John Locke's Social Contract and Natural Rights Argument in Relation to Free Will

John Locke's Social Contract and Natural Rights Argument in Relation to Free Will

Length: 2140 words (6.1 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Term Papers

Open Document

Essay Preview

John Locke’s Social Contract and Natural Rights Argument in Relation to Free Will
One of the most significant philosophical and political issues for humanity is the conflict of freedom and security. This is often referred to as a balance between the two. This issue has been prevalent for as long as we have had society. In this paper I will discuss some of the theories of the 17th century English philosopher John Locke in his Second Treatise of Government and how they apply to this situation. I plan to then relate his arguments to the problem of free will. In this paper, I will describe John Locke’s theory of social contracts and natural rights in a civil government and then defend his argument.
The philosophical problem of freedom vs. security is one that has been seen for as long as mankind has had governments. The basis of the dilemma entails that people wish to have freedom. However, if all people had complete freedom, then there lies a potential for murder, mayhem, and chaos (since people would have the freedom to do whatever they desired). On the other hand, if society had complete security, then people would have no freedom at all. In other words, the people would have no will; they would be completely manipulated and controlled. Because both extremes (of either complete freedom or complete security) aren’t desired, we must now decide what freedoms are we willing to trade for security and vice versa. This is the objective for the balance between security and freedom. Another philosophical problem I hope to address in this paper is the problem of free will, which aims to determine if free will exists and if so, how? I believe that John Locke provided a good stance for both of these philosophical issues. John Locke was an...


... middle of paper ...


...
"1690." Second Treatise of Civil Government by John Locke. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Apr. 2014. .
"John Locke." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 27 Apr. 2014. Web. 30 Apr. 2014. .
"John Locke | Natural Law, Natural Rights, and American Constitutionalism." John Locke | Natural Law, Natural Rights, and American Constitutionalism. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Apr. 2014. .
"John Locke: Second Treatise of Civil Government: Chapter 2." John Locke: Second Treatise of Civil Government: Chapter 2. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Apr. 2014. .
Uzgalis, William. "John Locke." Stanford University. Stanford University, 2 Sept. 2001. Web. 28 Apr. 2014. .

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

Essay on Thomas Hobbes ' Theory Of Social Contract Theory

- Merriam-Webster’s dictionary defines a social contract as an actual or hypothetical agreement among the members of an organized society or between a community and its ruler that defines and limits the rights and duties of each. Social contract theory is rightly associated with modern moral and political theory and is given its first full exposition and defense by Thomas Hobbes. Thomas Hobbes defends the claim that it is never rational to behave unjustly. According to Hobbes, our human nature prevents us from naturally living at peace with one another....   [tags: Political philosophy, Social contract]

Term Papers
1044 words (3 pages)

Hobbes 's Views On The State Of Nature And The Social Contract Essay

- Thomas Hobbes has a primary emphasis on the state of nature and the social contract. Hobbes’s theory is categorized in several different ways. First, he is considered a pseudo natural law theorist. This is because he bases many of his premises on natural law. Additionally, Hobbes is referred to as a social contract theorist because he initiated the philosophical concept of the social contract. Finally, Hobbes can be categorized as a justice theorist, since many of his writings deal with justice and the state....   [tags: Political philosophy, Social contract]

Term Papers
1024 words (2.9 pages)

Thomas Hobbes and the Social Contract Essay example

- Thomas Hobbes was the first philosopher to connect the philosophical commitments to politics. He offers a distinctive definition to what man needs in life which is a successful means to a conclusion. He eloquently defines the social contract of man after defining the intentions of man. This paper will account for why Hobbes felt that man was inherently empowered to preserve life through all means necessary, and how he creates an authorization for an absolute sovereign authority to help keep peace and preserve life....   [tags: Political Philosophy Sociology]

Term Papers
1298 words (3.7 pages)

