John Locke And Kant 's Theory On Liberty Thinking Essay

John Locke And Kant 's Theory On Liberty Thinking Essay

Length: 1201 words (3.4 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

The concept of liberty was reestablished around the 17th century in the line of Modern Philosophy with John Locke as the father of such thinking. With “Natural Law” and the “Social Contract” as the foundation that expound individual rights, the extent of power and purpose of the government, the rule of law and the separation of powers, etc., he establishes the basis for early classical theory on liberty thinking. In the history of Western philosophy, some thinkers are just as crucial as Locke. Rousseau and Kant are two of the most outstanding figures: one being a forerunner during the French Revolution, and one being the pioneer of classical German philosophy; they both were celebrated for their keen thoughts, sagacious insights, and profound analysis. Through thorough study on their ideologies, it is not difficult to find some apparent connection between the two. While presenting their philosophical ideas of freedom, as Rousseau focuses on the political, civil aspects and Kant on the more internally and morally-driven, they differ in their ideological approaches when discussing freedom and liberty; however Kant’s philosophy also resembles, and was influenced by Rousseau’s ideology at the same time, on which Kant adds new perspectives and makes transcendental improvements.
Rousseau on Freedom
In the 18th century, Rousseau, as a representative figure of the French school on freedom, based his theory upon the British school that was led by Locke. At the beginning of the Social Contract, Rousseau states that, “man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains” (Rousseau, 1762). This sentence perhaps shows the perplexed state of Rousseau’s subject under discussion: men supposedly are born to have certain right, but men cannot leave t...


... middle of paper ...


... peculiar kind. Physical necessity is a heteronomy of the efficient causes, for every effect is possible only according to this law, that something else determines the efficient cause to exert its causality. (Kant, 1785)
When making a decision based on desires, circumstances, or other external factors, we are affected by something other than ourselves, and thus, we are not free. It can be concluded that the freedom Kant advocates here is linked with autonomy,which is a property of the will of being a law to itself, in other words, the ability to give ourselves our own law. However, autonomy, as the highest principle of morality, can only be achieved by the means of categorical imperative. Freedom is actualized by following the universal maxim and most importantly upholding the categorical imperative,which is strongly associated with moral conduct and morality.
Rous

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay on Comparing Kant and Mill

- Comparing Kant and Mill Works Cited Missing Kant and Mill both articulate thoughts that praise the use of reason as the ultimate good, that which leads to enlightenment (in Kant’s terms) and a general understanding and certainty, as Mill would put it. The two political philosophers, while both striving to reach the same goal, ultimately achieve their goals in a different sense, and even demonstrate a slight discrepancy in what they ultimately mean to attain. Mill’s path toward certainty and understanding is dependent on dissenting opinion, and is asymptotic to truth; one never achieves the complete enlightenment that Kant describes so vividly as the individual’s end on a linear path of re...   [tags: Compare Contrast Philosophy Papers]

Strong Essays
923 words (2.6 pages)

John Locke And The Enlightenment Essay

- There are many philosophers that make up the Enlightenment period. Some of the philosophers were John Locke, Thomas Hobbes, Jean Jacques Rousseau, Immanuel Kant. They each had different contribution and influences to the Enlightenment era. John Locke was the most prevalent and influential to the American legal system because he adopted the idea of the right of Life, Liberty and Property. “The People of Enlightenment believed the almightiness of human knowledge and defied the tradition and the pre-established thoughts of the past....   [tags: United States Declaration of Independence]

Strong Essays
1127 words (3.2 pages)

Essay on Kant And Kant 's Philosophical Ideas

- During the 17th century there were 2 great philosophers who achieved great fame from their philosophical ideas. The two great philosophers during the 17th century are Scot David Hume and Immanuel Kant. David Hume was a British empiricists while Kant’s goal was to bridge the gap between rationalism and Empiricism. Kant was also influenced by Hume’s ideas of empiricism and he wanted add more ideas to it. In this paper I will be comparing and contrasting David Hume and Immanuel Kant’s philosophical ideas....   [tags: Immanuel Kant, Philosophy, Empiricism, John Locke]

Strong Essays
1261 words (3.6 pages)

