Private Property, Freedom, and Order : Social Contract Theories From Hobbes To Rawls

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    • Abstract:
      This book looks at how the ideas of freedom, property, and order are expressed in modern social contract theories (SCTs). Drawing on the theories of Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, and Rawls, it studies how notions of freedom promulgated by these SCTs invariably legitimise and defend the private ownership of the means of production. It argues that capitalism's impact on individual dependence and economic inequality still stems from this model, ultimately working in favour of proprietors. The author highlights the problematic nature of SCTs, which work as ideological mechanisms put forward under the guise of formal equality and formal freedom, by focusing on the historical and social context behind them. From a methodological point of view, the author presents a de-ideologization of the contractarian issue and provides insight into the political ‘layers'within the discourse of individualism, human nature and morality shaping the outer corners of contractarian theory. An important intervention in the study of SCTs, this volume will be of great interest to scholars and researchers of political and social theory, sociology, political history, and political philosophy.
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