Contractarianism and Rousseau

Humans as Rational and free

The famous concept of the state of nature says that human is selfish and brutish y nature but contrary to this Rousseau said that: Consciousness and freedom define a man. To make a man happy provide him with his needs.

The only social sentiment that belongs to him is pity, the effective power to identify with anyone who suffers.

Pity is a natural feeling that, in moderating the activity of each individual’s love of oneself, contributes to the mutual preservation of the entire species.

love and self-esteem: are basic to humans. the first refers to a natural feeling for any animal to ensure its preservation. The second, however, is born into society.

Man, unlike animals, going forward: has indeed the perfectibility, and opportunity to grow, and to open development and its history.

If the animal is characterized by its static and ignores history, a man appears as intelligent and c creates dynamism.

Emotions as a source of morality

Rousseau explains his morality as an innate principle that is consciousness, conceived as the property possessed by the human mind to bear moral evaluations. Conscience is a feeling, that is spiritual, intuitive and immediate. God gave us love good conscience. He concluded that emotions play a key role in morality rather than rationalism and empiricism.

Rousseau, education and social evil

Thus, man can evolve in the direction of good, of course, but also in trouble, because this is the flip. After all, the cause of human creativity is coupled with the formation of social evil.

The property ownership rights of certain objects represent the end of the state of nature.

The first who thought of saying ‘This is mine “was the real founder of civil society. In effect, the property that is the foundation of civil society, that is to sis ay, organized and has a culture.

Progressing and in this context, political inequality, characterized by various privileges enjoyed by some, to the detriment of others: being the richest, most powerful.

Finally, the general will, can’t be transmitted: Rousseau eliminates the representative system since the exercise of the general will can’t be delegated. The law of the city will emanate directly from this general will. With this in mind and the prospect that political freedom can be actualized, the law is an instrument of freedom and its organ.

The law, mandatory and universal expression of the general will, allows autonomy:

► Men abide that emanates from them into law.

► They are accountable to it for freedom and justice.

► By law, they escape arbitrary inclinations.

► Attention must be distinguished from the simple law decree, an act of executive power.

Thus, with the real contract, the Good and the Right will eventually have the last word.

general will

Rousseau’s key political idea is a general will rather than the social contract. For him, general will means:

  • People are ultimate in the democracy
  • Sovereignty lies with the people
  • Law is for the people; people are not for the law; a law that is not as per the general will should be abolished.

Political society is seen by Rousseau as involving the total voluntary subjection of every individual to the collective general will; this being both the sole source of legitimate sovereignty and something that cannot but be directed towards the common good.

Rousseau and the social contract:

How to remedy the evil? How can democracy solve the problem?

The problem arises in such clear terms: to find a form of society where a man can recognize himself, obey the law and at the same time, be free.

The social contract refers to the pact establishing the rule of law policy, which is legitimate. The concept of sovereignty means the exercise of the general will, the will of the social body united for a common interest.

Therefore, there is a close link between the concept of the sovereign and the general will: the sovereign, the supreme authority, must act, not according to his pleasure, but according to the wishes of the general will, which will recognize all members of society.

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