Introduction John Locke (1632-1704) and John Stuart Mill (1806-1873) are two important thinkers of liberty in modern political thought. They have revolutionized the idea of human freedom at their time and have influenced many political thinkers afterwards. Although their important book on human freedom, John Locke’s The Second Treatise of Government (1689) and John Mill’s On Liberty (1859), are separated 170 years, some scholars thinks that they are belonging to the same conceptual tradition, English Liberalism. In this essay, I will elaborate John Locke and John Stuart Mill view on human freedom and try to find the difference between their concept of human freedom despite their similar liberal tradition background. Historical Context Locke and Mill understanding or freedom are very related to the social and cultural condition in their ages. Locke and Mill lie separated by almost two centuries of English history, and every society that come from different historical background despite the similar region have their own unique problems that needed different treatement and solution. In this sense, Locke and Mill understanding of liberty cannot be divorced from the society they live in, because their works were an attempt to find solutions for the society problem at their time. Locke was born in Somerset, England into a well-to-do family. At that time, there was a small class of people, the Aristocracy, who owned and controlled the vast majority of land, resources, military power and wealth. Eventhough, he come from a wealthy family, Locke saw there are injustice in this situation. The not have family had to work as peasants, and were no longer in control of their own lives, but rather lived, toiled and died at the whims of others. ... ... middle of paper ... ...ple from their happiness. References 1. Works Cited Bishop, Philip Schuyler. Three Theories of Individualism. Diss. University of South Florida, 2007. 2. Bullock, Alan, and Maurice Shock, eds. The Liberal Tradition: From Fox to Keynes. Clarendon Press, 1967. 3. Gooch, George Peabody. Political Thought in England: Bacon to Halifax. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1977. 4. Locke, John. “1980.” Second Treatise of Government. C.B. Macpherson, ed. Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing, (1690). 5. Mill, John Stuart. "2001." On Liberty. Ontario: Batoche Books (1859). 6. Mill, John Stuart. "2009." Utilitarianism. Floating Press (1859). 7. Mokyr, Joel. The Lever of Riches: Technological Creativity and Economic Progress. Oxford University Press, 1990. 8. Wright, John Samuel Fletcher. Liberty in Key Works of John Locke and John Stuart Mill. Thesis Deakin University, 1995.
John Locke, one of the leading philosophers of the European Enlightenment was very important when it came to political thought in the United States. His ideas of the reasons, nature, and limits of the government became especially important in the development of the Constitution. In one of his most famous writings of that time, Two Treatises on Government (1689), Locke established a theory where personal liberty could coexist with political power ; meaning that the people would agree to obey the government and in return, the government would have the responsibility of respecting the people’s natural rights. In other words, he laid out a social contract theory that provided the philosophy and source of a governing author...
In conclusion, Locke influenced the Founders of the United States heavily. The rights of man in the preservation of their property, lives and liberty have been guaranteed because of these ideas. Hume, though a skeptic, I believe would not be as skeptical now because there is now history of a government by the consent of the governed. Rousseau’s ideas have been vanquished by Locke’s ideas.
John Locke is known as the “Father of Classical Liberalism” and is said to be one of the most influential philosophers. Locke believed that all humans are born with natural rights and had the right to protect their “Life, liberty, health and possessions”. Locke also believed that we have the right to overthrow our government if we didn’t like it or got tired of it and he wanted a limited
John Locke is the most influential character in American history, thought, and practice. Without the influence of his writings, America would not have the same foundation of unalienable Rights, stable governance, and quality of life. However, Locke remains widely unknown and unstudied by the newer generations of Americans. His most influential work, the Second Treatises of Government, laid the ground, both theoretically and institutionally, for the American system of government that has been enjoyed for over two centuries. His influence on the American way of thinking is made evident when examining the text of the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution.
The ideas that liberty had a lot to do with trade and labor made a lot of sense during the time period. The idea of freedom came from the idea that you work for the right to own you own property, which in turn lead to power. If you had the ability to do as you wish, especially having to do with trade and labor it opened up more opportunity. For example, if th...
Mill’s concept of liberty focused on the individuals and ”defend the rights of individuals which involved civil liberties, individuality and personal autonomy” (Gabriel, 2010). In Mill’s book itself ‘On Liberty’ pointed out a few thoughts and ideas regarding how liberty of individuals and the response from the author...
