What Is the Concept of Social Contract and Whose Idea Was It

Hobbes used contract theory for exactly the opposite reason to that of most of his predecessors when he argued that a leader should never be overthrown. Heavily influenced by the destruction of the English Civil War (1639-1651) and the resulting social upheavals, his version was an appeal against such atrocities. In his Leviathan (1651), Hobbes argued that the original state of nature for pre-political people was a constant war that every rational person wanted to end. In their desire for peace, individuals would lose their natural freedom. Hobbes` contract between individuals and not between subjects and sovereign establishes an obligation for all to obey the sovereign as the rule of reason, which he also calls a law of nature. Thus, for Hobbes, subjects never have the right to oppose their ruler. Similarly, Hobbes sees no contractual constraints on the sovereign, for only the sovereign can maintain a state of peace. Contractarism| Contractualism| Ethics: | Ethical Game theory: | evolution Rationale, Policy: | Public Liberalism| | The starting point of most theories of the social contract is an examination of the human condition without a political order (called by Thomas Hobbes “the state of nature”). [4] In this state, the actions of the individual are related only to his personal power and consciousness. From this common starting point, social contract theorists seek to show why rational individuals would willingly agree to give up their natural freedom in order to gain the benefits of the political order. Zu den eminent theorists of the 17th and 18th century. Hugo Grotius (1625), Thomas Hobbes (1651), Samuel von Pufendorf (1673), John Locke (1689), Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1762) and Immanuel Kant (1797) each approached the concept of political authority differently.

Grotius postulated that individual human beings have natural rights. Thomas Hobbes said that human life in a “state of nature” would be “lonely, poor, evil, brutal and short.” Without political order and law, everyone would have unlimited natural freedoms, including the “right to all things” and thus the freedom to plunder, rape and kill; There would be an endless “war of all against all” (bellum omnium contra omnes). To avoid this, free peoples unite to form a political community (civil society) through a social contract in which they receive all the security in exchange for submitting to an absolute sovereign, a man or a gathering of people. Although the ruler`s edicts may be arbitrary and tyrannical, Hobbes saw absolute government as the only alternative to the terrible anarchy of a state of nature. Hobbes claimed that people agree to give up their rights in favor of the absolute authority of the government (whether monarchical or parliamentary). Alternatively, Locke and Rousseau argued that we receive civil rights in exchange for accepting the obligation to respect and defend the rights of others, while renouncing certain freedoms. There is a reading of the hypothetical (first-order) question “Would the agreements be the subject of an agreement if___”, which, as stated, is still resolutely empirical in a certain sense. This is the reading in which the theorist is required to try to determine what a real survey of real citizens would reveal about their real attitudes toward his system of social arrangements.

(This, of course, is rarely done; the theorist does it in her imagination. See, however, Klosko 2000). But there is another interpretation that is more widely accepted in the contemporary context. In this reading, the question is no longer a hypothetical question of real reactions; Rather, it is a hypothetical question about hypothetical reactions – it is, as I said, doubly hypothetical. The question is formulated by the first hypothetical element: “Would this be the purpose of the agreement if they were questioned?” Framed by this question is the second hypothetical element, that which concerns citizens who are no longer treated empirically, that is, taken for granted, but who are themselves considered from a hypothetical point of view – as they would be if they were (typically) better informed or impartial, etc. The question for most contemporary contract theorists is therefore approximately: “If we were to question the idealized representatives of real citizens in this political system, what social arrangements would be agreed upon among them?” Social contracts can be explicit, like laws, or implicit, like raising your hand in class to speak. The U.S. Constitution is often cited as an explicit example of part of the American social contract. It determines what the government can and cannot do.

People who choose to live in America accept to be governed by the moral and political obligations set forth in the social contract of the Constitution. The level at which the subject matter of the contract is described is likely to influence the outcome of the agreement. “A striking feature from Hobbes` point of view,” Hardin points out, “is that this is a relative assessment of the overall condition. Living in a form of government versus living under anarchy” (2003, 43). Hobbes could plausibly argue that everyone would agree with the social contract because “life under government” is better from everyone`s point of view than “living under anarchy” (the basic condition). However, when a Hobbesian woman tried to divide the treaty into finer agreements on the various functions of government, she was inclined to conclude that an agreement on many functions would not be possible. If we (Lister, 2010) “zoom” in on the finer functions of government, the treaty tends to become more limited. If parties simply question whether government is better than anarchy, they will opt for almost any government (including, for example, a government that funds the arts); When they wonder whether they should have a government that funds the arts or a government that doesn`t, it`s easy to see how they can disagree on the former. Similarly, when the parties deliberate on entire moral codes, there may be a broad consensus that all moral codes as a whole are in the interest of all; When we “zoom” in on certain rights and obligations, we tend to get a very different answer. .