A Comparative Glance at Thomas Hobbes, John Locke and Jean Jacques Rousseau’s Ideas about the Concept of Freedom

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Khashayar Bourbouri, Hossein- Ali Nowzari

Résumé

Freedom is one of the most valuable words so far inscribed in mankind’s mind. Freedom is the most important index of human veneration and humans’ sublime position. Many political thinkers believe that the enjoyment of such a value and identity as freedom is the biggest index of human veneration and identity and lack of access to freedom is the primary theme of the animal identity of humans. This is why Rousseau, the great French thinker, realizes slavery and exploitation as contradictory to the human disposition and finds desertion of freedom equal to the abandonment of humanity. Rousseau’s name has often been associated with irrational idealism of the pure and wild nature of primitive mankind. But, beyond all these, he is a complex political philosopher who proposes a certain form of government that is the prerequisite of human freedom within the framework of modern society. He emphasizes that a human being is a human being when s/he is free and it is this freedom that paves the way for his or her perfection. As three of the main theoreticians of the social contract, Thomas Hobbes and John Locke, and Jean Jacques Rousseau have different perspectives regarding the concept of freedom. The present study is based on a descriptive and analytical method and it tries investigating the concept of freedom through referring to the ideas of these three philosophers and exploring their works on freedom.

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