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Unformatted text preview: The Social Contract In the mid-1600’s, England was in the middle of chaotic civil war. An English philosopher during this era, Thomas Hobbes, wrote in support of the monarchy by developing the idea of the “social contract”. Social contract theory legitimizes the authority of rulers as a necessity to protect men from other men, which is something all men can agree to. Hobbes compares the chaotic state of England during civil war to the way men lived before the creation of any kind of government or authority. In this “state of nature”, he says, men would only be motivated by self-interest, and would possess a common ability to kill each other. Men would be driven by individual ideas of what is “good”, or at least what is good for them. One person, coveting the possessions of another, may attack him for it, believing himself justified in doing so. The person being attacked, however, believes he is justified in defending justified in doing so....
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This essay was uploaded on 04/01/2008 for the course PHL 200 taught by Professor Dowell during the Fall '08 term at Michigan State University.
- Fall '08