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Abstract

Locke and Rousseau both emphasize the importance of consent with respect to government and use state of nature arguments to determine what principles would constitute a just society, but each of them comes to a radically different conclusion as to what such a society would look like. Much of this difference is rooted in their differing conceptions of what the purpose of government (and political society generally) is. This paper analyzes the differences between their justifications of government and between the political societies in which those differences result.

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