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Critically assess the implications of Social Contrant Theory (SCT) for relations between the individual and state - Essay Example

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Critically assess the implications of Social Contrant Theory (SCT) for relations between the individual and state

overnment and state in the current times, and provides a strong justification of the limitation of the power of the state against the citizens, and the corresponding authority of the people to establish a government that will serve the common good and embody the people’s ideals and aspirations.
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). Hobbes describes the human being as exclusively self-interested and reasonable, possessing the rational capacity to pursue his dreams as maximally as possible. 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 ...Show more
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Summary

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,…
Critically assess the implications of Social Contrant Theory (SCT) for relations between the individual and state
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