Share
Explore BrainMass

Rousseau's Social Contract: Theory, Argument and Application

I am reading/audiobooking the Social Contract by Rousseau so that I could create a 3-5 page report on my own opinion about the book. Honestly, in my opinion, it's dull, repetitive, and very difficult to keep interested in. I would just like more understanding rather than binging the audio book over and over. I've heard of the social contract theory in my philosophy and sociology class but I am supposed to look at it in the eyes of a world history class. As much insight as possible would be much appreciated. If you provide anything from the books cite it so I can look too please. Some questions I have to help me get a better understanding are such:
What are some arguments for/against Rousseau's theories?
What is the general idea Rousseau is portraying?
What are some key points to know about the Social Contract?
Are there any flaws with Rousseau's argument?
How does the Social Contract portray to history around the world?
As much breakdown of the books as possible would be amazing!
I've tried reading it but it again, it is dull, repetitive, and very dense so my brain keeps trying to push it out, I just would like it broken apart and put together in a way I can understand what Rousseau is trying to say.
Thank you so much!!!

Solution Preview

What are some key points to know about the Social Contract?

- A few key points about the Social Contract include the following:
o 'Society' means a group of people living in the same area, under the same cultural expressions, sharing a common language.
o Morality exists as a result of social living.
o This morality can be obtained only through social living.
o This morality is expressed in what Rousseau termed the 'general will' of those people in the society.
o 'Immorality' therefore means anything outside what the society generally agrees upon.

What are some arguments for/against Rousseau's theories?

- This is much the same as one of the other questions as regarding the flaws in Rousseau's argument. However, for the sake of argument we'll take specific instance: Rousseau's ideas behind the 'general will of the people' has serious ambiguity, and as such has formed the basis for both democratic governments and totalitarianism - both types of government eventually claiming they represent this 'general will'. By the same token, Rousseau's theories gave rise or backing ...

Solution Summary

Several ideas, applications, flaws and strengths of Rousseau's major theory, Social Contract Theory, are discussed in some detail.

$2.19