Locke has greatly influenced society and government. He is the one who thought up the idea of natural rights. Locke believed the everyone deserved the right to life, liberty, and property. All but one of these natural rights are stated in the Declaration of Independence. These natural rights were changed to life, liberty and the pursuit
In John Locke’s The Second Treatises of Government the ideas that he put forward are revolutionary and are why he is commonly referred to as the “Father of Classical Liberalism”. The title, “Father of Classical Liberalism,” is a political ideology that encompasses the principles of liberty, individualism and equality. Throughout his book it becomes evident as to why John Locke is generally regarded as this title.
This essay discusses John Locke statement: “it is as insignificant to ask, whether Man’s Will be free, as to ask, whether his Sleep be Swift, or his Vertue square: Liberty being as little applicable to the Will, as swiftness of Motion is to Sleep, or squareness to Vertue.” Locke came to this conclusion while writing on the subject Of Power in An Essay Concerning Human Understanding. Subsequently, I argue whether Locke is successful in establishing this parameter against the Will’s being Free. I conclude that Locke makes an inconsistent and unclear argument about this specific subject. This conclusion will be address in this essay. In order to perform this task, I will first state the argument that Locke makes. An explanation of the argument will follow after. Next, I will offer an argument that contradicts Locke’s view. Finally, I will demonstrate how Locke’s argument can be attacked, making it unstable to its previous claim.
Thomas Hobbes, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, and John Locke are all great thinkers who were greatly influential in forming philosophies that would affect the future of politics. By analyzing each philosopher’s ideology, we can identify which thinker’s theory reflected modern era liberalism the most. For this paper I will be arguing that, John Locke provides a more compelling framework of modern era liberalism because of his perception of the state of nature, the social contract and the function of government.
John Stuart Mill’s On Liberty is a text that of course deals with liberty, which ties in with one of the questions addressed by this course: What does freedom even mean? But something that I found new and interesting in this text is the author’s notion of three types of liberties: liberty to think, liberty to pursue, and the freedom to plan our own lives. Furthermore, he delves into the idea that the authority of society infringes on our individual liberty.
John Locke was an English philosopher and physician known as the "Father of Classical Liberalism" and lived during one of the most turbulent times in English history. To start with, in his Second Treatise on Government(1689), Locke 's ideas that the people have a right to renegotiate the terms of the contract helped people lay the groundwork for the Glorious Revolution. And nearly a hundred years later, it was incorporated almost verbatim into the American Declaration of Independence. Another point is that Locke didn 't see political unrest and perceived human nature as inherently self-interested and aggressive which is in conflict with Hobbes who is best known today for his work on
In his essay “On Liberty”, John Stuart Mill carefully analyzes the ideas of the individual’s role of contributing to society, the individual’s rights and freedoms, and when said freedom becomes subject to limitations. His thoughts can be seen in many western cultures today, long after his era of the 19th century. For example, Mill argues that when it comes to individual liberties, children need guidance and should not be held fully capable with their actions based on decisions. Through reading his essay, I found myself agreeing with many of his statements and thoughts, and became uncomfortable with others. It was in the more uncomfortable points that I found myself disagreeing with, I decided to look at Mill’s beliefs in context with what was influencing him at the time. From historical and political events of his time, tied in with his everyday life and expected social norms, much of what he believes makes sense to what his, and many others, were experiencing in the 19th century and the start of the Victorian era. With this thought, I began to question a few of his key thoughts based on his involvement with the East India Company in the time of the Opium Wars.
In his presentation in the book On Liberty the English philosopher John Stuart Mill presents to his readers an ethical system of utilitarianism to society and the state. He tries to investigate standards for the link between authority and liberty (Andreas-Salomé & Mandel, 2001). In doing all this, he emphasizes the importance of individuality that he considers as a precondition to the higher pleasure. In addition, he criticized the errors of previous efforts to defend the individuality where, for example, democratic epitomized to the "tyranny of the majority". Amongst the canons established in this work are his three essential liberties of a person, his three legitimate protests to government intervention, and Mill’s two maxims concerning the relationship of the individual to society. In the third chapter which is of concern, Mill points out to the reader’s inherent value of each person. Individuality to him he considers ex vi termini as it is defined,
As a member of a society who seems to be a "success" story based upon Mills thoughts, it is also important to heed his warnings about the ever-present threat of power grabbing, and the creation and perpetuation of dogma. On Liberty is a document to be read and re-read by anyone who believes and cherishes individual rights and freedoms. They are not based upon a hypothetical society. The lessons are based on common sense and the experience of John Stuart Mills.