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> Topic For Discussion : Rousseau's "Social Contract", Use This Thread For Comments And Discussion
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Jon Awbrey
post Sun 4th May 2008, 3:30pm
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Rousseau’s “Social Contract”

See this thread for selected passages from the text.

I haven't gotten around to excerpting enough of the text yet, but this will serve as an anchor for later discussion.

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Jon Awbrey
post Sat 17th April 2010, 2:38pm
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The first thing about a "social contract" is that it's a metaphor.

It is a metaphor that may serve to describe an already existing condition.

If the condition thus described does not exist, then the metaphor is simply not apt.

A social contract is not an instrument, recited or written, for achieving that condition.

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Jon Awbrey
post Thu 13th October 2011, 2:38pm
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Returning to this topic for the sake of a discussion on PolicyMic.

Chris KendallOccupy Wall Street : Should Corporations Be Considered People?

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Jon Awbrey
post Thu 13th October 2011, 9:45pm
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QUOTE(Jon Awbrey @ 13 Oct 2011)

I see a lot of confusion about the concept of a social contract. It is important to understand that a social contract is not a verbal agreement, a written contract, a club bylaw, or anything of that sort.

A social contract is a specific condition of society, not a form of words. We may attempt to articulate that condition of society in words, but it remains a prerequisite, a prior condition of all other contracts. Verbal agreements and written contracts have no practical meaning in society unless there is a prior social contract that gives them its force.

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Herschelkrustofsky
post Fri 14th October 2011, 6:19am
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OK, I'll bite. You seem a bit lonely on this thread. Perhaps you will find my observations uncongenial. But who knows?

The social contract theory is premised on the idea that man is a beast, and his relations to other man-beasts are defined by competition for food, property and babes. The government becomes necessary as a sort of referee, to deter one man-beast from slaughtering another during the quest for food, property and babes. The government is sort of big Arbitration Committee that is there to referee the competition. This sort of thinking gives rise to Libertarians and Newt Gingrich.

Of course, throughout history there has been a different philosophical tradition that is premised on the idea that we are human.
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communicat
post Fri 14th October 2011, 1:39pm
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QUOTE(Herschelkrustofsky @ Fri 14th October 2011, 8:19am) *

OK, I'll bite. You seem a bit lonely on this thread. Perhaps you will find my observations uncongenial. But who knows?

The social contract theory is premised on the idea that man is a beast, and his relations to other man-beasts are defined by competition for food, property and babes. The government becomes necessary as a sort of referee, to deter one man-beast from slaughtering another during the quest for food, property and babes. The government is sort of big Arbitration Committee that is there to referee the competition. This sort of thinking gives rise to Libertarians and Newt Gingrich.

Of course, throughout history there has been a different philosophical tradition that is premised on the idea that we are human.


QUOTE

The government becomes necessary as a sort of referee, to deter one man-beast from slaughtering another ..."

Huh? The government, through it's armed forces, is usually the chief protagonist in the slaughter of humans. nuke.gif
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thekohser
post Fri 14th October 2011, 2:22pm
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QUOTE(communicat @ Fri 14th October 2011, 9:39am) *

Huh? The government, through it's armed forces, is usually the chief protagonist in the slaughter of humans. nuke.gif

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Herschelkrustofsky
post Fri 14th October 2011, 2:51pm
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QUOTE(communicat @ Fri 14th October 2011, 6:39am) *

QUOTE(Herschelkrustofsky @ Fri 14th October 2011, 8:19am) *

The government becomes necessary as a sort of referee, to deter one man-beast from slaughtering another ..."

Huh? The government, through it's armed forces, is usually the chief protagonist in the slaughter of humans. nuke.gif
It is conceivable that you are missing my point here. I'm not a big fan of the social contract theory.
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Detective
post Sat 15th October 2011, 3:56pm
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QUOTE(thekohser @ Fri 14th October 2011, 3:22pm) *

QUOTE(communicat @ Fri 14th October 2011, 9:39am) *

Huh? The government, through it's armed forces, is usually the chief protagonist in the slaughter of humans. nuke.gif


It is rare that Communicat's comments fail to illustrate his state of mind and quality of discourse. That one in particular, does so in spectacular fashion. It's really supererogation to attack it for a silly typo.
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Jon Awbrey
post Sat 15th October 2011, 4:16pm
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QUOTE(thekohser @ Fri 14th October 2011, 10:22am) *

QUOTE(communicat @ Fri 14th October 2011, 9:39am) *

Huh? The government, through it's armed forces, is usually the chief protagonist in the slaughter of humans. nuke.gif



My IdiotPhone actually substitutes “it's” for “its” unless I catch it and correct it before sending, so I've quit complaining about that one … but we digress …

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