Ghana and the Social Contract Essay

- Aristotle rightly said that the family is the building block of the society and each family has its common values and preferences. Even though individuals may belong to the same family and society, they would have diverse opinions on what the society should be and where it should be headed. Even in the face of shared values by a society, there is another discriminant of individual’s value systems- their experiences. These experiences make them masters of themselves because they assume that their experiences are unique to only them and therefore these views should be recognized as valid....   [tags: aristotle, family, values, communities]

Free Essays
4548 words (13 pages)

Essay on Thomas Hobbes And The Hobbesian Social Contract

- A John Locke Response to the Hobbesian Social Contract In recent times, I have read Thomas Hobbes ' proposal of what he deems a fair and secure social contract. In leaving the uncertain, insecure State of Nature, both Thomas Hobbes and myself have developed two forms of life beyond this state, in which, we may give up some liberties in order to maintain security and assurance. To what one may surrender their rights granted in the State of Nature, would be a governed society ruled by one of many forms of government through acceptance of the social contract by the subjects of that society....   [tags: Political philosophy, Government, Thomas Hobbes]

Term Papers
1368 words (3.9 pages)

Essay on Thomas Hobbes and the Social Theory Contract

- ... That government has a series of purposes. Thomas Hobbes theorized that in the state of human nature, there would be no laws and rights would go unprotected until the Leviathan or the autocratic leader took control. Hobbes thought people needed to live in fear and be fearful of what would happen if they violated other’s rights. Hobbes and other theorist developed their theories during the Age of Enlightenment. Hobbes was challenging the power structure of that time period. The idea of natural rights requires that they be protected; this was the Social Contract Theory....   [tags: declaration of independence, hamilton]

Term Papers
586 words (1.7 pages)

Essay on Rousseau Social Contract

- Rousseau Social Contract The social pact comes down to this; “Each one of us puts into the community his person and all his powers under the supreme direction of the general will; and as a body, we incorporate every member as an indivisible part of the whole (Rousseau: 61)”. The general will can itself direct the forces of the state with the intention of the whole’s primary goal - which is the common good. The general will does not allow private opinions to prevail. The union of the people, in its passive role is known as the State and is referred to as the Sovereign in its active state....   [tags: Natural Rights Equality Rousseau Essays]

Term Papers
1543 words (4.4 pages)

Thomas Hobbes' Social Contract Theory Essay

- Thomas Hobbes creates a clear idea of the social contract theory in which the social contract is a collective agreement where everyone in the state of nature comes together and sacrifices all their liberty in return to security. “In return, the State promises to exercise its absolute power to maintain a state of peace (by punishing deviants, etc.)” So are the power and the ability of the state making people obey to the laws or is there a wider context to this. I am going to look at the different factors to this argument including a wide range of critiques about Hobbes’ theory to see whether or not his theory is convincing reason for constantly obeying the law....   [tags: Leviathan Essays]

Term Papers
891 words (2.5 pages)

What is the Function of a Social Contract? Essay

- What is the Function of a Social Contract. Philosophers have been concerned with the theories of a social contract for thousands of years. Plato mentions the concept in Crito and in Republic. These theories have stemmed from the concept of justice and for our society to be just. I will look at the works of Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, Jean Jacques Rousseau and finally with John Rawls after which a overall view into the function of a social contract can be derived as well as any problems with the theory(s)....   [tags: essays research papers fc]

Term Papers
1646 words (4.7 pages)

Social Contract Theory and Cultural Relativism Essay

- Thomas Hobbes’s social contract theory is minimally related to that of cultural relativism. Both deal with human nature and the search for peace. But while cultural relativism is in some ways a noteworthy theory, the social contract theory is the only one of the two that could logically work in an active environment. Cultural relativism theorizes that the best way for different societies to function together at peace is for them to recognize that each culture must be allowed its own system of beliefs....   [tags: Sociology Essays 2014]

Term Papers
2200 words (6.3 pages)