods of resolution. Every philosopher agrees that authority must be imposed fairly on society although they don 't agree how, Rousseau, Mills, and Nietzsche believe that the individual is not free in society while Machiavelli, Hobbes, and Locke take an opposite approach as they do believe the individuals have become “free.”
Jean-Jacques Rousseau explores the foundations of inequality and how to determine if inequality in modern society is authorized by natural law. He attempts to separate the natural from the artificial in nature. His crisis is with legitimate authority and the derivation of inequality. For his reasoning, Rousseau carefully examines man in his natural state, uninfluenced by modern society. Rousseau believes that the evolution from the state of Nature to the state of man in modern society leads to a crisis of authority over the group. He thinks the modern man is unjustly coercing individuals into being ruled, ultimately leading to the downfall of legitimate authority. Rousseau takes the biggest stand against the invention of property and division of labor. He believes they are the beginnings of moral inequality and will ultimately separate society into socioeconomic classes. Once currency is involved, people immediately stop acting towards the commonwealth and instead think only for themselves. Rousseau believes t...


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These philosophers can be loosely sorted into two political spectrums: Republicanism and liberalism, as the Republicans believe that institutions are fundamental to helping individuals develop, while liberals believe that the individual must first develop. The Republican philosophers, Machiavelli, Rousseau, and Nietzsche, believed that in order to be free we must take up a political role in society. They also agree that the goal of society is to secure the common good while maintaining the individual. The liberal philosophers, Locke, Hobbes, and Mill, did not believe that people must participate in government, but relinquish their power to a sovereign power. The progression of which we reach the stage of stability is what differentiates each philosopher as they have their individual opinion on what forms and maintains civil society, peacefully and freely.

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