John Locke and Jean-Jacques Rousseau. How Do Their Conceptions of the “Social Contract” Differ? How Are These Differences Related to Differences Between the English Glorious Revolution of 1688 and the French Revolution of 1789?

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Assignment #6:
John Locke and Jean-Jacques Rousseau. How do their conceptions of the “social contract” differ? How are these differences related to differences between the English Glorious Revolution of 1688 and the French Revolution of 1789?

John Locke and Jean-Jacques Rousseau were two very important philosophical thinkers of their time. John Locke was a prominent thinker from England, sometimes revered as the Father of Classical Liberalism due to his philosophical writings. Jean-Jacques Rousseau was a philosopher, writer and composer from Geneva who greatly influenced the French Revolution as well as the development of politics, sociology, and education. Both famous philosophers are two of the most prominent Enlightenment theorists of social contract. The social contract is a theory that originated during the Enlightenment, it usually addresses the origins of typical society and it questions and discusses the legitimacy of the authority of the state and government over the individual. Even though they are both major contributors to the social contract theory, their views vary and differentiate in many ways.

John Locke believed that individuals in a state of nature would be bound morally, this would usually not make them harm each other, but without a government to protect them from those willing to break the moral code, they would have no sense of security and would live in constant fear. At the same time Locke also stated “that all government in the world is merely the product of force and violence, and that men live together by no other rules than that of the beasts, where the strongest carries it...”(Uzgalis) and this belief was the basis for his educated view and explanation of the social contract. Even though John Locke believed in this, in some way it would also mean that he would be negating a very central distinction between legitimate and illegitimate government. He believed that legitimate government could come through violence as long as...
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