Social Contract


The social contract is an idea in philosophy that at some real or hypothetical point in the past, humans left the state of nature to join together and form societies by mutually agreeing which rights they would enjoy and how they would be governed. The social contract aims to improve the human condition by establishing an authority based on consent which protects certain rights and punishes those who infringe on the rights of others. Although some philosophers deny such an event has ever occurred, the idea was attractive to some thinkers, particularly during the Enlightenment, as a way to justify citizen participation and promote the advantages of one type of government over another.

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