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The Social Contract also keeps people from being totally alienated and affords them better protection. If a large group of people enter a Social Contract, they can more easily defend themselves against their enemies, and criminals who live in societies with no Social Contract. Thus in spite of giving up some individual rights for the Social Contract, they have not lost any more freedom, because all within the society have surrendered their rights freely and equally, and suffer the same inequality. In other words, all things being equal, man is still free, and maintains autonomy. Everyone must surrender his or her rights for the social contract to work. If one person gives up their rights and another does not, the person who does not has power over the other person and there is no contract. However, it is to a person benefit to agree to the social contract, because by giving up the freedom of Natural Liberty an individual gains Civil Liberty. Natural Liberty is the freedom man maintains in the State of Nature. Civil Liberty is freedom you have in society, freedom gained from the social contract. Rousseau argues in chapter eight of the Social Contract, What man loses by the social contract is his natural liberty and an unlimited right to everything he tries to get and succeeds in getting; what he gains is civil liberty and the proprietorship of all he possesses. If we are to avoid mistake in weighing one against the other, we must clearly distinguish natural liberty, from civil liberty. . . (Rousseau, P.196)
Simone de Beauvoir is obviously trying to address the weakest point of Sartre's philosophical exposition of existentialism -- what sort of value system arises from the existential outlook? De Beauvoir wants to show how existential assumptions actually do lead to an ethics of a non-classical sort. In speaking of the freedom of men from the deterministic bounds of society, religion, or the material world de Beauvoir states: "[I]t appears to us that by turning toward this freedom we are going to discover a principle of action whose range will be universal (23)." This seems to be an important point as it addresses directly the accusation that the very "existential freedom" of man is a destructive and horrific isolation of each individual into self-justifying random action. Later de Beauvoir states that it is actually freedom itself which is this universal. "At the same time that [freedom] requires the realization of concrete ends, of particular projects, it requires itself universally (24)." She then continues to set up an equality between being free and being moral. Even considering the starting point of ambiguity, how can freedom in terms of consciousness become the basis for any morality? So whatever you do is moral as long as you choose to do it?
04/02/2006 0 Comments | Add Comment
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Our eyes and other senses distort the truth and can deceive us. We must use both the mind and the senses, we must observe nature and analyze what we see. This is the law of nature Descartes discovers, and his idea, "I think, therefore I am," corresponds to it, therefore it is true. However, in order to discover truth we must be totally neutral. We cannot allow our senses to deceive us in the pursuit of truth.

Locke argues that man would use the goods of his labour to barter with others and appropriate
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