Social Contract and Discourses on the Origins Book Review

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¶ … Social Contract and Discourses on the Origins of Inequality by Jean Jacques Rousseau (Digireads, 2006)

The civil society guarrantees its members their right to their possesions, even though their porprietors have alienated these by becoming memebrs of the respective civil society. They became possesors of the public goods with their rights respected by all the other memebrs and their protection against any foreign interference was to be provided by all the means the state had. In this respect, Rousseau also emphasizes that a subsequent role of the civil society is to subordinate the right which each individual hasto his own estate" (Rousseau, 12) to the right the respective community has over all. The author of the Social Contract and Discourses on the Origins of Inequality ends the last chapter of book One with the conclusion that a civil society is due to set up convention and legal right for its members to become moraly and legitimately equals, despite their phisical disadvantages (idem, 12).

The reason for which individuals associated to create the very civil society must always be the basis for the gorvernemt of the respective society. Rousseau begins Book II by pointing out that the common interest must be taken into account at the top level of a civil sociaty at all times so that it remains viable (12).

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The state that forms a civil society must be, according to Rousseau, moral and live in union with its memebers" (idem, 14). This state has as his most important goal the care for its own preservation" (idem).

John Locke is also considering the importance of settled standing rules, indifferent and the same to all parties"(Locke, 49) in the well functioning and preservation of a civil society. All the members of that society had to give up their natural power to create a superior power that gives all the right to preserve "life, liberty, and estate" (idem) because they are subject to the same laws and their society has the right to "punish the offenses of all those of that society" (Locke, 48).

Book Review on Social Contract and Discourses on the Origins Assignment

Hobbes, in his turn, defines the Commonwealth or the STATE as "an artificial man, though of greater stature and strength than the natural for whose protection and defence it was intended"(Hobbes, 1). Hence, the most important goal of the civil society according to Hobbes, Rousseau and Locke is to protect and defend itself. Its business is "salus populi"(idem), "its people safety"(idem).

Rousseau further points out that for a society to preserve itself, "it must have a universal and compelling force, in order to move and dispose each part as may be most advantageous to the whole" (Rousseau, 14). Rousseau makes further distinction between the public and the private. By defining Sovereignty as the absolute power the body politic has over all the members of the society, he emphasizes the distinction between the… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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How to Cite "Social Contract and Discourses on the Origins" Book Review in a Bibliography:

APA Style

Social Contract and Discourses on the Origins.  (2009, February 18).  Retrieved April 12, 2021, from

MLA Format

"Social Contract and Discourses on the Origins."  18 February 2009.  Web.  12 April 2021. <>.

Chicago Style

"Social Contract and Discourses on the Origins."  February 18, 2009.  Accessed April 12, 2021.