differences between the social contract theory of john locke and thomas hobbes

Essay by kelvinminnowUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, March 2014

download word file, 10 pages 0.0

Page 1 of 7

What is Social Contract Theory?

The concept of social contract theory is that in the beginning man lived in the state of

nature. They had no government and there was no law to regulate them. There were

hardships and oppression on the sections of the society. To overcome from these

hardships they entered into two agreements which are:-

1. DzPactum Unionisdz; and 2. DzPactum Subjectionisdz. By the first pact of unionis, people sought protection of their lives and property. As,

a result of it a society was formed where people undertook to respect each other and

live in peace and harmony. By the second pact of subjectionis, people united together

and pledged to obey an authority and surrendered the whole or part of their freedom

and rights to an authority. The authority guaranteed everyone protection of life,

property and to a certain extent liberty. Thus, they must agree to establish society by

collectively and reciprocally renouncing the rights they had against one another in the State

of Nature and they must imbue some one person or assembly of persons with the authority

and power to enforce the initial contract. In other words, to ensure their escape from the

State of Nature, they must both agree to live together under common laws, and create

an enforcement mechanism for the social contract and the laws that constitute it. Thus, the

authority or the government or the sovereign or the state came into being because of

the two agreements.

Analysis of the theory of Social Contract by Thomas Hobbes

 Thomas Hobbes theory of Social Contract appeared for the first time in Leviathan published in the year 1651 during the Civil War in Britain. Thomas Hobbesǯ legal theory is based on DzSocial contractdz. According to him, prior to...