Rousseau vs. Locke
The notion of human life without organized societies refers to the state of nature. In this essay I will discuss the positions of two philosophers, John Locke and Jean Rousseau on the state of nature and where their viewpoints are similar to one another. Based on the readings there seems to be some very apparent differences on the subject or original state of human nature. However, in the end, both Lock and Rousseau seem to agree that human concern for one another and human survival or preservation are some of the foundations of the state of nature.
Jean Rousseau, born in Geneva in 1712, and the son of a journeyman, was self-educated as a young boy, and went on to author…show more content… Locke defines the 'state of nature' as an original condition prior to the development of civilization, and describes it as a state in which all individuals are perfectly free and equivalent, “Men living according to reason, without a common superior on earth, to judge between them, is properly the state of nature” (Locke, 1690, p. 15). Locke goes on to state that “Every one, as he is bound to preserve himself, so that by the like reason, when his own preservation comes not in competition, ought he, preserve the rest of mankind, unless to justice on an offender, take away, or impair the life or the preservation of life, the liberty, health, limb or goods of another” (Locke, 1690, p. 9). These are “duties” that Locke presents to preserve one’s self, preserve the life of others, do not take away life, and to not act such as to destroy others. Locke associated the “state of nature” with moral obligations and rights that humans have towards each other. This reiterates his stance that the state of nature, has the law of nature to govern