Jean-Jacques Rousseau was a Genevan philosopher and composer. His political philosophy influenced the progress of the Enlightenment throughout Europe, as well as aspects of the French Revolution and the development of modern political and educational thought, his Discourse on Inequality and The Social Contract are cornerstones in modern political and social thought. Rousseau's sentimental novel Julie, or the New Heloise was important to the development of preromanticism and romanticism in fiction, his Emile, or On Education is an educational treatise on the place of the individual in society. Rousseau's autobiographical writings—the posthumously published Confessions, which initiated the modern autobiography, the unfinished Reveries of a Solitary Walker —exemplified the late-18th-century "Age of Sensibility", featured an increased focus on subjectivity and introspection that characterized modern writing. Rousseau befriended fellow philosophy writer Denis Diderot in 1742, would write about Diderot's romantic troubles in his Confessions.
During the period of the French Revolution, Rousseau was the most popular of the philosophers among members of the Jacobin Club. He was interred in 1794, 16 years after his death. Rousseau was born in Geneva, at the time a city-state and a Protestant associate of the Swiss Confederacy. Since 1536, Geneva had been the seat of Calvinism. Five generations before Rousseau, his ancestor Didier, a bookseller who may have published Protestant tracts, had escaped persecution from French Catholics by fleeing to Geneva in 1549, where he became a wine merchant. Rousseau was proud. Throughout his life, he signed his books "Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Citizen of Geneva". Geneva, in theory, was governed "democratically" by its male voting "citizens"; the citizens were a minority of the population when compared to the immigrants, referred to as "inhabitants", whose descendants were called "natives" and continued to lack suffrage. In fact, rather than being run by vote of the "citizens", the city was ruled by a small number of wealthy families that made up the "Council of Two Hundred".
There was much political debate within Geneva, extending down to the tradespeople. Much discussion was over the idea of the sovereignty of the people, of which the ruling class oligarchy was making a mockery. In 1707, a democratic reformer named Pierre Fatio protested this situation, saying "a sovereign that never performs an act of sovereignty is an imaginary being", he was shot by order of the Little Council. Jean-Jacques Rousseau's father, was not in the city at this time, but Jean-Jacques's grandfather supported Fatio and was penalized for it; the trade of watchmaking had become a family tradition by the time of Rousseau's father, Isaac Rousseau. Isaac followed his grandfather and brothers into the business, except for a short stint teaching dance as a dance master. Isaac, notwithstanding his artisan status, was well educated and a lover of music. "A Genevan watchmaker", Rousseau wrote, "is a man. In 1699, Isaac ran into political difficulty by entering a quarrel with visiting English officers, who in response drew their swords and threatened him.
After local officials stepped in, it was Isaac, punished, as Geneva was concerned with maintaining its ties to foreign powers. Rousseau's mother, Suzanne Bernard Rousseau, was from an upper-class family, she was raised by a Calvinist preacher. He cared for Suzanne. In 1695, Suzanne had to answer charges that she had attended a street theater disguised as a peasant woman so she could gaze upon M. Vincent Sarrasin, whom she fancied despite his continuing marriage. After a hearing, she was ordered by the Genevan Consistory to never interact with him again, she married Rousseau's father at the age of 31. Isaac's sister had married Suzanne's brother eight years earlier, after she had become pregnant and they had been chastised by the Consistory; the child died at birth. The young Rousseau was told a romantic fairy-tale about the situation by the adults in his family—a tale where young love was denied by a disapproving patriarch but that prevailed by sibling loyalty that, in the story, resulted in love conquering all and two marriages uniting the families on the same day.
