The social contractor theory

The Enlightenment philosophers, such as John Locke, Thomas Hobbes and Jean Jacques Rousseau believed that the relationship between a government and its citizens is a form of contract, hence Rousseau’s concept of “Social Contract”. However, the philosophers had different views on the nature of mankind, and, of the underlying cause(s) of the said contract (the relationship between the government and its citizens).

As you are reading their writings, here are some questions you may try to answer.

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How did Hobbes’ vision differ from the views of Locke and Rousseau on the issues of:

Human Nature
Why did man leave the “State of Nature” to enter “Civil Society”?
Who should rule/govern?

Which philosopher had the greatest influence on the founding fathers of the United States? Justify your answer.

You will those documents on the internet and I have added the book chapter related to the topic under course materials.

For John Locke, from the Second Treatise, read the first two pages of Chapters 2, 8,9 and 12 II, VIII, IX and XII.

For Hobbes, read ChpXIII (13) the first 3 pages.


For Rousseau, read the first 3 pages of Book 1.

You must write a one page reflection and answer to 2 students.

The book is called: Christine Barbour, AMGOV: Long Story Short (CQ Press, 1st edition, 2019). 9781544325958

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