His Political Philosophyparticularly his formulation of social contract theory or Contractarianismstrongly influenced the French Revolution and the development of LiberalConservative and Socialist theory. A brilliant, undisciplined and unconventional thinker throughout his colorful life, his views on Philosophy of Education and on religion were equally controversial but nevertheless influential.
It is a state prior to any socialization. In this state, human beings are free, self-sufficient, and because of this they are still peaceful; they are capable of experiencing compassion, and they live in small biologically determined groups.
Rousseau tries to imagine what human beings are like in a pre-political state, where there is no socially created inequality, and no artificial luxuries that corrupt our instincts, and he sees them very similar to animals like apes.
Rousseau has a more differential view of human nature than Hobbes or Locke.
Some human qualities are given to us through nature and exist in a natural state as well as in a socialized state, unless they are suppressed, like compassion for others, simple needs like the sexual drive, and a basic love for oneself.
Other qualities exist only as potentialities in the human nature; they have to be activated and will unfold through society, like language, and culture in general.
Finally, there are those qualities that do not belong to the nature of the human being, but are acquired through socialization, like the hunger for power, for wealth, jealousy, and other culturally determined needs.
Rousseau describes the process through which primitive societies evolve in his treatise Discourse on Inequality, published in He argues that humans lived originally in small groups, and this allowed them to help each other.
Eventually the advantages of distributed labor become obvious; wealth begins to grow, and the desire for more grows as well. With growing inequality private property becomes more and more important, and an artificial status hierarchy gets established within society. From how many crimes, wars, and murders, from how many horrors and misfortunes might not any one have saved mankind, by pulling up the stakes, or filling up the ditch, and crying to his fellows: Beware of listening to this impostor; you are undone if you once forget that the fruits of the earth belong to us all, and the earth itself to nobody.
The inequality in this state is overcome with even more inequality, now between the Sovereign and his subjects. It can never create a stabile peace, but will spawn continuous wars and uprisings, because people are united under absolute rule: Is there a solution to this dilemma?
Obviously, to go back to a state of nature is not only not desirable, but also impossible because human abilities are now already developed beyond this state.
In the last chapter of this book, after describing the problems of a political order that creates inequality, he asks: And his answer is resignation: However, he also claims that a new social contract is now necessary. Subsequently, Rousseau became the intellectual Godfather of the French Revolution, which started inand the Marxist revolutions of the 20th Century have their roots in his thinking.
According to him, a new social contract would first require that people give up property, because differences in private property generate differences in legal status and vice versa, and this defeats all attempts to create a society which restores the original equality that is given to us by nature.
It is the goal of the social contract to create a just society. In order to achieve this there has to be equality, but it comes for a price:Sep 27, · Jean-Jacques Rousseau remains an important figure in the history of philosophy, both because of his contributions to political philosophy and moral psychology and because of .
Jean Jacques Rousseau Jean-Jacques Rousseau is one of the most well-known philosophers to ever live. A Swiss born philosopher, writer, and political theorist, Rousseau’s writing inspired the leaders of the French Revolution, Enlightenment movement and the Romantic generation. Jean-Jacques Rousseau (—) Jean-Jacques Rousseau was one of the most influential thinkers during the Enlightenment in eighteenth century Europe.
His first major philosophical work, A Discourse on the Sciences and Arts, was the winning response to an essay contest conducted by the Academy of Dijon in Jean-Jacques Rousseau ( - ) was a French philosopher and writer of the Age of Enlightenment.
His Political Philosophy, particularly his formulation of social contract theory (or Contractarianism), strongly influenced the French Revolution and the development of Liberal, . Jean-Jacques Rousseau was born in the independent Calvinist city-state of Geneva in , the son of Isaac Rousseau, a watchmaker, and Suzanne Bernard.
Rousseau’s mother died nine days after his birth, with the consequence that Rousseau was raised and educated by his father until the age of ten. The Implementation of Jean-Jacques Rousseau's Philosophy by Maximilien Robespierre and His Purposed Reaction Had He Lived to Witness It Words Nov 29th, 27 Pages Perhaps one of the most influential figures during the French Revolution was a man by the name of Maximilien Robespierre.