Thomas Hobbes
• Leviathan (written during the English Civil War)  State of
Nature and Social Contract
• Used the state of...
John Locke
• State of nature: A situation in which people coexist, often in
relative harmony, but there is no legitimate p...
Jean-Jacques Rousseau
• People were not inherently evil, but could become so under
evil governments
• There was no limit t...
Immanuel Kant
• His essay stated that happiness does not work as a basis for
law  no one can define what happiness is for...
Credits
• The Politics Book by DK
of 5

Political Thinkers

Published on: Mar 4, 2016
Published in: Education      News & Politics      Technology      
Source: www.slideshare.net


Transcripts - Political Thinkers

  • 1. Thomas Hobbes • Leviathan (written during the English Civil War)  State of Nature and Social Contract • Used the state of nature to refer to a hypothetical situation of how life without order and government would be • Saw the state of nature as undesirable  in the state of nature, all men are at war with each other, and lie in constant state of fear of their fellow beings • Solution: Social contract that all rational people would agree upon  the people invest all power in a third party, the sovereign, in exchange for safety and the rule of law. • Believed that only governments with indivisible and unlimited power would prevent the otherwise inevitable disintegration of society into civil war. • Citizens had a right to defend themselves if their lives were threatened, but otherwise political obedience was necessary to prevent factional strife or political paralysis.
  • 2. John Locke • State of nature: A situation in which people coexist, often in relative harmony, but there is no legitimate political power or judge to settle disputes in a neutral way • Does not equate state of nature with war  State of war is a situation in which people do not uphold the law of reason. • Humans are rational, independent agents with natural rights • People who were willing to enter into a social contract and submit to being ruled by a government expected the government to regulate disagreements and conflicts in a neutral manner • Maintained that the powers and functions of government had to be limited • Argued against a strong absolutist sovereign, as advocated by Thomas Hobbes, as such a powerful figure would limit individual freedom unnecessarily. • Felt that total subordination was dangerous and believes that the people has the right to revolt against the government.
  • 3. Jean-Jacques Rousseau • People were not inherently evil, but could become so under evil governments • There was no limit to the ability of political action to reshape society for the better • Before society, humans existed in a state of nature where they were content, and guided by a natural self-love, desire for selfpreservation and compassion for others. • The creation of a civil society, and development of private property, was the result of division and conflict working against a natural harmony • Social Contract preserves inequalities and destroys a person’s humanity • Freedom can be won within the boundaries of law
  • 4. Immanuel Kant • His essay stated that happiness does not work as a basis for law  no one can define what happiness is for someone else, so a rule based on happiness cannot be applied consistently • Crucial for state to ensure people’s freedom within the law • State of nature  people are free to pursue their own desires • Problem lies in the conflict of interests • State of nature prevents disputes from being settled peacefully without laws  People willingly abandon the state of nature to submit to external public and lawful coercion • If the government passes a law that you consider wrong, it is still your moral duty to obey it. • However, although subjects have a duty to obey the law, they also have to take individual responsibility for moral choices  Each individual should only follow rules that they believe should apply to everyone
  • 5. Credits • The Politics Book by DK