Both philosophers were supporters of individual equality and freedoms. The two contrast in that Hobbes theorizes a contract exists between the sovereign and the people, once you agree to the sovereign, he cannot be overthrown and you are at his mercy. He also feels that social order begins with a state of nature. However, Locke feels the government is conditional and can be overthrown if the people are not represented correctly. He argued that without the arrangement of a successful government human being’s would live in the “state of nature.” Locke and Hobbes also differ because Hobbes feels that the sovereign should be all-powerful and individuals should not rebel against the sovereign.
Locke’s ideal state is one of which man has “perfect freedom to order their actions, and dispose of their possessions as they think fit… without depending upon the will of another man” (365). He unifies man under his God, who he believes has provided mankind with morality within the laws of nature, which prevents a world as heinous as that of Hobbes. Unlike Hobbes but similar to Rousseau, Locke rejects an all powerful sovereign to rule over people, stating that having a sovereign would not provide a much better life than that within the chaotic state of nature because there is no civil liberty to question or control an ill willed leader. He also claims sovereign's wills are “inconstant, uncertain, unknown, and arbitrary” (369). Locke’s solution for the emergence of a civil society is to establish an indirect democracy where there is a centralized governing body of people who decide on behalf of the people in account with the laws of nature.
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.
Consent is necessary because for any government to exist individuals must voluntarily surrender some of the freedom they would possess if they existed in "a state of nature" Citizens will surrender some liberty to create a government that allows them to prosper. Citizens must agree with the actions of the government at all times, giving them the right to abolish governments that do not benefit them. Locke realized that this is impossible in any society of size so he relied on the idea of a "general will" as expressed by the majority. 3. Explain the impact of Locke & Rousseau on Thomas Jefferson.
To fulfill the functions of the contract, governments make rules that everyone must follow and they have the authority to punish those who do not follow them. Governments achieve their authority in two ways, their legitimacy and their ability to use force. Hobbes and Locke, however, had quite different views on the terms of this social contract. Hobbes social contract wanted people to surrender their freedom to the state and in return, they received order and security. Hobbes believed that as long as the government was maintaining order, the people did not have the right to break this contract and were obligated to follow
By this I mean that one manÕs well being is not always universal to all. Most significantly, Kant renounces happiness as the principle of morality because it obliterates the specific difference between virtue and vices. Universality is the form of a moral law whereby all rational beings are subject to the same condition as the basis of morality. Kant argues that there can be principles for action that do not admit of exceptions, and that this occurs through practical reason. In other words, the possibility for morality does not hinge on the empirical world, but rather is a feature of the nature of the entity that is the ground for morality.
However, once “the actual force is over, the state of war ceases,” (15) and both sides are once again bound by natural law. For Locke, the entire body of people is not the problem; rather the problem occurs when a “degenerate” violates natural law. Because natural law is the law of reason, for someone to break natural law is to “[declare] himself to live by another rule than that of reason and common equity…and so he becomes dangerous to mankind” (10). Unlike Hobbes, Locke gives more weight to man as a social being within the state of nature. For Locke, a big part of why natural law obliges even within the state of nature is because it is enforceable.
Only with universal principles can we as collective society discover what is right, what is wrong, and what is best, therefore there exists not modern morality but simply morality. An empirical philosopher, W.T. Stace, argues that if we believe all morals are culturally relative, it is impossible for us to judge what is best. Although admitting he does not know what is best, he concludes that it is the responsibility of man to discover what is. He does not dispute that moral customs and moral ideas differ from country to country and from age to age, but that the fact that one culture thinks something is right does not necessarily make it right just as much as what we believe is wrong in our culture does not necessarily mean it is wrong.
As rational beings we are expected to act and behave accordingly for the sake of the moral good, but with practical reason. This then results in universal morality according to Kant. This was all defined under Kant’s categorical imperative. These imperatives are things that one “ought” to do according to Kant. Kant believed that following ones duty was not measurable by the end means, yet it “is good only through its willing”.
Hobbes and Locke argued that people mainly formed a state for different reasons according to their ideology. Hobbes mentioned that humans only formed a state for their mere self interest to protect themselves from the wrath of others. In contrast Locke had a more positive perspective that individuals believed it was moral to form a state to protect their natural rights and would not be deprived from their rights. In Leviathan, Hobbes asserts, "Conferre all of their power and strength upon one Man, or upon one assembly of men, that may reduce all of their Wills, by plurality of voices," (Locke, 95). Comparing the statement of Hobbes with Locke is the following, “It is not, nor can possibly be absolutely arbitrary over the lives and fortunes of the people," (Locke, 70).