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Social Contract Theory

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by Brandon Danial on 22 November 2012

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Transcript of Social Contract Theory

Social Contract Theory By Frak Master Locke discusses his social contract theory most notable in his work John Locke Born June 28, 1712 in Geneva, Switzerland Jean-Jacque Rousseau Ayn Rand Atlas Shrugged: Overview Media: Bioshock My Thoughts Social Contract Government used to secure natural rights! Objectivism: individual rights and free-markets! The General Will! Different
perspectives Rousseau Locke Rand Bioshock Answer? Thank You Social Contract Theory What is it? Social contract theory deals with a person's moral and political obligations to their form of society Now the big question: what IS man's role in society? Is he responsible for contributing to the system? or Is he free to do as he pleases? or Is there some other way that we can synthesize both sides to make a better functioning society? Bibliography Two Treaties of Government Main argument is against Thomas Hobbes' State of War. Locke theorizes man's State of Nature. State of Nature Man is born pre-political, but not pre-moral Not THIS John Locke Born August 29, 1632 in Wrington, England Thinker from the Enlightenment Era One of the first British Empiricists Focus on Epistemology and Political philosophy Mankind is in a state of complete liberty, and free to live life as they see fit All are capable of discovering and being bound by the Law of Nature Man's basis of morality Given by God The Law of Nature commands that we not harm others with regards to their "life, health, liberty, and possessions." (Locke 6) Though a State of Nature can become a State of War, and that's where Locke makes his argument for civil government Government used to protect man's rights to life, liberty and possession Civil Government If government abuses or takes away man's privileges, then the people have every right to rebel If the government does so, it is put into its own State of Nature This State of Nature is also a State of War with the people They have the right to defend against society just as they have the right to establish it Man should cycle between society and a State of Nature: creating governments to protect them, and when they no longer work, destroy it, return to State of Nature, and build a better society in its place Friend, Celeste. "Social Contract Theory." Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. 15 Oct. 2004. Web. 23 May 2012. <http://www.iep.utm.edu/>. Enlightenment thinker His political philosophy helped influence the French Revolution His beliefs on the social contract are best expressed through his work The Origin of Civil Society The Origin of Civil Society Main Ideas: Argued against Hobbes, saying both the people and the body were sovereign, that they surrendered their freedoms to themselves as a group. Lawgivers must act according to the will of the people condemn societies that depended on rule by aristocracies The purpose of the contract is to create a society not ruled by the mighty and ruthless, that allows all to live peacefully Sacrificing some freedom to the group as a whole - "the general will" - so the individuals of the group can live happier "Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains." -Rousseau Analysis Continued Rousseau argues against slavery, saying that "if men are by nature slaves, the reason is that they have been made slaves against nature," (Rousseau 61) The first law of human nature is self-preservation Rousseau also argues that strength is not overpowering. That, "Might does not create Right," (Rousseau 62) and that no man is obligated to obey anyone but the State. Since man is not naturally ruled, and "Might does not create Right", Rousseau believes that societies are founded upon Agreement Analysis Wrap-up All are born equal... ...so the "right" to enslave cannot exist Society should be formed by agreement... ...so when united together, all should receive equal protection of person and property, while still being obedient to there own will and remaining as free as before ...so the mighty do not have the "right" to rule ...so man should separate his duty for himself and his duty for the whole "To be subject to appetite is to be a slave, while to obey the laws laid down by society is to be free" (Rousseau 71) ...so all men have a natural right to what is necessary to them ...so society shall compensate for man's physical inequalities, with moral and legal equality "Locke, John." Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. 17 Apr. 2001. Web. 23 May 2012. <http://www.iep.utm.edu/>. Delaney, James J. "Rousseau, Jean-Jacques." Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. 21 Oct. 2005. Web. 23 May 2012. <http://www.iep.utm.edu/>. Hicks, Stephen R.C. "Rand, Ayn Alissa." Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. 28 Jan. 2002. Web. 23 May 2012. <http://www.iep.utm.edu/>. "Bioshock - Andrew Ryan Introduction." YouTube. YouTube, 20 Sept. 2007. Web. 23 May 2012. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J47ENHSomc8>. Born February 2, 1905 in Saint Petersburg, Russia Philosopher and Novelist Most well-known for her novels Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged Creator of the philosophical system called Objectivism Objectivism and Rand's Philosophy ethical egoism over ethical altruism morality based around rational self-interest individual rights through laissez-faire capitalism "My philosophy, in essence, is the concept of man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute."
—Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged Human knowledge and values are objective Objectivism is similar to Existentialism Objectivism in Atlas Shrugged Society crumbles as government tries controlling business Rand implies that restricting capitalism and the free-market will destroy society The story is focused around several business owners in a dystopian US society The government has exploited the business world by increasing taxes and instating severe regulations This group of intellectuals and leaders begin to see there oppression and turn to a man named John Galt Galt refuses the government and creates a society called Galt's Gulch, where the intellectuals are not restricted to regulation and taxation, where the free-market can be utilized and individuals are free to prosper Eventually all of the country's leaders abandon society and join Galt, leaving the government "dry" and teaching them the errors of there ways as society crumbles without the intellectuals Rational egoism Rand has Galt escort the leaders to a perfect society where they can reap off of their own benefits, rather than give to the government Failure of fascism/socialism/communism The only way for society to thrive is through independence and individual achievement (i.e. Galt's Gulch) Set in fictional 1960 Andrew Ryan builds dystopic underwater society called 'Rapture', where man is free from government and religious oppression The game follows character Jack, through the ruins of Rapture, as he makes his way, he reveals clues that teach him how Rapture fell Rapture Laissez-faire society for the cultural and scientific elites Andrew Ryan." The Bioshock Wiki. 24 May 2012. Web. 24 May 2012. <http://bioshock.wikia.com/wiki/BioShock_Wiki>. Ultimately a class divide arose, because of the division of high demand resources A man named Fontaine rebelled against Ryan's society and a war broke out After the war, Ryan created a tighter security system, and had workers scavenge for the important resource, called ADAM After another war broke out, Ryan used the ADAM to create super soldiers, but ended up severely mutating the inhabitants of Rapture, leading to heavy casualties The remaining survivors scattered among Rapture. The mutations led to heavy ADAM addiction, causing the citizens to brutally fight over the remaining resources Andrew Ryan Ryan is an obvious allusion to Ayn Rand, containing her same Russian background, a hate for socialism, and a philosophy visualizing a Utopian society where man is free to be individual Bioshock: a critique on Rand and Objectivism Andrew Ryan (Portrayed as Rand) creates Rapture out of Objectivism, and ultimately leads to failure. Ryan's Rapture (Similarly to Galt's Gulch) is a society ran by the socially elite, for the socially elite. But in the end, it still leads to class division and eventually warfare Points out the flaw in Objectivism: that people are power hungry, and a free-market society will still lead to people wanting more control or possessions than the others Marx predicted these flaws in pure capitalism and saw this coming! All of these philosophies have contributed different elements to what the social contract should be. So is there one correct way? All of my subjects bring up excellent points, but there is something missing in each of them, so my personal attempt to an ideal Social Contract has to mix certain elements of Locke, Rousseau, and Rand My Social Contract Necessities It is hard for me to create the 'ideal society', because it is difficult to shake off the chains of my own society. My mind has a barrier to what it can develop because I am raised in a society where most of what I know seems right, and makes it hard to derive an idea that isn't almost directly similar to the system we have here in the United States But I shall try... A government is meant to be a base for society and nothing more. They provide us rights, freedoms, and laws (but these are in accordance to the people's will) The people should feel like individuals without the idea of a 'big brother' style government over their shoulder, but they should still respect that society needs to accustom all of its people, so naturally all men are treated equally for all things. Higher wages and notice are due to performance and presentation, rather than class, gender, race, etc. Ryan's Speech: Rapture
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