Of The Original Contract By John Locke And Jean Jacques Rousseau

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In the history of modern philosophy, a lot of philosophers have raised and discussed the question of when and how a society first came into place. The most important theory related to that was, “The Social Contract Theory” discussed by Thomas Hobbes, John Locke and Jean Jacques Rousseau and one of the major critiques against it was by David Hume in “Of the Original Contract”. In this paper, I will present Hume’s arguments against the social contract theory, how his views might apply to Locke’s, then Locke’s response to Hume’s argument and finally present my argument of why I agree with Hume.

In “Of The Original Contract”, David Hume provides arguments as to why he believes that the social contract theory does not justify the establishment of a state.
First, we will consider Locke’s view regarding the social contract to notice the differences between his view and that of Hume. According to Locke, the state of nature is one where men are free and independent to do as they desire as long as it is within the bounds of the law of nature and morality, but that a contract is agreed upon because of the inconveniences in that state, and to deviate away from the states of war that occur between individuals. Locke claims that the state of nature is historical since men can for agreements and still be in that state. But then provides one exception that drives men out of that state, which is when they mutually agree to form a community.
Hume does not support these claims, and argues

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