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What is the nature of man?

Directions:  Answer the following the questions outlining the viewpoint of each theorist’s and providing quotes to support the viewpoints to the questions below.   The information is based on the readings listed on the syllabus. This assignment will be based on the written assignment rubric also locate don the syllabus under the “Rubrics “ module found by going onto the home page and clicking the “Modules” icon on the left.


Political Question Verba Rousseau’s Discourse Rousseau’s

Social Contract

What are 2 requirements to achieve equality/fairness?













Equal right to Participate

Equal Opportunity to Participate
















General Will

A Just Legislator

Give an example of a quote in the text that supports your answer?







What is the nature of man?


“Equal activity is crucial for equal consideration since political activity is the means by which citizens make their needs and preferences known to governing elites and induce them to be responsive. Citizen participation is thus, at the heart of political equality.” “The moderns, understanding, by the term law,

merely a rule prescribed to a moral being, that is to say intelligent, free and considered in his relations to other

beings, consequently confine the jurisdiction of natural law to man”

“It is therefore essential, if the general will is to be able to express

itself, that there should be no partial society within the State, and

that each citizen should think only his own thoughts: which was

indeed, the sublime and unique system established by the great Lycurgus.

But if there are partial societies, it is best to have as many as

possible and to prevent them from being unequal, as was done by Solon,

Numa and Servius.”

Can equality be achieved? Why or why not (using two examples)














Yes, Equality can be achieved.

Verba argues that political equality can be achieved. The first example is when citizens are afforded equal right to participation.

The second way in which equality can be achieved is affording citizens equal opportunities to participate in governance.









Equality cannot be achieved.

The first example is that equality existed in the state of nature and that all men were born equal but such equality does not persist.

The Second example is Rousseau gives is that mans’ interest is ultimately self-preservation, therefore in such capitalistic society it would be nearly impossible to achieve complete equality.

Equality cannot be achieved

The first example is that save for the equality of rights. Equality of power and riches cannot be achieved.

The second example is that Rousseau argues that it differences in wealth are inevitable in a Civil Society

Give an example of a quote in the text that supports your answer?





“Political equality is an important ideal. While it is true that we will not achieve it soon, this is no reason not to continue trying.” “Distributive justice would still be opposed to that rigorous equality of the state of nature, even if it were practicable in civil society” “By equality, we should understand,

not that the degrees of power and riches are to be absolutely identical

for everybody; but that power shall never be great enough for violence,

and shall always be exercised by virtue of rank and law; and that, in

respect of riches, no citizen shall ever be wealthy enough to buy

another, and none poor enough to be forced to sell himself”

What is the nature of man?  (How do they describe why man does what they do?)













Man can be categorized into three political cultures; the parochial, who is disinterested in the political realm, the subject; who is aware of political influence but does little to dissent and the participant who is actively involved in the political process.















Mans’ actions are driven towards self-preservation Man is born free but the modern society creates the state of  “slavery”
Give an example of a quote in the text that supports your answer?







“A participant is assumed to be aware of and informed about the political system in both its government and political aspects. A subject tends to be cognitively oriented primarily to the output side of government: the executive, bureaucracy, and judiciary. The parochial tends to be unaware, or only dimly aware of the political system in all its aspects.” “It appears, in fact, that if I am bound to do no injury to my fellow-creatures, this is less because they are rational than because they are sentient beings: and this quality, being common both to men and beasts, ought to entitle the latter at least to the privilege of not being wantonly ill-treated by the former.” “Man is born free; and everywhere he is in chains. One thinks himself the master of others, and still remains a greater slave than they.”