Wednesday, September 11, 2019

An evaluation of the claim that Rousseau's Social Contract sacrifices Essay

An evaluation of the claim that Rousseau's Social Contract sacrifices the individual to the collective - Essay Example The will of the public is represented though democratic procedures in society. While most interest converge to reflect the overarching consensus within society, there are bound to be some marginalized opinions. This means that society has to develop a means of arbitrating between what is right and wrong. Rousseau developed a simple calculus for making this decision. He uses the general will to evaluate whether the upholding the individuals rights is good for society as a collective entity. In this paper after providing background information on the nature of humanity, I describe the social contract and the role of government. Next, we explore the philosophical framework that surrounds the rights that individuals have in society. Before concluding, I discuss the General Will and determine whether its meant to sacrifice the individual for the collective. II. Background Rousseau exclaimed that the state of nature existed without the rule of law or a system of morality. In this state hum ans banned together for the benefits and necessity of cooperation. As society became increasingly developed, the perpetual division of labor and the extension of private property demanded the totality of the human race to adopt governing institutions of law. This structure of society forces individuals to be increasingly interdependent whereby on one hand, they continue competition while on the other hand, they require each other. Rousseau theorized that by joining together into a civil society through the social contract surrendering their natural rights, individuals can both preserve themselves and remain free. Specifically, because the submission to the authority of the general will guarantees individuals protection against being subordinated to the wills of others and ensures that they obey the collective because they are, holistically, the authors of the law. This is where the general will becomes and important aspect of Rousseau’s Theory of the social contract. But all of this analysis started from an initial concept of human nature as naturally selfish. Lets discuss the psychological and sociological structure of society. If Humans are psychologically different, then it is easier to justify differential treatment of others. But if we are psychological alike, then one will find much more difficulty vindicating such claims. Hence my task with the analysis I provide you here, will be to prove that humans are psychologically alike as well as provide a clear definition for our psychological existence. Traditional conceptions of the psychological definition of humanity came from two different schools of thought. Either humans are naturally good, or they are naturally bad. I would argue that neither is correct and that humans are a blank slate, but let’s tackle the traditional conceptions first. First, Humans are naturally good. This belief is most notably held by the famous philosophical thinker Jean Jacques Rousseau. In The Inequality among Men â€Å"So many authors have hastily concluded that man is naturally cruel, and requires a regular system of police to be reclaimed; whereas nothing can be more gentle than he in his primitive state, when placed by nature at an equal distance from the stupidity of brutes, and the pernicious good sense of civilized man; and equally confined by instinct and reason to the care of providing against the mischief which threatens him, he is withheld by natural compassion from doing any injury to others, so far from

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