How does Rousseau's conception of ?the state of nature' differ from Hobbes'?

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Diane G


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April 14, 2013








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6 / 1565


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The state of nature is a supposed state as opposed to an actual state in that it is believed that humans have always been a part of a structure which could be considered a society, bound by some form of social contract (although some have argued there was in fact a time when humans existed in a true state of nature)...
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The argument put forward by Hobbes is hypothetical and does not base itself on any historical evidence of such a state having ever been occupied by humanity. Philosophers attempted to evaluate and appraise the ?state of nature' did so due to the belief that through anaylsing and observing the ?original' state of human nature, hypothetical or otherwise, it is possible to improve understanding of society itself, and as a result ascertain a superior, enhanced and further advanced society In the 18th century, philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778) disputed the conception of the ?state of nature' put forward by Hobbes in the 17th century...
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