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BPSC-113: Modern Political Philosophy

BPSC-113: Modern Political Philosophy

IGNOU Solved Assignment Solution for 2022-23

If you are looking for BPSC-113 IGNOU Solved Assignment solution for the subject Modern Political Philosophy, you have come to the right place. BPSC-113 solution on this page applies to 2022-23 session students studying in BAPSH courses of IGNOU.

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Assignment Code: BPSC-113/ASST/TMA/2022-23

Course Code: BPSC-113

Assignment Name: Modern Political Philosophy

Year: 2022-2023

Verification Status: Verified by Professor


There are three Sections in the Assignment. You have to answer all questions in the Sections.


Assignment - I


Answer the following questions in about 500 words each.


Q1) Write a note on Social Contract theorists. 20

Ans) Through the publication of Leviathan in 1651, Thomas Hobbes is credited with developing some of the fundamental principles of Western liberalism. The concepts that became the cornerstones of liberal philosophy in the West included individual rights, the notion that all men are naturally equal, and the idea that governmental authority should be based on public consent.


In addition, Locke and Rousseau advanced the social contract idea and contended that any government should be founded on the consent of the governed. Locke became a key figure in Western liberalism because of his beliefs in tolerance, natural rights, limited government, and the justification of private property based on labour. He is frequently referred to as the Father of the Enlightenment. One of the most important justifications for empiricism is Locke's notion of the tabula rasa. Locke had advocated for self-government and criticised absolute monarchy. He also championed the right of people to overthrow unfair laws.


Rousseau had a complicated relationship with enlightenment because he valued both reason and feeling equally. He had criticised the moral degradation of contemporary society. Rousseau was devoted to equality and personal freedom, nevertheless. Since all persons were created equal, he thought that nobility should be abolished. The idea that democracy is the only acceptable form of government was initially advanced by Rousseau, a key figure in the development of democratic theory. His beliefs in the equality of all people, democracy, and freedom have impacted republican governments in the modern era.


Social contract theories gave people a justification for overthrowing their monarchies, which played a significant role in the American and French revolutions. Later, independence movements in Latin American nations like Peru, Bolivia, Venezuela, and Colombia were influenced by enlightened principles. The idea that future governments must be answerable to the people was established by this.


The social contract hypothesis is not only the oldest but also the most well-known of the explanations for how the state came into existence. The core of this thesis is that men without prior governmental organisation agreed into an agreement that led to the creation of the state. There was no government and no legislation in the first phase. The population coexisted with nature. After some time, they made the decision to form a state. That was accomplished through a contract.


According to the social contract hypothesis, men were in their "state of nature" from birth. Man created a social contract as a means of escaping the state of nature. The pact was pre-social to some writers and pre-political to others.


According to proponents of this thesis, there was no organised life in the natural world before to the creation of the first governments. Everyone lived according to his or her own desires and whims. There were no rules devised by humans to govern people. The law of nature, also known as natural law, was known to those who lived in a state of nature. No one existed to apply the law or make decisions. Men had to live in uncertain times as a result.


Men who felt the need to leave this kind of life did so through a contract or common accord. This led to the formation of a civil society. Thus, the emergence of civil society came before that of the state.


Supporters of the social contract hypothesis proliferated throughout the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, and the doctrine was more or less universally accepted. Hooker was the first scientific author to present the social contract hypothesis in a rational manner. The works of contractualists like Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, and Jean Jacques Rousseau provided substantial evidence for the notion.


Q2) Examine Rousseau’s critique of liberal representative government. 20

Ans) The liberal representative system of government infuriated Rousseau. He claimed that participating in elections just once every five years did not ensure freedom. He supported participatory governance because of its virtues of freedom, equality, and self-rule. The person will be truly free, liberal, and content thanks to the values that the participatory government upholds. However, he asserted that no type of governance offers the advantages of a participatory one. Therefore, if governments can't provide citizens' freedom and happiness, they have no right to demand total submission from them. According to Rousseau, politics, not religion, is the only path to a person's salvation. Similar to Plato, Rousseau prioritised politics. However, participation in politics should be encouraged. He didn't think representative governance was a good idea.

Rousseau remarked, “For the same reason that it cannot be alienated, sovereignty cannot be represented. The people's delegates are only its agents and are not and cannot be the people's representatives; as such, they are powerless to make even the most flimsy decisions. And a legislation that the populace has not personally ratified is null and invalid; it has no legal standing. The English people mistakenly assume that they are free. In reality, they are only free while MPs are being chosen; as soon as they are chosen, the people are reduced to nothingness and enslaved.”


