Compare And Contrast Hobbes's View Of The Social Contract And John Locke

analytical Essay
1368 words
1368 words

A John Locke Response to the Hobbesian Social Contract In recent times, I have read Thomas Hobbes ' proposal of what he deems a fair and secure social contract. In leaving the uncertain, insecure State of Nature, both Thomas Hobbes and myself have developed two forms of life beyond this state, in which, we may give up some liberties in order to maintain security and assurance. To what one may surrender their rights granted in the State of Nature, would be a governed society ruled by one of many forms of government through acceptance of the social contract by the subjects of that society. As theorists, we have provided our own versions of the contract which have many differences as far as: the purpose of a government, where sovereignty lies, …show more content…

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes john locke's response to the hobbesian social contract. they argue that society is better defined under a more constitutional, limited government.
  • Argues that hobbes' view of the state of nature is a time of war, where murdering one another is essential to maintain this survival.
  • Opines that hobbes has failed to see the true state of natural human beings.
  • Explains that hobbes discusses the rights given to the sovereign by the consent of the people, but creates a sovereign above the covenant, exempt from the limitations placed upon all within the contract.
  • Explains that legislative power is meant for a government of limited power that will not take away man's natural rights.
  • Explains that the power of the covenant is maintained by two sides: the government, and the people; and is not unbreakable.
  • Explains that in the more sensible commonwealth, there is a permissible cause for rebellion. if the monarch, legislature, or other governing authority acts unjustly, it is there that the contract is broken.
  • Argues that hobbes' view is that humankind evolves into a governed society by social contract. however, government secures our natural rights by upholding natural laws and executes power as it is originally agreed upon by the subjects of the covenant.

Hobbes ' view of the state of nature, "during the time men live without a common power to keep them all in awe," is a time of war "and such a war as is of every man against every man". In this war, Hobbes finds it is a condition where war is permissible for the sake of survival for the individual, and murdering one another is essential to maintain this survival. It is in his Leviathan where his laws of nature describe the premise of this war between all individuals. It is the first law, of which, men ought to seek peace, and, secondly, defend themselves in order to maintain that peace. Thus, it is morally permissible to conquer any type of obstacle impeding one 's survival even if that obstacle is of the same species. However in this natural state, Hobbes finds, even with these first two laws, the natural state is full of "continual fear" and the life of man is " solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short" because of this continual fighting. Thus, he deems it necessary to come to mere terms of agreement among one another into a society of rational, civil beings under the authority of a ruler in order to enforce peace among the subjects and save us from our natural

Get Access