Rousseau never learnt the truth. Rousseau was born on 28 June 1712, he would relate: "I was born dying, they had little hope of saving me", he was baptized on 4 July 1712, in the great cathedral. His mother died of puerperal fever nine days after his birth, which he described as "the first of my misfortunes", he and his older brother François were brought up by their father and a paternal aunt named Suzanne. When Rousseau was five, his father sold the house that the family had received from his mother's relatives. While the idea was that his sons would inherit the principal when grown up and he would live off the interest in the meantime, in the end the father took most of the substantial proceeds. With the selling of the house, the Rousseau family moved out of the upper-class neighborhood and moved into an apartment house in a neighborhood of craftsmen—silversmiths and other watchmakers. Growing up around craftsmen, Rousseau woul
Thomas Hobbes, in some older texts Thomas Hobbes of Malmesbury, was an English philosopher, considered to be one of the founders of modern political philosophy. Hobbes is best known for his 1651 book Leviathan, which expounded an influential formulation of social contract theory. In addition to political philosophy, Hobbes contributed to a diverse array of other fields, including history, geometry, the physics of gases, theology and general philosophy. Thomas Hobbes was born at Westport, now part of Malmesbury in Wiltshire, England, on 5 April 1588. Born prematurely when his mother heard of the coming invasion of the Spanish Armada, Hobbes reported that "my mother gave birth to twins: myself and fear." His childhood is completely unknown, his mother's name is unknown. His father, Thomas Sr. was the vicar of Westport. Thomas Hobbes, the younger, had a brother Edmund, about two years older, a sister. Thomas Sr. was involved in a fight with the local clergy outside his church, forcing him to leave London and abandon the family.
The family was left in the care of Thomas Sr.'s older brother, Francis, a wealthy merchant with no family. Hobbes Jr. was educated at Westport church from age four, passed to the Malmesbury school, to a private school kept by a young man named Robert Latimer, a graduate of the University of Oxford. Hobbes was a good pupil, around 1603 he went up to Magdalen Hall, the predecessor college to Hertford College, Oxford; the principal John Wilkinson was a Puritan, he had some influence on Hobbes. At university, Hobbes appears to have followed his own curriculum. A. degree in 1608. He was recommended by Sir James Hussey, his master at Magdalen, as tutor to William, the son of William Cavendish, Baron of Hardwick, began a lifelong connection with that family. Hobbes became a companion to the younger William and in 1610 they both took part in a grand tour of Europe. Hobbes was exposed to European scientific and critical methods during the tour, in contrast to the scholastic philosophy that he had learned in Oxford.
His scholarly efforts at the time were aimed at a careful study of classic Latin authors. One outcome was, in 1628, his translation of Thucydides' History of the Peloponnesian War, the first translation of that work into English from the original Greek, it has been argued that three of the discourses in the 1620 publication known as Horea Subsecivae: Observations and Discourses represent the work of Hobbes from this period. Although he associated with literary figures like Ben Jonson and worked as Francis Bacon's amanuensis, he did not extend his efforts into philosophy until after 1629. In June 1628, his employer Cavendish the Earl of Devonshire, died of the plague and the widowed countess dismissed Hobbes. Hobbes soon found work as a tutor to Gervase Clifton, the son of Sir Gervase Clifton, 1st Baronet spent in Paris until 1631. Thereafter, he again found work with the Cavendish family, tutoring William Cavendish, 3rd Earl of Devonshire, the eldest son of his previous pupil. Over the next seven years, as well as tutoring, he expanded his own knowledge of philosophy, awakening in him curiosity over key philosophic debates.
He visited Florence in 1636 and was a regular debater in philosophic groups in Paris, held together by Marin Mersenne. Hobbes's first area of study was an interest in the physical doctrine of motion and physical momentum. Despite his interest in this phenomenon, he disdained experimental work as in physics, he went on to conceive the system of thought to the elaboration. His scheme was first to work out, in a separate treatise, a systematic doctrine of body, showing how physical phenomena were universally explicable in terms of motion, at least as motion or mechanical action was understood, he singled out Man from the realm of Nature and plants. In another treatise, he showed what specific bodily motions were involved in the production of the peculiar phenomena of sensation, knowledge and passions whereby Man came into relation with Man, he considered, in his crowning treatise, how Men were moved to enter into society, argued how this must be regulated if Men were not to fall back into "brutishness and misery".
Thus he proposed to unite the separate phenomena of Body and the State. Hobbes came home, in 1637, to a country riven with discontent, which disrupted him from the orderly execution of his philosophic plan. However, by the end of the Short Parliament in 1640, he had written a short treatise called The Elements of Law and Politic, it was not only circulated as a manuscript among his acquaintances. A pirated version, was published about ten years later. Although it seems that much of The Elements of Law was composed before the sitting of the Short Parliament, there are polemical pieces of the work that mark the influences of the rising political crisis. Many elements of Hobbes's political thought were unchanged between The Elements of Law and Leviathan, which demonstrates that the events of the English Civil War had little effect on his contractarian methodology. However, the arguments in Leviathan were modified from The Elements of Law when it came to the necessity of consent in creating political obligation.
