The philosophy of Jean-Jacques Rousseau encompassed an array of theories relating to political philosophy and moral psychology, particularly as they concerned human freedom. His philosophy idealized humans in a state of nature uncorrupted by society and with complete physical freedom. Recognizing a return to the natural state as impossible in modern society, Rousseau conducted philosophical explorations to identify ways to be as free as possible within given constraints.Know More
Under Rousseau's idealized social contract, free and equal humans trade their individual rights for civil rights. They voluntarily agree to come together and by unanimous consent to its authority create a civil society, a new sovereign body dedicated to the general will that acts in the interests of the good of all.
Humans became alienated from their natural state through dependence, economic and social inequalities and the extent to which people judge themselves through comparisons with others.
In Rousseau's political philosophy, inequality is unnatural and largely a product of artificial needs. To Rousseau, the advent of private property was a pivotal turning point in the decline from a state of nature, and he believed all humans possessed a natural goodness but were corrupted by society.
He advocated for a form of education that emphasized development of children's natural capacities.Learn more about Philosophy
Socrates contributed to philosophy by creating what is known as the fundamentals of Western philosophy. He invented the teaching practice of pedagogy, the Socratic method and contributed to the fields of ethics, epistemology and logic.Full Answer >
Confucius was a Chinese philosopher born in 551 BC who developed the philosophy that later acted as a basis for Chinese government, and he introduced ideas that people live by today. Confucius spent time in exile, conveying his political beliefs to various courts of states in central and northeast China.Full Answer >
In philosophy, realism is the belief that reality lies outside of the human mind; it is the focus on things that can be observed as well as things that exist independently of what the human mind believes to be true. An example of realism in philosophy is that a tree will exist in nature whether a human is able to recognize the tree.Full Answer >
According to a 2009 report by Forbes, John Adams' favorite hobby was political philosophy. In 1776, the second president of the United States released "Thoughts on Government." This pamphlet was later used as a guide during the creation of state constitutions.Full Answer >