Journal of Social Sciences

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This article attempts to investigate the political theory formation of the two greatest modern Contractarians, John Locke and Jean-Jacques Rousseau. In the past, Locke's theoretical work once inspired the American founding fathers to fight for American Independence in 1776, while Rousseau's major work had also led to the French Revolution In 1789. This study employs the Philosophy of Social Science concept of "Level of Explanation" to explore how Locke's Theory and Rousseau's Social Contract Theory are formed. The study found that Locke and Rousseau began to develop their theories from the same level of explanation which was the Methodological Individualism. However, when both of them further advanced their theories, Rousseau tended to shift the level of explanation to the Methodological Collectivism, whereas Locke maintained his emphasis on the Methodological Individualism level of explanation. With this reason, therefore, Locke's and Rousseau's theories are different although attempting to explain the same concepts- state formation and relations between individual and the state.

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