Social Contract Theory

1000-Word Philosophy: An Introductory Anthology (2018)
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Contracts are common, and some influential thinkers in the “modern” period of philosophy argued that the whole of society is created and regulated by a contract. Two of the most prominent “social contract theorists” are Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679) and John Locke (1632-1704).[2] This essay explains the origins of this tradition and why the concept of a contract is illuminating for thinking about the structure of society and government.

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David Antonini
Clemson University


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