SOCI 3300 Lecture Notes - Lecture 2: Scottish Enlightenment, Invisible Hand, Social Capital

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8 Feb 2017

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Hobbes 1600s (social contract theory)
o Pre-enlightenment
o Made social order a key theme
o Wrote the text, “Leviathan”
Leviathan represents a strong government (the commonwealth)
Humans live in a self-destructive state
“The War of All Against All”
“Nasty, Brutish, and Short”
o Living conditions for humans
Government is necessary to maintain social order so that these conditions
don’t happen
Says the government can be of one man (dictatorship) or a group
of men
o Creates the first secular political theory
o Surrender all of our control to government
Social contract theory (normative theory: observing the world and then
making suggestions on how the world should be)
Rousseau 1700s
o Enlightenment
o Social contract theory (normative theory)
Modification of Hobbes Social construct theory
o The nature of the government isn’t to love their people
o Challenging the notion that “Might makes Right”
We should be obliged to obey only legitimate power, not forced power
o Connecting individuals to the state (social contract)
Moral liberty
Going to be more free using this contract
“The General Will”
Harder to accomplish in the real world
Ex: electoral college sometimes goes against general will of the
Kant (1724-1804)
o German
o Emphasized individual exercise of reason and thought primarily in matters of
Literally means “to be self-directing
o Individuals should be free to challenge things they believe: think for yourself
But when you’re within your job, you have to follow the guidelines your
‘boss’ sets for you
Adam Smith (1723-1790) (Theories based on observations)
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