Locke on Natural Law
John Locke’s ideas are heavily linked with right-libertarianism: in typical liberalism and libertarianism, a small government is the road to a great civilization; individual liberty and free will is valued more than anything else, and people must be permitted to look after their own interests. Free market capitalism as it stands today is often derived from this principle, since it is conceived that the idea of a free market would permit individuals to achieve their dreams based on their will and resources. John Locke was often said to be the Father of Classical Liberali...
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...he natural man focuses on himself alone; Locke believes that man can be advantaged by modern society, as long as he brings natural laws like private property into the civilized world. These two philosophers have decidedly opposing views, insofar as Locke thinks the civilized world can include natural law and Rousseau does not. Given the severely entrenched nature of civilization in human history and life, it is easy to see how Rousseau’s philosophy can seem cynical; Locke’s perspective is much more willing to work within the confines of society that have been established.
Locke, John. Two Treatises of Government. Awnsham Churchill, 1689.
Melchert, Norman. The Great Conversation: A Historical Introduction to Philosophy (Oxford University Press), 2010.
Rousseau, Jean-Jacques. A Discourse on Inequality. New York: Penguin Books, 1984.
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