The first modern philosopher to articulate a detailed contractual theory was Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679). According to Hobbes, the life of individuals in the state of nature was “lonely, poor, wicked, brutal and short,” a state in which self-interest and the absence of rights and contracts prevented the “social” or society. Life was “anarchic” (without leadership or concept of sovereignty). Individuals in the state of nature were apolitical and asocial. It is in this natural state that the social contract succeeds. The social contract begins with Rousseau`s most frequently quoted line: “Man is born free and he is everywhere chained” (49). This requirement is the conceptual bridge between the descriptive work of the second discourse and the pre-scriptive work that will come. Men are essentially free and free in the state of nature, but the “progress” of civilization has replaced this freedom with dependence, economic and social inequalities, and the extent to which we judge ourselves by comparisons with others, by submission to others. Since a return to the state of nature is neither feasible nor desirable, the purpose of politics is to give us freedom and thus reconcile who we really and essentially are with the way we live together. So this is the fundamental philosophical problem that the social contract wants to address: how can we be free and live together? In other words, how can we live together without succumbing to the violence and coercion of others? We can do this, Rousseau argues, by submitting our individual and particular will to the collective or general will created by agreement with other free and equal persons. Like Hobbes and Locke before him and unlike the ancient philosophers, all men are by nature equal, so no one has the natural right to rule others, and therefore the only authority justified is the authority created from agreements or alliances.
In addition to indicating what the representatives think of the world and the results of their agreement, there must also be a standard allowing the representative parties to evaluate different contractual possibilities. They must be able to evaluate options based on their values, whatever they may be. Rawls models the parties to the contractual situation in such a way that they have only one value, at least initially: the primary goods. They choose the conception of justice they do, insofar as they think that it will probably produce the most important goods for them and their descendants. This specification of the evaluative parameter is uniform beyond the selection and therefore the choice can be modeled in the initial position as a person`s choice. To the extent that there is evaluative diversity between representatives, more complex convergence models will be needed (see § 3). Thomas Hobbes, 1588-1679, lived in the most important period in the history of early England: the English Civil War fought by 1642-1648. To describe this conflict in the most general terms, it was a clash between the king and his supporters, the monarchists, who preferred the traditional authority of a monarch, and parliamentarians, notably under the leadership of Oliver Cromwell, who called for more power for the quasi-democratic institution of Parliament. .