Rousseau and Hobbes' Conception of State of Nature

Topics: State of nature, Human, Natural environment Pages: 3 (1029 words) Published: May 14, 2013
Both Rousseau and Hobbes talked about state of nature but their understanding of state of nature and the first living of humanity is quite different from each other. Their views are similar in some points but mostly they contrast with each other. These differences in their thoughts are mainly because of their understanding of human nature and also their view of man. For Hobbes, state of nature is a state of war and because of this, every individual are against each other and because of their basic instincts they are dangerous for each other but as a contrary Rousseau's thought about humanity is totally different and because of this at least in the first base of the state of nature he thinks that the humanity was in peace. Mainly Hobbes' theory about human nature defines a competitive and violent environment among people and in contrary Rousseau is a little bit naïve about the nature of man. In my point of view, although both theories have their contraries Hobbes' idea of state of nature is more relevant than Rousseau's idealistic state of nature for some reasons. First of all the difference between their definitions about the state of nature is about their understanding of human nature. If we look at Hobbes' Leviathan we can see that he talks about the basic instincts of man. For him these instincts are about the will of living and will to be safe. So because of this will man could do anything to live and maintain this living in safety. But also because of this reason every human is a danger for another. And this danger causes an environment which is so similar to war. Because every individual is afraid of the harm that another individual could give, everybody feels unsafe and this causes them to feel as like they are in war. After the state and law people started acting not just for themselves also for the other individuals. They did not harm others in order not to get harm. After civilization although they did not lose their basic instincts they need to...
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