- Term Papers and Free Essays

Social Contract

Essay by   •  June 11, 2016  •  Term Paper  •  1,220 Words (5 Pages)  •  972 Views

Essay Preview: Social Contract

Report this essay
Page 1 of 5


Social Contract

Javier Hernandez

ETH/316:  Ethics and Social Responsibility

July 15, 2013

Daniel Heller

Social Contract[a]

        When we discuss the theories of Social Contract we need to take into consideration three of the most influential philosophers to date.  We need to discuss John Locke, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, and Thomas Hobbes.  

        Thomas Hobbes, which lived during the English Civil War.  [b]His stance in regards to social contract is the stance of “hypothetical State of Nature”.  His view was different since his theory was based on informed mechanism.  The view everything was produced in motion and made from nothing.  His view that men only do what is in their own individual interest.  His views in believing that men want to avoid their own personal deaths at any cost.  By this thought it is the belief that men will do what ever it takes to not only avoid death but unavoidable war.  His views and beliefs that while man may have the ability to resort to conflict it should also be noted that man will recognize that man will also look for a peaceful way conflict.  

          His belief that in order to survive in a social contract you will have to live in a form of convenience.  One would have to incorporate the following morality, politics, society all of this would have to be able to work together or in his words “commodious living” (Hobbes 1985).  

        Now his views of this living harmoniously is noble at best.  He views that morality and legality are the same since all men want to live in an area that is against war and crime.  He believes that the government (of man/people) will want to have a form of legislation and allow everyone to play an important role.  Does this give the government legitimacy?  Yes it does it is [c]similar to what we see now.  We see a society currently in the United States a government for the people and by the people.[d]  Where everyone deserve to pursuit life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  [e]These words are part of the most famous document in American history (Declaration of Independence).  If we take a look at Hobbes perception in how he sees a social contract is it not similar to that of what our fore fathers viewed?[f]

        John Lockes' view of a Social Contract was very different.  His views were based in the role of owning property.  His belief that one should only be able to maintain the property that you have, as long as it does not take away from nature.  His belief in that law of nature prevails.  [g]His belief that no harm will come to others, whether it is life, health, liberty or possessions (Locke 2003).  His belief that we all belong to God equally and we cant take away what he gives us on loan.  His view he believes that society is based on families. (Locke 2003).  Being able to bring together families to develop a society that everyone cares for each other.  

        His views are similar to a parallel to a cult or gang mentality.  [h]Being a part of an organization with the foundation of family.  His view of “one body politic under one government” (Locke 2003) is the beginnings of that type of mentality.  Or one can also view this in the form of a Kingship.  Where one acknowledges that God and everyone appointed as a king worships or accepts them as a God.[i]  Similar to how kingship is recognized in Thailand.  [j]

When attempting to compare the two views one can see the differences that are distinct.  Is his view of legality and morality the same?  No.  His view is that people will be governed by a God (or similar).  Be part of a family and being able to fall under one common good for their God.  If their god requires them to sacrifice their lands it will be done so for the better good.  The view of the government to decide morality is prevalent in this view[k].  His view was implied when everyone accepts this term of society.  Accepting this view by either being a part of this family or joining it after it is established is what gives the government the legitimacy to control what is moral and what is not.



Download as:   txt (6.1 Kb)   pdf (117.9 Kb)   docx (11.4 Kb)  
Continue for 4 more pages »
Only available on
Citation Generator

(2016, 06). Social Contract. Retrieved 06, 2016, from

"Social Contract" 06 2016. 2016. 06 2016 <>.

"Social Contract.", 06 2016. Web. 06 2016. <>.

"Social Contract." 06, 2016. Accessed 06, 2016.