Social Contract Theory Essay

Social Contract Theory Essay-41
More importantly they were intending to formulate forms of government that had intellectual integrity and gave legitimacy to the political structure after revolution and the removal of the old order.Using scientific method they each argued from their understanding of the first principals of human interaction and both came to powerful rational conclusions.Hobbes published Leviathan, or the Matter, Form and Power of a Commonwealth, Ecclesiastical and Civil in 1651, writing that his book was “occasioned by the disorders of the present time.” (leviathan).

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The enlightenment saw the development of social contract theory of which Hobbes and Locke were the principal exponents.

The theory of social contract is essentially a morally justified agreement made amongst individuals through which an organised society is brought into existence .

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Prior to the civil war in England government was theocratic.

This saw kings as divinely appointed and their subjects as divinely commanded to obey them.

To develop their theories of government they started with man in his original condition, or “the state of nature”.

Where they differed was in their assumptions about the nature of ungoverned human interaction and behaviour. Starting from their very different assumptions as to the “state of nature” they came to different conclusions and provided different prescriptions for the government of society.

It is used as a means of demonstrating the value of government, the grounds for political obligation and authority over a particular geographical area .

The classic form of social contract theory suggests that there is a stateless society from which individual’s wish to escape by entering into a social contract.


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