Fundamental Elements of Contractarianism The social contract has two fundamental elements: This situation may be more or less hostile, and more or less social, depending on how the theorist characterizes human life in the absence of rules of morality or justice. But crucial to all contractarian theories, there is some scarcity or motivation for competition in the initial situation and there is some potential for gains from social interaction and cooperation. In contemporary normative contractarian theories, that is, theories that attempt to ground the legitimacy of government or theories that claim to derive a moral ought, the initial position represents the starting point for a fair, impartial agreement.
Why should the state exist, and how much power should it have? The social contract may provide the answer.
Although similar ideas can be traced back to the Greek Sophists, social-contract theories had their greatest currency in the 17th and 18th centuries and are associated with such names as the Englishmen Thomas Hobbes and John Locke and the Frenchman Jean-Jacques Rousseau.
What distinguished these theories of political obligation from other doctrines of the period was their attempt to justify political authority on grounds of individual self-interest and rational Social contract theroy. They attempted to demonstrate the value and purposes of organized government by comparing the advantages of civil society with the disadvantages of the state of nature, a hypothetical condition characterized by a complete absence of governmental authority.
The purpose of this comparison was to show why and under what conditions government is useful and ought therefore to be accepted by all reasonable people as a voluntary obligation.
These conclusions were then reduced to the form of a social contract, from which it was supposed that all the essential rights and duties of citizens could be logically deduced. According to Hobbes Leviathan, the state of nature was one in which there were no enforceable criteria of right and wrong.
Locke in the second of Two Treatises of Governmentdiffered from Hobbes insofar as he described the state of nature as one in which the rights of life and property were generally recognized under natural lawthe inconveniences of the situation arising from insecurity in the enforcement of those rights.
He therefore argued that the obligation to obey civil government under the social contract was conditional upon the protection not only of the person but also of private property.
If a sovereign violated these terms, he could be justifiably overthrown. Rousseau in Du contrat social, held that in the state of nature man was unwarlike and somewhat undeveloped in his reasoning powers and sense of morality and responsibility.
When, however, people agreed for mutual protection to surrender individual freedom of action and establish laws and government, they then acquired a sense of moral and civic obligation.
Social Learning Theory is a theory of learning and social behavior which proposes that new behaviors can be acquired by observing and imitating others. It states that learning is a cognitive process that takes place in a social context and can occur purely through observation or direct instruction, even in the absence of motor reproduction or direct reinforcement. The Social Contract, originally published as On the Social Contract; or, Principles of Political Rights (French: Du contrat social; ou Principes du droit politique) by Jean-Jacques Rousseau, is a book in which Rousseau theorized about the best way to establish a political community in the face of the problems of commercial society, which he had already identified in his Discourse on. Social Chauvinism. Aggressive or fanatical patriotism, particularly during time of war, in support of one's own nation versus other nation(s). During WWI, nearly every political party took a social-chauvinist stand; with few exceptions.
The more perceptive social-contract theorists, including Hobbes, invariably recognized that their concepts of the social contract and the state of nature were unhistorical and that they could be justified only as hypotheses useful for the clarification of timeless political problems.
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3, No. 5 ISSN: Revolutionary-era Americans favored social contract theory over the British Tory concepts of patriarchal government and looked to the social contract as support for the rebellion.
During the antebellum and Civil War periods, social contract theory . In Volume 1 of Game Theory and the Social Contract, Ken Binmore restated the problems of moral and political philosophy in the language of game theory.
Social contract theory, nearly as old as philosophy itself, is the view that persons' moral and/or political obligations are dependent upon a contract or agreement among them to form the society in which they live.
Definition of Social Contract Theory.
You're likely already familiar with the concept of contracts. Marriage, citizenship, and employment are all forms of contracts.
Social contract theory is the belief that societies exist through a mutual contract between individuals, and the state exists to serve the will of the people. The origins of social contract theory come from Plato's writings.
English philosopher Thomas Hobbes expanded on social contract theory.