Western Political Thought Jean Jacques Rousseau (1712 − 1778) -Social Contract Philosopher for RSET (2020)

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Jean Jacques Rousseau - Western Political Thought: Social Contract Philosopher (Political Science)

About

  • Well known social contract philosopher.

  • Given historic theory of General Will.

  • Was product of his times and was influenced by his circumstances.

  • Does not agree that each man is devil by birth.

  • Also refuses to accept that religion is opposed to state.

  • His most influential writing- ‘The Social Contract’ brought him widespread reputation.

Major Concepts:

Image Major Concepts:

Image Major Concepts:

Image Major Concepts:

Human Nature

  • Man had no evil tendencies by birth.

  • Wrong social actions made him evil and quarrelsome.

  • Man, by nature has two instincts-

    • self-love

    • sympathy or instinct of mutual aid

  • These instinct makes struggle for existence easier.

  • Also, does more good than harm.

  • Emergence of another instinct called ‘conscience’.

  • This emerges out of clash between the other two.

  • Pride was the root cause of many evils.

  • Instinct by nature-man’s freedom to choose his own path.

  • This freedom is essential for the perfection of mankind.

State of Nature

Image State of Nature

Image State of Nature

Image State of Nature

Social Contract

Image Social Contract

Image Social Contract

Image Social Contract

  • By way of contract man surrender everything to society.

  • Being member of society retained everything.

  • Rights surrendered to body not individual

  • Contact had organic character.

  • It was moral, collective and had a public person.

  • *Rousseau’s contract was a continuous process.

Theory of General Will

  • People surrendered all rights to a collective sovereign.

  • And bowed before the General Will, which is ultimate analysis of sovereign.

  • Two terms to be understood for understanding General Will.

  • Actual Will and Real Will.

Image Theory of General Will

Image Theory of General Will

Image Theory of General Will

  • According to Rousseau General Will is the sum total of Real Will.

  • Based on reason, will of all individual for community welfare.

  • Rousseau’s sovereign is General will which is permanent and inalienable.

  • It is absolute and possess complete control over state.

Sovereignty

  • Vested in people.

  • Community as a whole is sovereign.

  • It has unity, indivisibility, permanency.

  • A right will, inalienable and inseparable

  • His government was under this sovereign.

Natural Rights

  • He believed man was born free.

  • Enjoyed every right which was necessary for his existence.

‘Man is born free but everywhere he is in chains’

Image Natural Rights

Image Natural Rights

Image Natural Rights

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