Compare and Contrast Locke and Rousseau Essays

Compare and Contrast Locke and Rousseau Essays

Length: 570 words (1.6 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Good Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview



Compare and Contrast Locke and Rousseau

The turmoil of the 1600's and the desire for more fair forms of government combined to set the stage for new ideas about sovereignty. Locke wrote many influential political pieces, such as The Second Treatise of Government, which included the proposal for a legislative branch of government that would be selected by the people. Rousseau supported a direct form of democracy in which the people control the sovereignty. (how would the people control the sovereignty??) Sovereignty is the supremacy or authority of rule. Locke and Rousseau both bring up valid points about how a government should be divided and how sovereignty should be addressed.

Rousseau and Locke differ slightly on how the question of sovereignty should be addressed. Rousseau believed that men would essentially destroy themselves due to their "mode of existence"(more explanation of what is meant by "mode of existence"?) (Rousseau 39) and therefore must enter into a government that controls them. However, this control is in the form of direct participation in democracy where people have the ability to address their opinions, and thus sovereignty is in the control of the people. Unlike Rousseau, Locke believed firmly in the fact that government should be split up into a legislative branch and a ruling branch, with the legislative branch being appointed as representatives of the people. He contends that people give up the power of their own rule to enter into a more powerful organization that protects life, liberties, property, and fortunes. The two differ significantlyin that Rousseau wanted a direct or absolute form of democracy controlled by the people, while Locke prefered an elected, representative democr...


... middle of paper ...


... for example, people who have radical beliefs, will be denied these beliefs and forced to supportthe viewpoint of the general will. Locke believed established, settled and known law should determine right and wrong which in and of itself should constrain people, and naturally result in obedience to the law . "The power of punishing he wholly gives up" (Locke 17) which means that the State now has ultimate control over the individual rights of everyone in society. Another limitation on the people is that for Locke (??)the only people that actually counted were land owning men, and not woman or landless peasants, so this would leave a significant portion of the populace without a say in the government. Both Rousseau and Locke formulated new and innovative ideas for government that would change the way people thought of how sovereignty should be addressed forever.

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

Rousseau, Hobbes, and Locke : Interpretations of Human Nature Essay

- Through time people have always wondered what it is that makes us who we are. It has been our human nature that has kept us intrigued with ourselves, and our relationships with others. With this curiosity came various interpretations as to our human nature, each changing the way we see the societal world we live in. With each interpretation came a new understanding of people and the relationship they hold with each other. Human nature has been one of the most studied elements of the world we live in....   [tags: Rousseau, Thomas Hobbes, John Locke]

Good Essays
1594 words (4.6 pages)

Locke And Rousseau On The State Of Nature Essay

- ... Rousseau believes that the state of nature was “prior to reason” (14). He thinks reason is subsequent of society, and would not be in the state of nature, therefore reason would be unnatural. Thus Rousseau poses two principles he believes were present in the state of nature; “of which one makes us ardently interested in our well-being and our self-preservation, and the other inspires in us a natural repugnance to seeing any sentient being, especially our fellow man, perish or suffer” (14). Rousseau thinks concern for our lives and witnessing pain are natural instincts men feel and that these principles are the beginning, primitive concerns man has....   [tags: State of nature, Political philosophy, John Locke]

Good Essays
1100 words (3.1 pages)

John Locke And Jean Jacques Rousseau Essay

- In The Social Contract philosophers John Locke and Jean-Jacques Rousseau discuss their differences on human beings’ place of freedom in political societies. Locke’s theory is when human beings enter society we tend to give up our natural freedom, whereas Rousseau believes we gain civil freedom when entering society. Even in modern times we must give up our natural freedom in order to enforce protection from those who are immoral and unjust. In The Social Contract, John Locke explains his social contract theory....   [tags: Political philosophy, Jean-Jacques Rousseau]

Good Essays
1750 words (5 pages)

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]

Good Essays
2789 words (8 pages)

On the Virtues of Private Property in Locke and Rousseau Essay

- On the Virtues of Private Property in Locke and Rousseau John Locke and Jean Jacques Rousseau, following their predecessor Thomas Hobbes, both attempt to explain the development and dissolution of society and government. They begin, as Hobbes did, by defining the “state of nature”—a time before man found rational thought. In the Second Treatise[1] and the Discourse on Inequality[2], Locke and Rousseau, respectively, put forward very interesting and different accounts of the state of nature and the evolution of man, but the most astonishing difference between the two is their conceptions of property....   [tags: Locke Rousseau Philosophical Essays]

Good Essays
2220 words (6.3 pages)

Aristotle, Locke, And Rousseau 's Social Contract Essay

- ... Not only must the ruler be virtuous for an Aristotle city, but the citizens are as well. They are an important piece of the political association. He says “Similarly, then, even though citizens are dissimilar, the safety of the association is their work, and their form of government is the association they share. Hence the virtue of a citizen is necessarily related to the form of government.”(70) Aristotle implies the government is very dependent on the people of the city. Even the form of government is based on the citizens....   [tags: Political philosophy, State of nature]

Good Essays
1963 words (5.6 pages)

Essay about Comparing the Poetry of Wordsworth and Keats

- The Poetry of Wordsworth and Keats John Locke (1632-1704) sparked the "Age of Reason" by teaching that all true knowledge must be empirically verified. Empiricism taught that "a statement is meaningful only if it can be verified empirically (Sproul 103)." Thus any statements about metaphysical entities (e.g. God, Unicorns, Love, and Beauty) would be meaningless terms because they cannot be proven by the scientific method. In revolt, Rousseau (1712-1778) cried: "Let us return to nature" (Schaeffer 154) because only in nature can the spirit of mankind be found meaningful....   [tags: comparison compare contrast essays]

Good Essays
2130 words (6.1 pages)

General Will and Rousseau's Social Contract Essay

- When Jean Jacques Rousseau wrote the Social Contract, the concepts of liberty and freedom were not new ideas. Many political theorists such as Thomas Hobbes and John Locke had already developed their own interpretations of liberty, and in fact Locke had already published his views on the social contract. What Rousseau did was to revolutionize the concepts encompassed by such weighty words, and introduce us to another approach to the social contract dilemma. What would bring man to leave the state of nature, and enter into an organized society....   [tags: Papers Politics Rousseau]

Free Essays
1787 words (5.1 pages)

Essay about Compare and Contrast Tragedy and Comedy

- Compare and Contrast Tragedy and Comedy A tragedy is defined as beginning with a problem that affects everyone, i.e. the whole town or all the characters involved, the tragic hero must solve this problem and this results in his banishment or death [run-on sentence]. A comedy is defined as also beginning with a problem, but one of less significant importance. The characters try to solve the problem and the story ends with all the characters uniting in either a marriage of a party. Although these two genres are seen as being complete opposites of each other, through further analysis one can gather that though they are different certain similarities can also be seen....   [tags: comparison compare contrast essays]

Free Essays
1019 words (2.9 pages)

Essay about Compare and Contrast Comedy and Tragedy

- Compare and Contrast Comedy and Tragedy In a comparison of comedy and tragedy, I will begin by looking at narrative. The narration in a comedy often involves union and togetherness as we see in the marriage scene at the end of Midsummer's Night Dream. William Hazlitt tells us that one can also expect incongruities, misunderstandings, and contradictions. I am reminded of the play The Importance of Being Ernest and the humor by way of mistaken identity. Sigmund Freud tells us to expect excess and exaggeration in comedy....   [tags: comparison compare contrast essays]

Good Essays
902 words (2.6 pages)