Locke And Machiavelli Research Paper

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Locke and Marx put their trust in human reason while Machiavelli does not. These authors’ assumptions and different conceptions of human nature determine and lead to each of their conclusions regarding human nature. This paper will argue that Locke views human nature in a positive manner where humans are rational and reasonable. This paper will also argue that Marx denies the existence of human nature and instead concludes that social relations and society ultimately defines humans. Finally, this paper will argue that Machiavelli, unlike the other authors, has a negative understanding of humans as he thinks that man is selfish and that an individual should not be given too much power as they only act upon their own self-interest.
Locke’s viewpoint towards human nature is more optimistic and positive as it highlights the individual as he views humans as being rational and with reason. He believes that humans are bound by natural laws that keep each other from harming one another. Thus, no human is better or higher in status than another and are equal thus attaining perfect freedom as all men are created equally. Humans are by nature born free as Locke states that “man being born, as has been proved, with a title to perfect freedom” and also with “an uncontrolled enjoyment of all the rights and privileges of the law of nature, equally with any other man” has the power to preserve his “property, life, liberty and estate” (Locke, Section 87). Locke believes in the state of nature that “has a law of nature to govern it, which obliges every one: and reason, which is that law, teaches all mankind, who will but consult it, that being equal and independent, no one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty, or possessions” (Lock...

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...e society to maintain peace and social order. Such influences may come from the government or from the society itself. Locke believes that there is a state of nature but there is a need for the government in order to maintain order. Marx believes that the social groups in a society exist in order for man to exist and actively produce. Machiavelli strongly believes in the influence of the government to ensure stability in the society of human nature. Such conclusions from these the authors lead to their thoughts regarding human nature and human behavior. Locke and Marx believe that humans have reason and can attain a moral state of being while Machiavelli does not believe that humans can rule and have power, thus must have a ruler in order to achieve order. Ultimately, such formations and separate notions of human nature lead to each of the author’s conclusions.
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