Namely, Hobbes wrote in The Elements of Law that Patrimonial kingdoms were not formed by the consent of the governed, while in Leviathan he argued that they were. This was a reflection either of Hobbes's thoughts about the engagement controversy or of his reaction to treatises published by Patriarchalists
Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental questions about existence, values, reason and language. Such questions are posed as problems to be studied or resolved; the term was coined by Pythagoras. Philosophical methods include questioning, critical discussion, rational argument, systematic presentation. Classic philosophical questions include: Is it possible to know anything and to prove it? What is most real? Philosophers pose more practical and concrete questions such as: Is there a best way to live? Is it better to be just or unjust? Do humans have free will? "philosophy" encompassed any body of knowledge. From the time of Ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle to the 19th century, "natural philosophy" encompassed astronomy and physics. For example, Newton's 1687 Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy became classified as a book of physics. In the 19th century, the growth of modern research universities led academic philosophy and other disciplines to professionalize and specialize.
In the modern era, some investigations that were traditionally part of philosophy became separate academic disciplines, including psychology, sociology and economics. Other investigations related to art, politics, or other pursuits remained part of philosophy. For example, is beauty objective or subjective? Are there many scientific methods or just one? Is political utopia a hopeful dream or hopeless fantasy? Major sub-fields of academic philosophy include metaphysics, ethics, political philosophy and philosophy of science. Traditionally, the term "philosophy" referred to any body of knowledge. In this sense, philosophy is related to religion, natural science and politics. Newton's 1687 Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy is classified in the 2000s as a book of physics. In the first part of the first book of his Academics, Cicero introduced the division of philosophy into logic and ethics. Metaphysical philosophy was the study of existence, God, logic and other abstract objects; this division has changed.
Natural philosophy has split into the various natural sciences astronomy, chemistry and cosmology. Moral philosophy still includes value theory. Metaphysical philosophy has birthed formal sciences such as logic and philosophy of science, but still includes epistemology and others. Many philosophical debates that began in ancient times are still debated today. Colin McGinn and others claim. Chalmers and others, by contrast, see progress in philosophy similar to that in science, while Talbot Brewer argued that "progress" is the wrong standard by which to judge philosophical activity. In one general sense, philosophy is associated with wisdom, intellectual culture and a search for knowledge. In that sense, all cultures and literate societies ask philosophical questions such as "how are we to live" and "what is the nature of reality". A broad and impartial conception of philosophy finds a reasoned inquiry into such matters as reality and life in all world civilizations. Western philosophy is the philosophical tradition of the Western world and dates to Pre-Socratic thinkers who were active in Ancient Greece in the 6th century BCE such as Thales and Pythagoras who practiced a "love of wisdom" and were termed physiologoi.
Socrates was a influential philosopher, who insisted that he possessed no wisdom but was a pursuer of wisdom. Western philosophy can be divided into three eras: Ancient, Medieval philosophy, Modern philosophy; the Ancient era was dominated by Greek philosophical schools which arose out of the various pupils of Socrates, such as Plato, who founded the Platonic Academy and his student Aristotle, founding the Peripatetic school, who were both influential in Western tradition. Other traditions include Cynicism, Greek Skepticism and Epicureanism. Important topics covered by the Greeks included metaphysics, the nature of the well-lived life, the possibility of knowledge and the nature of reason. With the rise of the Roman empire, Greek philosophy was increasingly discussed in Latin by Romans such as Cicero and Seneca. Medieval philosophy is the period following the fall of the Western Roman Empire and was dominated by the ris
John Locke was an English philosopher and physician regarded as one of the most influential of Enlightenment thinkers and known as the "Father of Liberalism". Considered one of the first of the British empiricists, following the tradition of Sir Francis Bacon, he is important to social contract theory, his work affected the development of epistemology and political philosophy. His writings influenced Voltaire and Jean-Jacques Rousseau, many Scottish Enlightenment thinkers, as well as the American revolutionaries, his contributions to classical republicanism and liberal theory are reflected in the United States Declaration of Independence. Locke's theory of mind is cited as the origin of modern conceptions of identity and the self, figuring prominently in the work of philosophers such as David Hume and Immanuel Kant. Locke was the first to define the self through a continuity of consciousness, he postulated that, at birth, the mind was a blank tabula rasa. Contrary to Cartesian philosophy based on pre-existing concepts, he maintained that we are born without innate ideas, that knowledge is instead determined only by experience derived from sense perception.
