Reaching the State of Nature

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Essay #: 061857
Total text length is 6,955 characters (approximately 4.8 pages).

Excerpts from the Paper

The beginning:
Reaching the State of Nature
The concept of the state of nature is very important to political philosophers. In some ways, it is similar to the big bang theory of the universe in physics: if we understand the conditions of the world at its very beginning, then it should be possible to logically lay out the events that followed. Early political philosophers often presented their theories by beginning with a description of the state of nature and using these basic principles to build to a larger theory of how a society should function. However, Jean-Jacques Rousseau claimed that none of these men were describing the thing they intended to. They never “reached” the state of nature because they were incapable of separating themselves from...
The end:
.....nt philosophers agree or disagree with the conclusions that Rousseau draws about the nature of man and how a society should be governed, he must be commended for his philosophical rigor. It can be extremely difficult even for brilliant thinkers to step outside of the society that has shaped their views and conceive of a truly neutral state. By doing so Rousseau cemented himself as one of the great minds of his era, such that he is still read centuries later.
References
Hobbes, T. (2009). Leviathan. New York: Oxford University Press.
Locke, J. (1689). The second treatise on government. New York: Penguin Classics.
Rousseau, J. (1997). The discourses and other early political writings. Ed. V.
Gourevitch
. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.