Believed also that self-preservation was the ultimate goal of mankind, but also
believed that humans were capable of benevolence.
Does not doubt that a modern citizen, corrupted by society, would behave as
Hobbes depicted. However, objects to the State of Nature as described by Hobbes
and Locke, who are accused of projecting the qualities of civilization onto the
Believes man to be born capable of the State of Nature, but that he is
corrupted by society.
Does not advocate a return to a State of Nature, for that is impossible for man
that is corrupted by society; nevertheless, he expresses regret at the present
Argument that man in State of Nature will be compassionate is not based on the
existence of a natural moral code, as in Locke, but his belief that man is naturally
harm-averse, and will seek to minimize/avoid it in himself and in others.
Therefore, Rousseau's view is emotional, and not necessarily logical.
Admits that while a strong savage would avoid harming a weak if an alternative
method of self-sustenance was available, this compassion would not be strong
enough in the case of resource scarcity and competition.