Hobbes, Locke, and the Social Contract: Explain what Hobbes and Locke meant by a social contract. Why did Hobbes think people would choose to enter into such a contract? Why did Locke think people would enter into a social contract?

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The theory of the social contract was disputed a lot during the Age of Enlightenment. The more prominent European philosophers—for example, Hobbes and Locke—credited the contract to a variety of reasons, but the principle remained the same. The social contract means that in order for a society to come together and function, people (usually indirectly) consent to giving up some of their individual rights in exchange for protection.

The idea is simple enough, and it would be hard to argue that the social contract doesn't exist. Presumably, every person has, at one point in their life, thought along two lines: one, how nice it is to have laws that defend them; and two, how they'd like to overstep some of those laws in order to get or do something. For example, we can be thankful that there are police officers patrolling and making sure we are safe, but on the other hand, we'd sometimes like to jaywalk or skip school/work, and so on. (These are fairly harmless examples, of course. The...

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