This is now known as empiricism. An example of Locke's belief in empiricism can be seen in his quote, "whatever I write, as soon as I discover it not to be true, my hand shall be the forwardest to throw it into the fire." This shows the ideology of science in his observations in that something must be capable of being tested and that nothing is exempt from being disproven. Challenging the work of others, Locke is said to have established the method of introspection, or observing the emotions and behaviours of one's self. Locke's father called John, was an attorney who served as clerk to the Justices of the Peace in Chew Magna, his mother was Agnes Keene. Both parents were Puritans. Locke was born on 29 August 1632, in a small thatched cottage by the church in Wrington, about 12 miles from Bristol, he was baptised the same day. Soon after Locke's birth, the family moved to the market town of Pensford, about seven miles south of Bristol, where Locke grew up in a rural Tudor house in Belluton. In 1647, Locke was sent to the prestigious Westminster School in London under the sponsorship of Alexander Popham, a member of Parliament and his father's former commander.
After completing studies there, he was admitted to Christ Church, Oxford, in the autumn of 1652 at the age of twenty. The dean of the college at the time was vice-chancellor of the university. Although a capable student, Locke was irritated by the undergraduate curriculum of the time, he found the works of modern philosophers, such as René Descartes, more interesting than the classical material taught at the university. Through his friend Richard Lower, whom he knew from the Westminster School, Locke was introduced to medicine and the experimental philosophy being pursued at other universities and in the Royal Society, of which he became a member. Locke was awarded a bachelor's degree in February 1656 and a master's degree in June 1658, he obtained a bachelor of medicine in February 1675, having studied medicine extensively during his time at Oxford and worked with such noted scientists and thinkers as Robert Boyle, Thomas Willis, Robert Hooke and Richard Lower. In 1666, he met Lord Anthony Ashley Cooper, 1st Earl of Shaftesbury, who had come to Oxford seeking treatment for a liver infection.
Cooper was persuaded him to become part of his retinue. Locke had been looking for a career and in 1667 moved into Shaftesbury's home at Exeter House in London, to serve as Lord Ashley's personal physician. In London, Locke resumed his medical studies under the tutelage of Thomas Sydenham. Sydenham had a major effect on Locke's natural philosophical thinking – an effect that would become evident in An Essay Concerning Human Understanding. Locke's medical knowledge was put to the test when Shaftesbury's liver infection became life-threatening. Locke coordinated the advice of several physicians and was instrumental in persuading Shaftesbury to undergo surgery to remove the cyst. Shaftesbury prospered, crediting Locke with saving his life. During this time, Locke served as Secretary of the Board of Trade and Plantations and Secretary to the Lords Proprietor of Carolina, which helped to shape his ideas on international trade and economics. Shaftesbury, as a founder of the Whig movement, exerted great influence on Locke's political ideas.
Locke became involved in politics when Shaftesbury became Lord Chancellor in 1672. Following Shaftesbury's fall from favour in 1675, Locke spent some time travelling across France as tutor and medical attendant to Caleb Banks, he returned to England in 1679. Around this time, most at Shaftesbury's prompting, Locke composed the bulk of the Two Treatises of Government. While it was once thought that Locke wrote the Treatises to defend the Glorious Revolution of 1688, recent scholarship has shown that the work was composed well before this date; the work is now viewed as a more general argument against absolute monarchy and for individual consent as the basis of political legitimacy. Although Locke was associated with the influential Whigs, his ideas about natural rights and government are today considered quite revolutionary for that period in English history. Locke fled to the Netherlands in 1683, under strong suspicion of involvement in the Rye House Plot, although there is little eviden
John Bordley Rawls was an American moral and political philosopher in the liberal tradition. Rawls received both the Schock Prize for Logic and Philosophy and the National Humanities Medal in 1999, the latter presented by President Bill Clinton, in recognition of how Rawls's work "helped a whole generation of learned Americans revive their faith in democracy itself."In his 1990 introduction to the field, Will Kymlicka wrote that "it is accepted that the recent rebirth of normative political philosophy began with the publication of John Rawls's A Theory of Justice in 1971." Rawls has been described as the most important political philosopher of the 20th century. He has the unusual distinction among contemporary political philosophers of being cited by the courts of law in the United States and Canada and referred to by practising politicians in the United States and the United Kingdom. Rawls's theory of "justice as fairness" recommends equal basic rights, equality of opportunity, promoting the interests of the least advantaged members of society.
