Given his rather strict view of human nature, Hobbes nevertheless succeeds in creating an argument that makes civil society possible with all its advantages. In the context of political events in his England, he also managed to argue for the maintenance of the traditional form of authority that his society had long enjoyed, while placing it on what he saw as a much more acceptable basis. Rousseau`s striking sentence that man “must be forced to be free” must be understood [according to whom?] as follows: Since indivisible and inalienable popular sovereignty decides what is good for the whole, then when an individual falls back into his ordinary egoism and despises the law, he will be forced to listen to what has been decided, when the people acted as a collective (as citizens). Thus, the law, to the extent that it is created by persons who act as a body, is not a restriction of individual freedom, but rather its expression. Social contract theory, almost as old as philosophy itself, is the idea that the moral and/or political obligations of individuals depend on a contract or agreement between them to form the society in which they live. Socrates uses something like a social contract argument to explain to Krito why he must stay in prison and accept the death penalty. However, the theory of social contracts is rightly associated with modern moral and political theory and is for the first time fully presented and defended by Thomas Hobbes. According to Hobbes, John Locke and Jean-Jacques Rousseau are the best-known proponents of this extremely influential theory, which has been one of the most dominant theories of moral and political theory in the history of the modern West. In the twentieth century, moral and political theory regained a philosophical impetus following John Rawls` Kantian version of social contract theory, followed by new analyses of the subject by David Gauthier and others. More recently, philosophers have proposed new critiques of social contract theory from various angles. Feminists and race-conscious philosophers, in particular, have argued that social contract theory is at least an incomplete picture of our moral and political life, and may actually obscure some of the ways in which the contract itself has a parasitic effect on class submissions of people. This racial contract is, to some extent, a meta-contract that determines the limits of personality and the parameters of inclusion and exclusion in all the other contracts that follow.
It manifests itself both formally and informally. It is an agreement, originally between European men in early modern times, to identify themselves as “white” and therefore fully human and to identify all others, especially the natives with whom they began to come into contact, as “others”: non-white and therefore not completely human. Thus, race is not only a social construct, as others have argued, it is above all a political construct created to serve a particular political goal and the political goals of a particular group. The treaty allows some people to treat others, as well as the land they inhabit, as resources that need to be exploited. The enslavement of millions of Africans and the appropriation of America by those who inhabited them are examples of this racial treaty that has been at work throughout history (such as Locke`s claim that Native Americans did not own the land on which they lived because they did not cultivate it and therefore did not own it). This contract is not hypothetical, as Hobbes describes the contract argued in his Leviathan. It is a real contract or a set of contracts concluded by real men of history. It is found in documents such as papal bulls and Locke`s writings on Native Americans and has been used in historical events such as Europeans` voyages of discovery and colonization of Africa, Asia, and the Americas. The racial treaty allows and justifies certain people, by virtue of their alleged superiority, to exploit the peoples, lands and resources of other races. Since Locke did not imagine the state of nature as darkly as Hobbes, he can imagine conditions in which it would be better to reject a certain civil government and return to the state of nature, with the aim of building a better civil government in its place.
It is therefore both the view of human nature and the nature of morality itself that are responsible for the differences between Hobbes` and Locke`s views on the social contract. There are many different versions of the concept of social contract. A common description of the social contract is that people give up some of their rights to get the benefits of living in civil society. For example, the current version of the Wikipedia article “Social Contract”: In the first Platonic dialogue, Krito, Socrates convincingly explains why he must remain in prison and accept the death penalty instead of fleeing and going into exile in another Greek city. He embodies the laws of Athens and declares that with their voice he has acquired an overwhelming obligation to obey the laws because they have made possible his entire way of life and even the fact of his very existence. They allowed his mother and father to marry and thus have legitimate children, including himself. After the birth of the city of Athens, his laws required his father to take care of him and educate him. Socrates` life and how that life flourished in Athens depend on the laws. However, it is important that this relationship between citizens and the laws of the city is not enforced. Citizens, when they are adults and have seen how the city behaves, can choose to leave, take their property with them or stay.
Staying implies an agreement to comply with the law and accept the sanctions they impose. And after concluding an agreement that is himself just, Socrates claims that he must respect this agreement he has concluded and obey the laws, in this case by suspending and accepting the death penalty. It is important to note that the treaty described by Socrates is implicit: it is implicit by his decision to stay in Athens, although he is free to leave. Other commentators focus on Locke`s first argument about good authority, and in particular the idea that authorization must be made by consent. David Wootton (1993) argues that while violence sometimes helps change a person`s beliefs, it does not work often enough for individuals to accept that government wields this power. A person who has good reason to believe that they will not change their belief, even if they are persecuted, has good reasons to prevent the persecution scenario. Richard Vernon (1997) argues that not only do we want to represent the right beliefs, but we also want to represent them for the right reasons. Since the balance of reasons, not the balance of forces, should determine our beliefs, we would not agree with a system in which irrelevant reasons of belief could influence us.
Richard Tate (2016) argues that Locke`s strongest argument for tolerance is rooted in the fact that we do not agree to give the government authority in this area, only the promotion of our secular interests, interests that Locke thought a policy of tolerance would promote. Rousseau also analyses the statutes in terms of risk management, proposing the origins of the State as a form of mutual insurance. Feminist philosophers like Baier and Held, who theorize from the emerging tradition of nursing ethics, argue that social contract theory fails as an appropriate representation of our moral or political obligations. The theory of social contracts generally only goes so far as to delimit our rights and obligations. But this may not be enough to adequately reveal the full extent of what it means to be a legal person and how to fully respond to others with whom one interacts through addictive relationships. Baier argues that Gauthier, who understands the emotional bonds between people as insignificant and voluntary, therefore does not represent the fullness of psychology and human motivations. She argues that this therefore leads to a crucial error in the theory of social contracts. Liberal moral theory is indeed parasitic on the relationships between the people from whom it seeks to free us. Although Gauthier argues that the more we can consider affective relationships as voluntary, the freer we are, we still need to be primarily in such relationships (e.B.
of the mother-child relationship) to develop exactly the skills and qualities praised by liberal theory. In other words, certain types of dependency relationships are mainly necessary if we want to become exactly the kind of people who can enter into contracts and agreements. Similarly, Held argued that the “economic man” model does not capture much of what constitutes meaningful moral relationships between people. The understanding of human relations in purely contractual terms constitutes, according to their argument, “an impoverished vision of human aspiration” (194). It therefore suggests that we consider other models of human relationships when seeking to better understand morality. In particular, it offers the paradigm of the mother-child relationship to at least complement the model of selfish individual agents negotiating contracts with each other. Such a model is more in line with many of the moral experiences of most people, especially women. .