Political Philosophy and Social Contract Essay

Submitted By d_rip
Words: 1296
Pages: 6

Baron de Montesquieu
● Born January 18, 1689 and died February 10, 1755
● He got his name and job from his uncle when he died.
● His philosophy of history had minimized the roles of individual people and events.
● He is credited to be with the first to extend methods of classification to the political forms in the human society.
● He was born into nobility but was in the care of a poor family during his childhood.
● Believed that all things were made up of rules or laws that never change. ● He called the division of government power into three branches the
“separation of power”.
● Believed a government that was elected by the people was best.
● He approved of slavery.
● He argued that the best government was one which has three groups of officials.
● He thought that Great Britain had the best government because of the separation of power and checks and balances.
● His most famous writings were Persian Letter and The Spirit of the
Laws.
● “A nation may lose its liberties in a day and not miss them in a century.” John Locke
● Born August 29, 1632 in Wrington, Somerset, England and died October 28,
1704 at age 72.
● His political theory was based on the social contract theory (an agreement between government and people of what one another should do.
● Believed Government should protect rights and if not, the citizens should overthrow them
● Argued that divine right was not supported by scripture or use of reason.
● Famous for calling for the separation of the Church and State.
● Studied medicine at the University of Oxford.
● Went to Christ Church which was a prestigious school in Oxford.
● Isaac Newton was one of his apprentices.
● Argues that God created us, so we are God’s property.
● Supported Constitutional Monarchy, especially in England.
● Believed man was born with natural rights: life, liberty, property. (mentioned in the Declaration of Independence)
● Father of classical liberalism (idea of limited government)
● Wrote An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, and Letter Concerning
Toleration.
● “We are like chameleons, we take our hue and the color of our moral character, from those who are around us.”
● His scientific method was the changed ideal of scientific knowledge.

Thomas Hobbes
● Born April 5, 1588 and died December 4, 1679
● He contributed to other fields such as geometry, theology, ethics, the physics of gas, and general philosophy.
● He was a champion of absolutism for the sovereign, but he also developed some of the fundamentals of European liberal thought.
● He attended Heartford College and Oxford Malmesbury School.
● His book Leviathan established the foundation for most western political philosophy.
● He thought man was naturally in a state of war.
● He came up with Enlightened Despotism (a form of absolute monarchy or despotism in which rulers were influenced by the
Enlightenment).
● He supported Absolute Monarchy.
● He came up with the Social Contract (the view of a person’s moral and/or political obligations are dependent upon a contract or agreement among them to form a society in which they live).
● Lived through the English War
● A famous quote he said was “The condition of man... is a condition of war of everyone against everyone”. This shows his insight on philosophy, because he said that he thought man was already in a state of war.

Voltaire
● His real name was Francois-Marie Arouet and was born in Paris,
France in 1694 to a upper middle class family and died 1778.
● He was 7 years of age his mother passed away and grew very close to his free-thinking godfather.
● French enlightenment writer, deist, and philosopher.
● He studied at College Louis le-Grand from 1705-1711
● He wrote many plays, poems, novels, essays, historical and scientific works.
● A famous quote from him was “God gave us the gift of life; it is up to us to give ourselves the gift of living well.”
● Some of his famous poems were Henriade and…