John Locke versus Thomas Hobbes

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Change is in the inevitable byproduct of society. As societies evolve they change according to the life style of the people who inhabit them. Without change, society would never progress and thus would be frozen in a single moment in time. Thomas Hobbes and John Lock were two English philosophers who observed tremendous changes in English politics between the years of 1640 and 1690. In closely examining the views of both of these philosophers in subject areas such as the nature of man in society, the relationship between a society and its government, and the affect that both philosophers’ novels had on the government, it can be concluded that both Hobbes and Locke’s philosophies created prominent change in the methods of government.

Both Locke and Hobbes experienced different events that prompted them to write their novels. Hobbes witnessed the conflict and violence of the English revolution in the 1640s. His political philosophy was shaped by the chaos after the execution of the English King Charles I. In his novel, entitled Leviathan, Hobbes explains his justification for any government and how a government should be run based on the nature of the people within the society. Locke’s view on politics and government are juxtaposed to those of Hobbes. Locke was witness to the Glorious Revolution. This peaceful over throw of the English Monarch James II confirmed the ideas of people and government Locke already had. Locke’s novel, entitled The Two Treaties of Government, clearly depicts Locke’s views on the nature of human beings and the role of their government.

The nature of a human in society is portrayed in a unique manner in both Locke and Hobbes’ philosophies. Hobbes was a materialist who believed that humans are governed b...

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...e constitutional democracy that is the United States as well as a demonstration of Locke’s philosophy.

In conclusion, the philosophies of Thomas Hobbes and John Locke had a profound affect on the methods of government used. Through analyzing both philosopher’s perception on the nature of the human person and the relationship between government and society, it is evident that their philosophies have a tremendous impact. There are not very many things in this world that are long lasting. Since the world moves at such a tremendous pace, ideas for improvement of often forgotten before they even begin to have an impact, yet, the ideas of two individuals have lasted through the centuries and continue to impact modern day society. Hobbes and Locke’s philosophy truly did create a profound change in the methods of government, a change that is still impacting society today.
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