StudentShare solutions
Triangle menu

Social Contract Theory - Essay Example

Nobody downloaded yet

Extract of sample
Social Contract Theory

Thomas Hobbes' political philosophy of social contract theory is outlined in the hypothetical State of Nature. In his Leviathan published in 1651, he articulated on a particular theory of human nature that gives a rise to a particular view of morality and politics (Gauthier 1988). He rejects the theory of Divine Rights of Kings, indirectly refuting Filmer's claim that a king's authority is invested in him by God, enjoys an absolute authority, in which the basis of political obligation lays in an individual's obligation to obey God absolutely. Hence, this theory of Filmer, which Hobbes rejects in his social Contract theory, states that political obligation is subsumed under religious obligation (ibid). Rather, Hobbes argued that obligation and political authority are dependent upon the individual's self-interests of members of society who are taken as equals of the others, with no single individual given an absolute authority to rule over the rest, while at the same time, poses that if society is to survive, the Monarch (Sovereign), must be given absolute authority (Baier 1994). ...
He argues that man's reason does not evaluate their given ends; rather it merely finds the way to the things Desired, describing rationality as purely instrumental (ibid). It is from these premises that Hobbes is able to construct a provocative and compelling argument for why individuals would tend to be willing to submit themselves to a political authority. He explains this through his discussion of the State of Nature, in which he describes as the state of perpetual and unavoidable war and the worst possible situation in which men can find themselves (Braybrooke 1976). However, Hobbes furthered that this perpetual and unavoidable war that man encounters with other men due to their State of Nature is not hopeless because men are naturally reasonable and are able to see their way out through their recognition of the laws of nature that aids them towards escaping the State of Nature and create a civil society. By this reasonability, man is able to construct a social contract that will afford him a kind of life that is more acceptable than the one offered when one is in State of Nature. The requirement of this contract is a consensus to establish society by collectively and reciprocally renouncing the rights that individuals possessed in their State of Nature. In addition, they must give authority and power to an individual or an assembly of persons to enforce the initial contract (Gauthier, 1988). It implies that in order for men to escape from the State of Nature, it is required that they must agree to live together under common laws established for them, and create an enforcement mechanism that will enforce the social contract, alongside the laws that constitute it.
For John Locke, the State of Nature is a very different type of place; hence, his claims ...Show more


The Social Contract Theory is the view that an individual's moral and/or political obligations are dependent on the contract or agreement between them in forming society (The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy). It is rightly associated with modern moral and political theory, which Thomas Hobbes gave a full exposition of…
Author : ajenkins
Social Contract Theory essay example
Read Text Preview
Save Your Time for More Important Things
Let us write or edit the essay on your topic
"Social Contract Theory"
with a personal 20% discount.
Grab the best paper

Check these samples - they also fit your topic

The Social Contract Theory of John Locke
Key words: social contract theory, human rights, just governments, personal obligations, ethical obligations. Introduction There are many variants of social contract theories. On the basis of the principles of these theories, the Western governments have developed their laws and legal regulations directed on subjection of the citizens to the legal principles directed on protection of their rights and liberties.
6 pages (1500 words) Essay
Social Contract Theory by John Rawls
However, people can also derive ethical standards based on a concept of duty from philosophical principles. John’s social contract theory furnishes a very vital example of formalism that influences thinking about personal ethics. This theory concerns itself with systems of establishing a way that people can use to construct a just society given the many inequalities in wealth, social status, and knowledge.
3 pages (750 words) Essay
Social Contract Theory
There were various political philosophers to have propounded the Social Contract Theory, three of which were Thomas Hobbes, John Locke and Jean Jacques Rousseau. Hobbes’ and Locke’s views on the social contract were contrary to one another because they had varying views on governance.
5 pages (1250 words) Essay
Social contract theory
This is possibly because the legal framework during the time of Plato was not a complete system (Rousseau 23). It is for this point that modern philosopher Thomas Hobbes found loopholes in Plato’s account of the theory. Thomas gave the theory a different interpretation and explained the concept from the viewpoint of a world without rules and regulations.
5 pages (1250 words) Essay
Social Contract Theory in business
They were at the losing end according to her perspective. On the other hand, Brett was suggesting that "the profit-oriented corporation, using deceit" was to be blamed in the Pan Pharmaceuticals debacle. He was looking at the problem from the Social Contract Theory.
4 pages (1000 words) Essay
Social Contract Theory of John Locke
By means of an express or tacit agreement, the society agrees to function together for its mutual benefit and assigns roles and responsibilities to those in power (the
3 pages (750 words) Essay
The Social Contract Theory
There were various political philosophers to have propounded the Social Contract Theory, three of which were Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, and Jean Jacques Rousseau. According to Hobbes, society was extremely gloomy at the time and an individual lived a life which was ‘solitary, nasty, brutish, poor, short.
4 pages (1000 words) Essay
Social contract theory
This implies that individuals’ morals and political responsibilities rely on their consensus to develop their societies. This theory is applicable to the contemporary moral and political philosophy. It focuses on individuals’ lives,
1 pages (250 words) Essay
Social Contract Theory
The social contract theory focuses on the liberal tradition in political theory since it focuses on the equality, as well as political freedom of those who would like to enter into any political arrangement. The theory also
6 pages (1500 words) Research Paper
The Social Contract Theory and Animals
According to the report the social contract theory contends that morality entails a number of rules governing the social relationships of people and any reasonable person will be willing to abide by these rules given that the rest will do the same. Animals lack the ability to be rational and as such, they cannot be parties to a social contract.
4 pages (1000 words) Essay
Hire a pro to write
a paper under your requirements!
Win a special DISCOUNT!
Put in your e-mail and click the button with your lucky finger
Your email
Comments (0)
Click to create a comment
Contact Us