Rawls's argument for these principles of social justice uses a thought experiment called the "original position", in which people select what kind of society they would choose to live under if they did not know which social position they would occupy. In his work Political Liberalism, Rawls turned to the question of how political power could be made legitimate given reasonable disagreement about the nature of the good life. Rawls was born in Baltimore, the second of five sons of William Lee Rawls, "one of the most prominent attorneys in Baltimore", Anna Abell Stump Rawls. Tragedy struck Rawls at a young age: Two of his brothers died in childhood because they had contracted fatal illnesses from him.... In 1928, the seven-year-old Rawls contracted diphtheria, his brother Bobby, younger by 20 months, was fatally infected. The next winter, Rawls contracted pneumonia. Another younger brother, caught the illness from him and died. Rawls's biographer Thomas Pogge calls the loss of the brothers the "most important events in John's childhood".
Rawls attended the Calvert School in Baltimore for six years, before transferring to the Kent School, an Episcopalian preparatory school in Connecticut. Upon graduation in 1939, Rawls attended Princeton University where he graduated summa cum laude and was accepted into The Ivy Club and the American Whig-Cliosophic Society. During his last two years at Princeton, he "became concerned with theology and its doctrines." He considered attending a seminary to study for the Episcopal priesthood and wrote an "intensely religious senior thesis." At Princeton, Rawls was influenced by Wittgenstein's student. He completed his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1943, enlisted in the Army in February of that year. During World War II, Rawls served as an infantryman in the Pacific, where he toured New Guinea and was awarded a Bronze Star. There, he lost his Christian faith. Following the surrender of Japan, Rawls became part of General MacArthur's occupying army and was promoted to sergeant, but he became disillusioned with the military when he saw the aftermath of the atomic blast in Hiroshima.
Rawls disobeyed an order to discipline a fellow soldier, believing no punishment was justified, was demoted back to private. Disenchanted, he left the military in January 1946. After his military service, Rawls became an atheist. In early 1946, Rawls returned to Princeton to pursue a doctorate in moral philosophy, he married Margaret Warfield Fox, a Brown University graduate, in 1949. They had four children, Anne Warfield, Robert Lee, Alexander Emory, Elizabeth Fox. After earning his PhD from Princeton in 1950, Rawls taught there until 1952 when he received a Fulbright Fellowship to Oxford University, where he was influenced by the liberal political theorist and historian Isaiah Berlin and the legal theorist H. L. A. Hart. After returning to the United States he served first as an assistant and associate professor at Cornell University. In 1962 he became a full professor of philosophy at Cornell, soon achieved a tenured position at MIT; that same year he moved to Harvard University, where he taught for forty years and where he trained some of the leading contemporary figures in moral and political philosophy, including Thomas Nagel, Allan Gibbard, Onora O'Neill, Adrian Piper, Elizabeth S. Anderson, Christine Korsgaard, Susan Neiman, Claudia Card, Thomas Pogge, T. M. Scanlon, Barbara Herman, Joshua Cohen, Thomas E. Hill Jr. Gurcharan Das, Andreas Teuber, Samuel Freeman and Paul Weithman.
