Argue how their conception of state of nature leads to their conception of legitimate sovereign power

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Answer two out of three questions. Each essay should present the arguments of the thinkers that respond to questions in the prompt.

  • Present Hobbes’, Locke’s, and Rousseau’s state of nature. Argue how their conception of state of nature leads to their conception of legitimate sovereign power. Be clear what elements are similar and what elements are distinct. How do Hamilton and Madison include elements from each thinker’s conception of sovereignty in the Constitution? How would Marx or Aristotle criticize the contract view of sovereign power? Which view of sovereignty do you think is best and why? Give one argument.
  • How does Socrates defend the philosophical life in the Apology? Why does the philosophical life challenge the political life or political authority? How does Plato resolve this tension in the Crito? How does Aristotle argue against Plato’s solution? How does political society promote the ends of a human life? How does Aristotle’s view radically differ from contract views of political power and political authority? How does Augustine challenge Aristotle’s view of politics? Which of these four views is superior and why (that is, Plato’s, Aristotle’s, liberalism [contractarian], or Augustine’s)?

Questions Answer two out of three questions. Each essay should present the arguments of the thinkers that respond to questions in the prompt. 1) Present Hobbes’, Locke’s, and Rousseau’s state of nature. Argue how their conception of state of nature leads to their conception of legitimate sovereign power. Be clear what elements are similar and what elements are distinct. How do Hamilton and Madison include elements from each thinker’s conception of sovereignty in the Constitution? How would Marx or Aristotle criticize the contract view of sovereign power? Which view of sovereignty do you think is best and why? Give one argument. 2) How does Rawls characterize justice? How is his view contractarian? How does he ensure this agreement about the principles of justice is itself just? What principles would we decide from this original position and why? How does Nozick argue against Rawls’ view? What is justice for Nozick? Why does it not entail any form of redistribution other than punitive? How does Nussbaum defend liberalism from its feminist critics? Give one feminist argument against liberalism and how Nussbaum defends it. How would Marx criticize liberalism in general? That is, why would the economic system of capitalism prevent liberalism from flourishing (equal rights and opportunity) and how would communism (Marx’s, not those forms that have or currently do exist as such) actually achieve the goals of liberalism? Which of these views of justice do you think is superior and why? 3) How does Socrates defend the philosophical life in the Apology? Why does the philosophical life challenge the political life or political authority? How does Plato resolve this tension in the Crito? How does Aristotle argue against Plato’s solution? How does political society promote the ends of a human life? How does Aristotle’s view radically differ from contract views of political power and political authority? How does Augustine challenge Aristotle’s view of politics? Which of these four views is superior and why (that is, Plato’s, Aristotle’s, liberalism [contractarian], or Augustine’s)?

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EinsteintheProf
School: UCLA

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Running head: ANSWERING PHILOSOPHICAL QUESTIONS

ANALYSIS OF PHILOSOPHICAL ISSUES

NAME

INSTITUTION AFFILIATION

1

PHILOSOPHICAL ANALYSIS

2
Philosophical Analysis

Question one
There is an imperative need to mention that Thomas Hobbes’ ideas on politics are still relevant
even in the current contemporary society. He defines the state of nature as ‘war of all against all’
(Hobbes, 2006) and occurs when there is no civilization, laws, government or even a common
source of power that acts to restrain the people and their deeds. The source of any legitimacy
would be through an establishment of a supreme body to create social order. Otherwise, the
result of such a nature would be the wanton destruction of human beings against one another in a
pursuit of power. Unlike Hobbes, Locke feels that there should be no government and that
mutual obligation should make people respect each other’s’ rights and the source of sovereign
legitimacy. Locke notes that ‘all mankind, who will but consult it, that being all equal and
independent, no one ought to harm another in his life, liberty, or possessions’ (Locke, 2014). The
implication is that these rights should take any precedence over any establishment of social order
and that there must be a common good to solve any issues that arise. Rousseau opposed the
views of Hobbes and argued that the state of nature would be a primitive state, with disregard to
socialization, and traits such as envy and pride would not apply. Thus, he proposes ‘a morally
neutral and peaceful condition in which (mainly) solitary individuals act according to their basic
urges (for instance, hunger) as well as their natural desire for self-preservation’ (Jack, 2008). To
him, any legitimacy would be derived from the need to show compassion and creation of
dependency on one another. If one looks at the three philosophers, they emphasize on the need of
human beings to have the right to self-determination and a say in the state of affairs.
Hamilton and Madison are credited for ensuring that there is upholding of human rights and that
there are checks and balances to the government. In the social contract, the government can only

PHILOSOPHICAL ANALYSIS

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lay claim to legitimacy if it helps its people to enjoy their rights and derives its power from the
people. Karl Marx argued that there should be communism, in which all resources are shared
equally among the people, even power, rather than a creation of social classes that create chaos,
such as the ruling class. The one sovereignty that I am inclined to concur with is that of Hobbes
it recognizes to have a government and that the inherent nature of human beings to pursue power
blindly.
Question two
When one looks at the life of Socrates and the use of the word apology, it does not confer the
meaning conventionally as people understand it but rather the unapologetic nature of his
philosophical life. He leads himself to be found guilty because he feels that he would rather die
than betray all the ideals that he held. In the book, he remarks that ‘a man is good for anything
ought not to calculate the chance of living or dying; he ought only to consider whether in doing
anything he is doing right or wrong-acting the part of a good man or a b...

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