John Stuart Mill's Essay On Liberty

- John Stuart Mill's Essay On Liberty The main theme of on liberty was the individual. Everything else, society, education,government and so forth had their basis in the individuals rights to his own liberty. No one, no member of society, government, even God, if he appeared before an individual, could inforce his will upon him. That is not to say that you couldnt change someones mind through discussions, but instead, that no one had a right to force his views upon another. Your happiness is yours(individual) to enjoy without any infringements....   [tags: John Stuart Mill On Liberty]

Strong Essays
789 words (2.3 pages)

Immanuel Kant And John Stuart Mill Essay example

- Even though at the first glance, the two most influential philosophers in human history - Immanuel Kant and John-Stuart Mill seem to have a lot of disagreements on the central concepts of their moral philosophies – for example, while Kant is concerned more about the intentions of an action, Mill, on the other hand, believes that the consequences of an action are the only justification necessary for an act to be good or moral or right, they still have beliefs in common, such as the concept of the greater good and base their moral systems on a fundamental first principle....   [tags: Morality, Ethics, Utilitarianism, Immanuel Kant]

Strong Essays
1502 words (4.3 pages)

Thomas Jefferson, John Locke, And Adam Smith Are All Men Lend Ideas Toward Liberalism And Individual Liberty

- The United States of America is a country based off of the principles of Liberalism – an ideology that stresses equality, individuality, and freedom. These three ideals lie at the very core of this country, however, they do not successfully mix. Each one, in some ways, counteracts the others. Most people do not take the time to stop and actually think about the “American Way” and how muddled and convoluted it really is. Thomas Jefferson, John Locke, and Adam Smith are all men lend ideas towards Liberalism and individual liberty....   [tags: John Locke, Liberalism, Liberty, Rights]

Strong Essays
1229 words (3.5 pages)

Essay on John Stuart Mill on Individual Liberty

- John Stuart Mill on Individual Liberty Definition of Individual liberty In his work On Liberty, Mill placed much emphasis on individual liberty and its vital role in political society. To Mill, this phrase may be defined as the liberty of the individual to be the final judge over his actions; to decide what is right and wrong and to act upon that standard. On a secondary level, it also implies one's freedom to pursue one's own individuality. Mill believed in a society in which each individual leads his own distinctive life according to his own unique talents; unfettered by regulations upon thought, opinion, actions etc....   [tags: Politics Mill Liberty Philosophy]

Strong Essays
2361 words (6.7 pages)

John Stuart Mill And Immanuel Kant Essay

- There has been an ongoing debate regarding torture and ethical reasoning to determine when or if its ever ok. Modern scholars such as Alan Dershowitz, Sam Harris, and Charles & Gregory Fried, have expressed different ideas on ethical torture. Ideas of ethical reasoning were established by John Stuart Mill and Immanuel Kant. Even though they did not specifically use torture as an example of ethical reasoning for decision making their rational can still be applied to this topic. Immanuel Kant believed our moral decisions are based on categorical imperative....   [tags: Ethics, Immanuel Kant, Morality]

Strong Essays
1202 words (3.4 pages)

The Criticisms of John Stuart Mill and Its Applications in Today's Society

- “Absolute liberty is the absence of restraint; responsibility is restraint; therefore, the ideally free individual is responsible to himself” - Henry Brooks Adams. There has been great debate, past and present with regards to what constitutes as an individuals liberty. It has been subject to constant ridicule and examination due to violations of civil rights. Freedom, liberty, and independence are all important human rights represented within John Stuart Mill’s On Liberty. In his essay, Mill explores the two dimensions to liberty; individual and social....   [tags: John Stuart Mill, liberty, On Liberty, ]

Strong Essays
2145 words (6.1 pages)

John Stewarat Mill's On Liberty and the Subjection of Women Essay

- John Stewarat Mill's On Liberty and the Subjection of Women Born in 1806, John Stewart Mill was an English philosopher who highly prized the Utilitarian belief system, or the doctrine of seeking the greatest amount of good for the greatest amount of people. Among his various political treatises, On Liberty and The Subjection of Women are excellent applications of his convictions in individualism and negative government. Though the subjects of each work differ to an extent, both are written in a dialogue format, and the general principles postulated in On Liberty can be easily applied to the second work....   [tags: Mill Liberty Subjection Women Essays]

Strong Essays
993 words (2.8 pages)