He held the James Bryant Conant University Professorship at Harvard. Rawls gave interviews and, having both a stutter and a "bat-like horror of the limelight", did not become a public intellectual despite his fame, he instead remained committed to his academic and family life. In 1995 he suffered the first of several strokes impeding his ability to continue to work, he was able to complete a book titled The Law of Peoples, the most complete statement of his views on international justice, shortly before his death in November 2002 published Justice As Fairness: A Restatement, a response to criticisms of A Theory of Justice. Rawls is buried at the Mount Auburn Cemetery in Massachusetts, he was survived by his wife, their four children, four grandchildren. Rawls published
A Theory of Justice
A Theory of Justice is a 1971 work of political philosophy and ethics by John Rawls, in which the author addresses the problem of distributive justice. The theory utilises an updated form of Kantian philosophy and a variant form of conventional social contract theory. Rawls's theory of justice is a political theory of justice as opposed to other forms of justice discussed in other disciplines and contexts; the resultant theory was challenged and refined several times in the decades following its original publication in 1971. A significant reappraisal was published in the 1985 essay "Justice as Fairness", a subsequent book under the same title, within which Rawls further developed his two central principles for his discussion of justice. Together, they dictate that society should be structured so that the greatest possible amount of liberty is given to its members, limited only by the notion that the liberty of any one member shall not infringe upon that of any other member. Secondly, inequalities–either social or economic–are only to be allowed if the worst off will be better off than they might be under an equal distribution.
If there is such a beneficial inequality, this inequality should not make it harder for those without resources to occupy positions of power – for instance, public office. First published in 1971, A Theory of Justice was revised in 1975, while translated editions were being released in the 1990s it was further revised in 1999. In 2001, Rawls published. In A Theory of Justice, Rawls argues for a principled reconciliation of liberty and equality, meant to apply to the basic structure of a well-ordered society. Central to this effort is an account of the circumstances of justice, inspired by David Hume, a fair choice situation for parties facing such circumstances, similar to some of Immanuel Kant's views. Principles of justice are sought to guide the conduct of the parties; these parties are recognized to face moderate scarcity, they are neither altruistic nor purely egoistic. They have ends which they seek to advance, but prefer to advance them through cooperation with others on mutually acceptable terms.
Rawls offers a model of a fair choice situation within which parties would hypothetically choose mutually acceptable principles of justice. Under such constraints, Rawls believes that parties would find his favoured principles of justice to be attractive, winning out over varied alternatives, including utilitarian and'right wing'-libertarian accounts. Rawls belongs to the social contract tradition, although he takes a different view from that of previous thinkers. Rawls develops what he claims are principles of justice through the use of an artificial device he calls the Original position; this "veil" is one that blinds people to all facts about themselves so they cannot tailor principles to their own advantage: "...no one knows his place in society, his class position or social status, nor does anyone know his fortune in the distribution of natural assets and abilities, his intelligence and the like. I shall assume that the parties do not know their conceptions of the good or their special psychological propensities.
The principles of justice are chosen behind a veil of ignorance."According to Rawls, ignorance of these details about oneself will lead to principles that are fair to all. If an individual does not know how he will end up in his own conceived society, he is not going to privilege any one class of people, but rather develop a scheme of justice that treats all fairly. In particular, Rawls claims that those in the Original Position would all adopt a maximin strategy which would maximize the prospects of the least well-off. "They are the principles that rational and free persons concerned to further their own interests would accept in an initial position of equality as defining the fundamentals of the terms of their association." Rawls bases his Original Position on a "thin theory of the good" which he says "explains the rationality underlying choice of principles in the Original Position". A full theory of the good follows. Rawls claims that the parties in the original position would adopt two such principles, which would govern the assignment of rights and duties and regulate the distribution of social and economic advantages across society.
The difference principle permits inequalities in the distribution of goods only if those inequalities benefit the worst-off members of society. Rawls believes that this principle would be a rational choice for the representatives in the original position for the following reason: Each member of society has an equal claim on their society's goods. Natural attributes should not affect this claim, so the basic right of any individual, before further considerations are taken into account, must be to an equal share in material wealth. What could justify unequal distribution? Rawls argues that inequality is acceptable only if it is to the advantage of those who are worst-off; the agreement that stems from the original position is both ahistorical. It is hypothetical in the sense that the principles to be derived are what the parties would, under certain legitimating conditions, agree to, not what they have agreed to. Rawls seeks to use an argument that the principles of justice are what would be agreed upon if people were in the hypothetical situation of the original position and that those principles have moral weight as a result of that.
It is ahistorical in the sense that it is