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Ben Carr When comparing Hobbes and Rousseaus state of nature one must be aware of not only what the conditions are for each philosophers realm of savagery Each has a different setting different time frame and different abundance of resources Where Rousseau sees a world much like the Garden of Eden Hobbes is much more brutal and cold Rousseau had a specific time frame in mind prehistory where as Hobbes had no specific time frame One of the few things they do have in common is that neither claim to be more than models theoretical attempts to describe what life was like prior to civilization The most important parts of these settings are the psychological compositions of the people living in each respective state Hobbes argues that natural man has three inherent instincts which cause him to quarrel competition diffidence and the want for glory Rousseau believes we have two more tranquil instincts pity and self love The only thing his savage would need is nourishment and sex The main difference that causes these drastically different models is not the removal of man from civilization but the removal of civilization from man in Rousseaus Hobbes model has men thrashing about madly trying to get the material comforts society had offered him while Rousseaus has men without any desires past satiating his biological requirements The only thing that is the equal are the people to each other in each scenario Equality Hobbes writes is what causes these horrid conditions because everyone wants the same things and wants all of it However if self interest is also one of our main desires we would avoid that which would bring conflict and when struggles arise the absence of the concept of dignity would give no physical need to win a fight Hobbes ignores the biologically instilled notion of retreat and that self interest does not always equal avarice Rousseaus therefor is more persuasive under his own rules
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