Running Head: POLITICAL THEORY
1. Differentiate between Rousseau’s and Hobbes’ Theories of Man and the State.
Jean Jacques Rousseau and Thomas Hobbes both defined the ‘state of nature’ which was
their proposed depiction of how societies came to be. For Rousseau civilization had removed the
individual man from his natural state of being. However, for Thomas Hobbes civilization and the
structure that comes with it was the only thing keeping men from doing wrongs that they would
have otherwise done if left to rule himself. The major difference between Rousseau’s and
Hobbes views is that Hobbes seems to encourage societies, civilizations and nations to form
while Rousseau is calling out for humans to remove themselves from the society inorder to ‘find
Rousseau believes that civilization has corrupted the individual man who in the beginning
was a caring, empathetic and loving person. His idea of a happy life was that of upholding family
values, a love for poetry, and an appreciation of one’s environment (School of Life, 2015).
However, civilization has changed man’s values. He is more self-absorbed and his only aim in
life is to satisfy his own needs which leads him to commit all kind of vices such as war and
oppression of others.
Hobbes argument, on the other hand, praises the individual man for accepting to enter
into the fold of society. He believes that i...