According to Rousseau, freedom could only be achieved when the populace was in charge of government and actively participated in the creation of laws. People can only be their own masters and enjoy freedom when they are free from their selfish interests. The General Will can only be realised by actively participating in legislation. A contract like this, based on General Will, would aid in realising freedom.


Many liberal critics found Rousseau's claim that abiding by the law increases freedom to be irritating. According to the detractors, adherence to the General Will to increase freedom would result in the erasure and marginalisation of personal autonomy. It was said that Rousseau prioritised the rights of the state over those of the person. Liberals held that an individual's rights serve as a defence against the arbitrary nature of the state. People can always defend their independence by using their rights if the state ever beyond the bounds of its authority.


In response to his detractors, Rousseau created a public life that would safeguard people's moral freedom. He supported democratic institutions that would safeguard public decency. Rousseau believed that representative institutions could corrupt a person. They undermine collaboration and group sentiments by instilling a sense of competitiveness among groups. The principle of "winner takes all" is also the cornerstone of representative institutions. By forming divisions and interest groups, these institutions foster division and undercut morality and popular sovereignty. In this area, Rousseau disagreed with Locke's idea of the state.


According to Locke, the goal of the state's establishment was to safeguard the lives, liberties, and property of its constituents. However, Rousseau thought that the state's protection of property would only result in formal equality. Rich people would benefit from this because they want to protect their property from poor people. Despite the fact that Locke's social contract theory greatly influenced Rousseau, their views on the goals of the state were very different. According to Rousseau, for the community to enact laws based on the General Will, each member must be treated equally. Equality will bring about morality, which will result in General Will's constitution and submission.


Assignment - II


Answer the following questions in about 250 words each.


Q1) Discuss Rousseau’s concept of natural education. 10

Ans) To improve society, Rousseau placed a strong emphasis on "Return to Nature." He claimed that nature holds the solutions to all human wrongs. He supported providing the youngster with a natural education. A kid should not be constrained by political and social structures, traditions, or norms in order to develop his or her intrinsic abilities, instincts, pure emotions, compassion, and empathy. A child that is raised in harmony with nature and away from the corrupt society will be free from untamed impulses, greed, prejudice, and feelings of retaliation.


Instead, they will develop a personality that will take care of their fellow humans' needs and contribute to the greater good. A child who is discouraged from modern schooling in his formative years will not develop in any particular way. He advocated for non-social education that had a preventive bent. According to Rousseau, a youngster who is fed and educated in nature grows up to be a natural man. When a child is in close proximity to mountains, streams, trees, sunshine, and animals, his learning is improved.


Rousseau claims in, “Education is no longer a procedure, artificial, harsh, dull,  unsympathetic and repressive of all inclinations. It is on the other hand an organic  growth; it is a development from within”.


The three sources of a man's education, according to Rousseau, are Nature, Things, and Men.


A child's innate abilities can be developed with the help of nature-based education. Additionally, education from things and people aids in knowledge acquisition and social environment experience.


Q2) Elaborate upon Mary Wollstonecraft’s plea for women’s rights. 10

Ans) Wollstonecraft's writings were unique in that they advocated for political change, such as the radical overhaul of national educational systems, in order to improve the condition of women. She maintained that such shift would be advantageous to the entire society. According to Wollstonecraft, women are not given the chance to use education to hone their skills or build their character. They are educated, but in a culture that is mostly shaped by masculine values, they are schooled to be men's assistants. They are taught to be meek, feeble-minded, emotional, vulnerable to flattery, and so on. Their femininity now is socially constructed.


Women would be prepared to be contributing members of society and good partners for men if they could have a proper education, be granted full civil rights, be divorced from their spouses lawfully, and be allowed to use their abilities in any way they saw fit. Rousseau's suggested education in reliance was rejected by her. She made the case that a woman needed to be intelligent in and of herself. The theme of education, especially the education of women and girls, permeates the entire book. The writings of Wollstonecraft have remained a recurrent theme even after her career ended abruptly. The Rights of Woman, Wollstonecraft's most well-known essay, opens with a call for women to get an equal education and includes an ambitious and long-sighted proposal for a national school system. Wollstonecraft thought that education might be the key to women's suffrage. She insisted that major topics like reading, writing, math, botany, natural history, and moral philosophy should be taught to women. She advised engaging in arduous activity to assist energise the intellect. According to Wollstonecraft, women have a right to an education that is appropriate for their status in society. She supported making education a requirement and promoting critical thinking and practical life skills to help women become economically independent.


