John Locke published his Two Treatises of Government in 1690. In his writing Locke argued that individuals had the natural rights of life, liberty and property that the state could never be taken away because these rights were “inalienable.” The natural rights of individuals limited the power of the king. The king did not hold absolute power, but acted only to enforce and protect the natural rights of the people.
What John Locke was concerned about was the lack of limitations on the sovereign authority. During Locke’s time the world was surrounded by the monarch’s constitutional violations of liberty toward the end of the seventeenth century. He believed that people in their natural state enjoy certain natural, inalienable rights, particularly those to life, liberty and property. Locke described a kind of social contract whereby any number of people, who are able to abide by the majority rule, unanimously unite to affect their common purposes. The...
... middle of paper ...
...ic interest that makes serenity possible. Others however are concerned about Rousseau’s argument the people can be “forced to be free,” that people can be required, under law, to do what is right. They see Rousseau’s idea as an opening to dictatorship or to “totalitarian democracy.” Some political realists doubt whether Rousseau’s idea of direct democracy is either wanted or practicable.
It is clear that Locke and Rousseau had different views on equality and democracy. Locke believed in reason and self-governance whereas Rousseau advocated for decision making for the good of the community rather than just the individual. Locke believed that the government is responsible for the protection of rights and freedoms in the state of nature, yet Rousseau relinquishes these rights and says that it is the government’s job to advance the general will of the people.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- The Enlightenment was an astonishing time of transformation in Europe. During this time in the eighteenth century there was a progressive movement that was labeled by its criticism of the normal religious, social, and political perceptions. A number of significant thinkers, with new philosophies, had inspired creativeness and change. These thinkers had many different thoughts and views on people and the way they act, and views on the government. Two well-known and most influential thinkers of this time were the English political philosopher John Locke and the French political philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau.... [tags: The Enlightenment, Political Philosophy]
1125 words (3.2 pages)
- In the world of political philosophy there is two major schools of thought on base of society and the individual, Liberalism and Marxism. These two are fundamentally different from each other on the formation of society and the place of the individual in society. While it is often believed that you cannot address the concerns of one without ignoring the concerns of the other, this is untrue. John Dewey, an American philosopher who focused mainly on the importance of education, managed in his argument of individualism and education to weave a line through both liberalism and Marxism addressing the concerns of both.... [tags: Karl Marx, Marxism, Capitalism, Socialism]
1962 words (5.6 pages)
- 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.... [tags: phylosophical and political issues, freedom, ]
2140 words (6.1 pages)
- Thomas Hobbes and John Locke have authored two works that have had a significant impact on political philosophy. In the “Leviathan” by Hobbes and “Two Treatises of Government” by Locke, the primary focus was to analyze human nature to determine the most suitable type of government for humankind. They will have confounding results. Hobbes concluded that an unlimited sovereign is the only option, and would offer the most for the people, while for Locke such an idea was without merit. He believed that the government should be limited, ruling under the law, with divided powers, and with continued support from its citizens.... [tags: Hobbes vs Locke]
1741 words (5 pages)
- NATURAL LAW/STATE OF NATURE: · Self-evident, universal laws, including inherent rights of life, liberty and property. (This influenced the American Constitution) · In the state of nature, man is a TABULA RASA (blank slate), devoid of original sin, born neither good nor bad. Born free, innocent, with inherent rights. Evil instilled by environment, such as parenting and education. (This influenced 18th Century philosophes, who tried to change institutions, politics, social welfare in order to better society.) · Although people are all equal from birth, sometimes age or virtue should give someone more power in certain situations: i.e./ Children are weak, powerless at birth.... [tags: Empiricists, Empiricism]
467 words (1.3 pages)
- The English philosopher and physician John Locke was an immensely important and influential figure during the enlightenment period. Perhaps his most important and revolutionary work was An Essay Concerning Human Understanding; written in 4 separate books; each pertaining to a section of his explanation. Its purpose was to “to enquire into the original, certainty and extant of human knowledge, together with the grounds and degrees of belief, opinion and assent.” However, John Locke influenced more than just the philosophy of human understanding; he also greatly influenced the way we think of government and religious toleration.... [tags: Human Nature, Philosophies]
1247 words (3.6 pages)
- Thomas Hobbes and John Locke are two of the most premier English Political Theorists of the 17th century. With the nature of government at the heart of both Philosophers ' most important accounts, Hobbes and Locke both began their government views with separate ideas of a state of nature, or a pre-political, society. Eventually transitioning into two differing views of an acceptable form of government within a society, Thomas Hobbes and John Locke ended their philosophical "careers" with different views of what a government should look like.... [tags: Political philosophy, John Locke, Social contract]
1329 words (3.8 pages)
- Thomas Hobbes At the end of the ensanguined English Civil War, Hobbes wrote his book Leviathan, published in 1651. As he was witnessing the excessive violence and cruelty in his surroundings, he was made aware of the brutality that humans are capable of and developed a pessimistic view of the world. This translated into his belief that the State of Nature is a state of war where every person is against each other (80). Hobbes insists that such a condition results in a life of destitute because of the severe lack of morality and constant fear experienced by the members.... [tags: Political philosophy, John Locke, Social contract]
1465 words (4.2 pages)
- The Social Contract and Its Impact on the Government The “Social Contract” was a theory written in the 17th and 18th century. This theory argued four important main points. These main points said that the state existed to serve the will of the people, that people were the only source of government power, that the people were free to withhold power of the government, but also had the ability to give power to the government, and finally it stated that the ideas in this document limited government, individual rights, and popular sovereignty.... [tags: Social Contract John Lock Thomas Hobbes Essays]
1136 words (3.2 pages)
- Alexis de Tocqueville, a well- known critic of democratic participation in government institutions, stated in his book, Democracy in America, that volunteerism “prompts [Americans] to assist one another and inclines them willingly to sacrifice a portion of their time and property to the welfare of the state” (Tocqueville 507). Although many members of American society still subscribe to the idea that sacrificing a part of their lives ameliorates “the welfare of the state,” many critics of volunteerism insist that the responsibility of “the welfare of the state” lies within the United States government, and not individual members of American society.... [tags: America’s Damaged Social Contract]
4238 words (12.1 pages)