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Week 10.docx

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University of Guelph
Political Science
POLS 2000
Scott Brandon

Week 10 - Social Contract Theorists • Have as their starting point this state of nature that humans have come from a pre-social condition to a society • If you strip an individual from family and all other connections, who is that individual • The state of nature is the absence of any binding authority • Hobbes • The state of nature is one that the individual is self interested, egoistic and sort of this rational calculator of what is in his best interest. • Why did they form societies? out of fear • Fear of a violent death, and its out of this that • The human being is nothing but a body, its out of sheer emotion • Hobbes thinks that there can be a science of politics .The only reason you join society is because of the fear of a violent death • All you have in nature is a state of natural rights – but you don’t want to fear death every day • But everyone in the state of nature has to give up his or her natural rights and elect a sovereign, trusting power to an absolute ruler. Even though this ruler has absolute power, he still has to follow a mandate; he has to provide peace and security. Peace is the highest virtue. • Peace doesn’t lead to a perfect life – but a good life • Hobbes builds on a solid foundation – this leads to a paradox o This commitment he has to peace really relies on those individuals in society that value something mor
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