Q3) Examine Mary Wollstonecraft’s critique of Rousseau’s idea of education. 10

Ans) Rousseau's political and educational paradigm, which was created for women, was attacked by Wollstonecraft. She drew attention to his contradictory moral claims in his political representation. Women were not included in the egalitarian ideal of Rousseau. However, Wollstonecraft maintained the equality of women's involvement. Wollstonecraft reacted to Rousseau's claim that women appear to be less creative and capable of abstract thought than males in the current state of society. She vehemently contended that women's lack of creativity and abstract reasoning skills is mostly a result of the education and environment they are getting, rather than their inherent limitations.


Wollstonecraft challenges some of Rousseau's core assumptions. According to Rousseau, gender equality would undermine the social structure. Children's upbringing and education are women's main responsibilities in life. According to Wollstonecraft, women won't be able to raise and educate children if they are taught to be dependent on men and forced to base their decisions on male authority. She is attempting to make the case that the mission of education necessitates judgement independence. This in turn necessitates the ability to reflect and generalise. But Rousseau's recommendations for women's education and social standing prevent them from having the chance to grow into these capacities.


In addition to offering intellectual justifications for her disagreement with Rousseau, Wollstonecraft also made clear how his plans for women's education would actually work against his social and political agenda. She claimed that women are also "human creatures who in common with males are placed on earth to unveil their capacities," which is how she criticised Rousseau's views on education. She took Rousseau's theory of the education of boys and men for her own sex even as she stole the Enlightenment's ideology of men's rights for women. Wollstonecraft respected many of Rousseau's ideas on education, but she disagreed with him on the subject of women's education.


Assignment - III


Answer the following questions in about 100 words each.


Q1) Mill on Individualism 6

Ans) Individuals are the judges of their own conduct according to Mill's interpretation of individuality. Mill understood that everyone has different wants and capacity for happiness. The environment for the complete development of his character must be provided because the individual was the best judge of his own interests. Such individual character variation is beneficial in and of itself, and it is important to promote respect for all living things for society as a whole. Perhaps for this reason, he was an ardent supporter of liberty against the tyranny of the majority of social norms and political oppression. He believed it was essential to safeguard an individual's right to act freely and felt equally passionately about the likelihood that, regardless of its intentions, government meddling in citizens' lives will cause more harm than good.


Q2) Mill on rights of women and gender equality 6

Ans) According to Mill, a man and a woman in a marriage should have a relationship based on mutual love and respect for one another's rights. They would become independent and self-sufficient as a result. According to Mill, no human being could enjoy equal rights or reach his full potential unless his equal and just worth was recognised. The right of women to be treated as free, logical creatures who can make their own decisions about how to live their lives, as opposed to having those decisions made for them by society, was stated and supported by Mill. In addition, Mill fought for women's political rights, including the ability to vote and the right to hold elected office. The majority of Mill's admirers believe that the state will play a significant role in bringing about this shift because of his strong dedication to equality and how much he anticipated changes in gender roles and the family.


Q3) Materialism before and after Marx 6

Ans) Marx did not originate the materialist philosophy; it was developed long before. It is founded on the following tenets:

  1. All creatures, both living and non-living, including humans, are composed of matter. Different types of matter or matter-in-motion existed in the form of ideas, thoughts, and sensations.

  2. Scientific laws like the principles of physics and mechanics, among others, control the relationship between various material bodies.

  3. These scientific principles explain the reasons behind changes in our society, economy, and politics, among other areas.


Marx made significant revisions of his own while drawing from the materialist intellectual discussions of the 19th century when he wrote. Marx concurred that the beginnings of nature and life might be explained in terms of the motion of physical bodies. Marx outlined a new historical materialism that gave human activity the primary position. According to Marx, human activity itself ought to be categorised as a type of material or objective activity.


Q4) Dialectical Method 6

Ans) According to the dialectical method, conflict or rivalry between two opposing forces is the cause of all change in both the natural and human worlds. Competition between the two opposing forces—the thesis and the anti-thesis—transforms both forces qualitatively and leads to a later stage of development known as the synthesis or unity. The dialectical method implies, among other things, that a society's sources of change or transformation are considered to exist inside or are endogenous to this society itself. A society becomes split within itself as a result of the constant development of the forces of production, such as labour, science, and technology, due to the specialisation of labour, ownership of the means of production, etc.


Q5) Class struggle 6

Ans) Every class conflict, according to Marx, is a political conflict. This means that if the proletariat and capitalists are engaged in an economic conflict today, they will be forced to engage in political conflict tomorrow in order to defend their respective class interests in a conflict with dual manifestations. The capitalists each have specific commercial interests. And the reason their economic organisations exist is to safeguard these interests. The strengthening of capitalism is one of their common class objectives in addition to their specific corporate interests. And they must engage in political conflict and require a political party in order to defend these shared interests. Thus, the class war being waged by the large bourgeoisie today takes the shape of economic conflict with the aid of associations and general political fight under ideological leadership.

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