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Comparing Rousseau And Thomas Hobbes

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Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Thomas Hobbes were 17th and 18th century philosophers with contrasting theories about human nature. Rousseau published first part of his Discourse on Inequality arguing that men in a state of nature are free and equal. In their theories, both Hobbes and Rousseau’s appeal to the state of nature are quite different. This paper will discuss how Rousseau’s understanding of fear of death of human nature differs from Hobbes’s understanding. Hobbes believes that man is always in the fear of being killed in a painful way because everyone is an enemy of each other. Hobbes says life is “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short” (Hobbes, 76). The fear of a short life that ends badly should be the glue that holds society together. …show more content…
Everyone can go after his own instincts and claim rights on others’ property for self-protection. One cannot expect peace and order; therefore, there must be a political institution that would guarantee these aspects. On contrary, Rousseau considers human nature good, yet it is to be corrupted by society. “Since the most powerful or the most miserable made of their strength or their needs, a kind of right to the possessions of others, equivalent in their opinion, to the right of property, equality was destroyed and followed by the most frightful disorder (Cole and Kibel). Rousseau claims that humans in a natural state are not only afraid of death but they are also not aware of it. Rousseau believes that it is impossible for people to live happy if people live in fear of

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