Locke Vs Rousseau Essay

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Throughout the Enlightenment, a number of philosophers, namely John Locke, Thomas Hobbes, and Jean Jacques Rousseau, offered their philosophies of the sanctity of the social contract, especially that formed between the government and the governed. Hobbes argued that all ends of the contract must be upheld at all costs in order to avoid a state of nature. Locke, on the other hand, posited that should one end of the contract be broken, then the other party has the right to breach their part and establish a new government. However, the most reasonable and logical argument comes from Rousseau, who said that conflict in a social contract should lead to collaboration of both parties in the hopes of solving the problems cooperatively. Rousseau’s philosophy had a common thread with those of Hobbes and Locke: that a…show more content…
He stated that “the only will dominating government…should be the general will or the law” meaning that although every individual’s opinion cannot be addressed in government, the general will of the people should not just be taken into consideration, but should be given great sway in government decisions and policies (Rousseau). Locke held a similar view, but to a point of extremism. He thought that the people were the singular most important group when it came to creating and enforcing laws, which ran along similar lines as Rousseau. However, where the two differed is that Locke believed that in the event of “unlawful” restrictions being imposed upon the people, the commoners were “in full liberty to resist the force of those who, without authority, would impose anything upon them” (Locke). As for Hobbes, he believed in a representative commonwealth, similar to Rousseau in that a large group of people may be represented by a smaller group of people in the government, but was willing to give less power to such a group than

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