What is the main task for any state? Providing security, creating a diverse and stable reform-oriented middle class, or unifying the citizenship through education into a strong community? These three views on political theory can be correlated with the names of Machiavelli, Aristotle, and Plato. I will discuss them briefly. 1. Security first: political realism […]

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Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778) is the philosopher of the French revolution; he criticizes Hobbes for assuming that the human in the  “state of nature . . . has no idea of goodness; he must be naturally wicked; that he is vicious because he does not know virtue.” Rousseau assumes the opposite: in the natural state, humans […]

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“Du Contract Social” (The Social Contract), 1762) is Rousseau’s most comprehensive work on politics. It is a cornerstone of modern political philosophy. BOOK I 1. SUBJECT OF THE FIRST BOOK MAN is born free; and everywhere he is in chains. One thinks himself the master of others, and still remains a greater slave than they. […]

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This excerpt from Rousseau’s “Discourse on the Origin and Foundation of the Inequality of Mankind,” 1754, describes his view of the human in a state of nature; before socialization occurs. In his view, inequality is an effect of socialization, it is not an effect of human nature.  For some, this view creates the hope that […]

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