Human Studies 25 (2):207-231 (2002)

This paper compares and contrasts the philosophical positions of Hobbes and Rousseau from the standpoint of interpersonal communication theory. Although both men argued from the state of nature, they differed fundamentally on the nature of humankind and the purpose of relationships. These differences should be of concern for interpersonal scholars insofar as they reflect differing sets of axioms from which to begin theorizing. The second part of the paper establishes a link between Hobbes' philosophy and the social exchange tradition: The Hobbes-social exchange tradition begins with the assumption that individuals form relationships to maximize rewards and minimize costs; a Rousseauist position must begin with the assumption that individuals form relationships in pursuit of some common goal. Thus, relational continuity and quality are not a function of cost-benefit ratios, but of how well partners work together toward their common good.
Keywords gift-exchange  interdependence theory  social exchange  state of nature
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Reprint years 2004
DOI 10.1023/A:1015588007217
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The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.Thomas S. Kuhn - 1962 - University of Chicago Press.
Leviathan.Thomas Hobbes - 1651 - Harmondsworth, Penguin.
A. H. Maslow's "Toward a Psychology of Being". [REVIEW]Irving Thalberg - 1964 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 25 (2):288.

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