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What Is the Enlightenment Idea of the Social Contract

John Locke and Rousseau also developed theories about social contracts. Locke, Hobbes, and Rousseau agreed in detail that a social contract in which the authority of government resides in the consent of the governed is necessary for man to live in civil society. Locke is best known for his statement that individuals have the right to “life, liberty, and property,” and his belief that the natural right to property derives from labor. His theory of natural rights has influenced many political documents, including the United States Declaration of Independence and the Declaration of Human and Civil Rights of the French National Constituent Assembly. Although much of Enlightenment political thought was dominated by social contract theorists, some Scottish philosophers, notably David Hume and Adam Ferguson, criticized this camp. They assumed that governments stemmed from the authority and power of a ruler (Hume) and social development communities and not from social contracts (Ferguson). While the Enlightenment cannot be classified into a particular doctrine or set of dogmas, science played a prominent role in the discourse and thought of the Enlightenment. Many Enlightenment writers and thinkers had a background in science and combined scientific progress with the overthrow of religion and traditional authority in favor of the development of freedom of expression and thought. Overall, enlightenment science greatly valued empiricism and rational thinking and was rooted in the Enlightenment ideal of progress and progress. As with most views of the Enlightenment, the benefits of science were not generalized. The central assertion that social contract theory is approaching is that law and political order are not natural, but human creations. The social contract and the political order it creates are only the means to an end – the benefit of the individuals involved – and are legitimate only to the extent that they fulfill their part of the agreement. Hobbes argued that the government is not a party to the original treaty and that citizens are not obliged to submit to the government if it is too weak to act effectively to suppress factionism and civil unrest.

According to other social contract theorists, if the government does not guarantee their natural rights (locke) or satisfy the best interests of society (called “general will” by Rousseau), citizens can withdraw their duty of obedience or change direction through elections or other means, including, if necessary, violence. Locke believed that natural rights were inalienable and that, therefore, God`s rule replaced governmental authority, while Rousseau believed that democracy (self-government) was the best way to ensure prosperity while maintaining individual freedom under the rule of law. Locke`s concept of social contract was cited in the United States Declaration of Independence. Social contract theories were eclipsed in favor of utilitarianism, Hegelianism, and Marxism in the 19th century; they were built in the 20th century. ==References=====External links===* Official website Nicolas de Condorcet, also known as the Marquis de Condorcet, was an early French philosopher, mathematician and political scientist. [ 5]. Unlike many of his contemporaries, he advocated a liberal economy, free and equal public education, constitutionalism, and equal rights for women and people of all races. Although his ideas and writings are considered the embodiment of Enlightenment ideals and rationalism, they were far more radical than those of most of his contemporaries, even those who were also considered radical. Hobbes was the first modern philosopher to articulate a detailed theory of the social contract, which appeared in his work Leviathan in 1651. Hobbes set out his doctrine of establishing legitimate states and governments and created an objective science of morality. Since the Leviathan was written during the English Civil War, much of the book has been preoccupied with demonstrating the need for a strong central authority to avoid the evil of discord and civil war. In the mid-18th century, Europe experienced an explosion of philosophical and scientific activities that challenged traditional teachings and dogmas.

The philosophical movement was led by Voltaire and Jean-Jacques Rousseau, who advocated a society based on reason rather than Catholic faith and doctrine, a new civil order based on natural law, and a science based on experiments and observations. The political philosopher Montesquieu introduced the idea of a separation of powers into a government, a concept that was enthusiastically adopted by the authors of the United States Constitution. While the philosophers of the French Enlightenment were not revolutionary and were many members of the nobility, their ideas played an important role in undermining the legitimacy of the Ancien Régime and in the formation of the French Revolution. For Hobbes, the need for absolute authority in the form of a ruler stemmed from the extreme brutality of the state of nature. The state of nature was completely unbearable, and therefore rational people were willing to submit even to absolute authority in order to escape it. For John Locke, 1632-1704, the state of nature is a very different place, and therefore his arguments regarding the social contract and the nature of man`s relationship with authority are therefore very different. While Locke uses Hobbes` methodical means of the state of nature, as virtually all social contract theorists do, he uses it for a very different purpose. Locke`s arguments in favor of the social contract and the right of citizens to revolt against their king had a huge influence on subsequent democratic revolutions, especially on Thomas Jefferson and the founders of the United States. Building on the work of Immanuel Kant with his conjecture of state boundaries,[18] John Rawls (1921-2002) in A Theory of Justice (1971) proposed a contractual approach in which rational people in a hypothetical “original position” would set aside their individual preferences and abilities under a “veil of ignorance” and accept certain general principles of justice and legal organization. This idea is also used as a theoretical formalization of the game of the concept of equity. Social contract theory, almost as old as philosophy itself, is the idea that the moral and/or political obligations of individuals depend on a contract or agreement between them to form the society in which they live. Socrates uses something like a social contract argument to explain to Krito why he must stay in prison and accept the death penalty.

However, the theory of social contracts is rightly associated with modern moral and political theory and is for the first time fully presented and defended by Thomas Hobbes. According to Hobbes, John Locke and Jean-Jacques Rousseau are the best-known proponents of this extremely influential theory, which has been one of the most dominant theories of moral and political theory in the history of the modern West. In the twentieth century, moral and political theory regained a philosophical impetus following John Rawls` Kantian version of social contract theory, followed by new analyses of the subject by David Gauthier and others. More recently, philosophers have proposed new critiques of social contract theory from various angles. Feminists and race-conscious philosophers, in particular, have argued that social contract theory is at least an incomplete picture of our moral and political life, and may actually obscure some of the ways in which the contract itself has a parasitic effect on class submissions of people. John Locke was an English philosopher and physician who is widely regarded as one of the most influential thinkers of the Enlightenment and is commonly known as the “father of liberalism”. He is considered one of the first British empiricists and is equally important for the theory of social contracts. His work strongly influenced the development of epistemology and political philosophy. His writings influenced Voltaire and Rousseau, many Scottish Illuminators, as well as American revolutionaries. His contributions to classical republicanism and liberal theory are reflected in the United States Declaration of Independence.

Carole Pateman`s 1988 book, The Sexual Contract, argues that beneath the myth of the idealized contract, as described by Hobbes, Locke, and Rousseau, lies a more fundamental contract on male-female relationships. Contract theory presents itself as opposed to patriarchy and patriarchal law. (Locke`s social contract, for example, is established by him in stark contrast to the work of Robert Filmer, who advocated for patriarchal power.) But the “original pact” (2), which precedes the social contract between equals, is the agreement of men to dominate and control women. This “original pact” is made by brothers, literally or metaphorically, who, after overthrowing the father`s reign, then agree to share their dominion over women who were previously under the exclusive control of a man, the Father. The shift from “classical patriarchy” (24) to modern patriarchy is therefore a change in the question of who has power over women. However, this is not a fundamental change in whether women are dominated by men. The balance of power between men is changing, but not the relationship of women to the power of men. Modern patriarchy is characterized by a contractual relationship between men, and part of this contract involves power over women. This fact that one form of patriarchy has not been completely overthrown, but replaced by another form in which male power has been distributed to more men rather than held by a single man, is illustrated by Freud`s story about the emergence of civilization. .