The First Modern Political Philosophers Essay

The First Modern Political Philosophers Essay

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Thomas Hobbes and John Locke are viewed as the first modern political philosophers. Both philosophers used their personal views as a means to develop their theories of human nature, the origin of the state, the nature of government, and the right of revolution. The two philosophers contributed to many fields: politics, governance, and the lives of individuals. Due to their different approaches to the same points, they differed on the views of human nature, the right of revolution, and the nature of governments. Their views on human nature influenced their philosophies on the theory of government.
Owning to their different outlooks, Hobbes and Locke looked at the theory of nature differently. Thomas Hobbes believed that people of the state have the complete and utter right to revolt for fundamental rights when they are violated (Hobbes, 36). Also, he viewed people as rational, free and knowledgeable. Due to the fact that people always seek to attain what is beneficial to them, Hobbes observed that the desire and aspiration to acquire things that were alike in the society is the reason for competition. However, this conflicted with the king’s divine right to rule. It presented a dilemma: how can mere people of the state overthrow the king without it being considered treason? Hobbes’s theory was a radical concept for his time. He stated, “ The Right of Nature… is the Liberty each man hath, to use his own power, as he will himself, for the preservation of his own Nature” (Hobbes 36). In contrast the law of nature indicates, “by which a man is forbidden to do, that, which is destructive of his life, or taketh away the means of preserving the same; and to omit, that, by which he thinketh it may be best preserved” (Hobbes, 36-37). By t...


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...as having absolute power over the natural rights of people (Locke, 57). Therefore, due to natural law and the separation of powers, the government has limitations. Locke did have a more positive outlook on human nature and believed that the social contract had the possibility of working out. Yet, he stated that while people have the potential to live in harmony with the government, if the government is not abiding by the contract, then the people could revolt (Locke, 60).
In summation, even though both John Locke and Thomas Hobbes are very influential, they had conflicting views. The theories of these philosophers are the foundation for modern democracy. Both are recognized for their important roles in defining and influencing human rights in modern politics. John Locke and Thomas Hobbes are some of the most influential minds of political science in the Modern Age.

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