SOCY-151 Notes Lec-1 Introduction

Thomas Hobbes: 霍布斯 —> 利维坦


利维坦 1651年出版。


Main theme: in the state of nature people are evil. Order has to be imposed on them by all powerful sovereign, otherwise we would be in the state of war of every one against every one.

John Locke \ : 洛克 —> 论政府



  • Men are born free and equal - this is state of nature.

  • There is need for a superior, but one has to accept authority voluntarily and superior needs the consent of subjects.

  • There must be a separation of powers.

Montesquieu \\: 孟德斯鸠





Locke already noted the need of separation of powers. Montesquieu formulations it the way used today: legislative, executive and juridical.

Explains differences in legal systems from climatic differences - fore-shadows Durkheim.

Rousseau \\\





The story of Emile depicts “Jean Jacque” is the tutor of Emil and educates him until he reaches adulthood and marries.

Main point: nature is good - society corrupts. Emile has to be taught how to live naturally. (The opposite to Hobbes (and Durkheim) and foreshadows Marx)

Legitimate rule must be authorized by the consent of the ruled.

Rousseau the first who advocates popular sovereignty: this is rule by the majority of all men 【but not women】.
BUT: individuals express private interests - sovereign is general will

Adam smith

Adam smith

Adam smith is usually regard as the theorists of self-interested individual; advocate of self-regulating markets. He stands for laissez fair capitalism and the first “rational choice “ theorist.

Is The Theory of Moral Sentiments a book about “sympathy “ and the “helping hand”?
Is the Wealth of Nation about self-interested individuals and the invisible hand of the market?

  1. Self interest:
    1. Do not expect benevolence.
    2. Self-interested choice of employment advantageous for society.
    3. Individual better judge of its own interest than any statements of lawgiver.
  2. Labor theory of value:
    1. Labor is the measure of the value.
    2. The whole produce belongs to the laborer.
    3. But where does profit and rent come from
    4. Smith uses the term “invisible hand” only three times in his writings.
    5. In the Theory of Moral Sentiments (extols God along with love and benevolence).
    6. In Wealth of Nations (expels God and emphasizes self-interest)


  • 人性自私维护社会利益
  • 人性本善、道德情操


Mill & Taylor\\\

受边沁(功利主义)影响,碰到老婆 Taylor



Women’s legal situation resembles those of slaves (or is even worse). Freedom of men can only be achieved if freedom is granted to women and marital friendship is achieved.

Karl Marx \\\

Friedrich Nietzsche \



Critique of rationalism already in The Birth of The Tragedy. Greek tragedy is fusion of Apollonian (measured, harmonious)and Dionysian (passionate) element, destroyed by Socrates rationalism. Music of Wagner brings back tragedy.
There is no absolute truth as rationalism pretends, all knowledge is from a certain perspective. There are no absolute moral values either, moral values has to be understood as historically produced.

It is will to power what drives history, hence morality also has to be studies as struggle between “masters” and “slaves”.
This leads to the genealogical method: there is nothing transcendent in contemporary morality, preceding morality what we may judge immoral today were in their times just a moral.


Emile Durkheim