Locke 's State Of Nature Essay

Locke 's State Of Nature Essay

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Hobbes and Locke both present states of nature in which the human race exists prior to, or without the formation of civil society. These states of nature present stark differences between one other that emphasize the different views the two author’s have on the natural human state. The states of nature each give rise to their own distinct and separate reasons for forming a civil society and, consequently, giving up rights in order to form a civil society. I will begin my essay by presenting both Locke’s and Hobbes’ state of nature and outlining their differences. Then I will analyze the ways in which Hobbes’ state of nature may be seen as more plausible, as well as considering some possible objections to Hobbes’ view. Next I will examine Locke’s view and why it may be considered more plausible in addition to looking at some arguments against it. In this paper I intend to argue that Hobbes’ state of nature makes the acceptance of a civil society more plausible, but that Locke’s state of nature presents more plausibility in commonly held views or intuitions people may hold today.
Hobbes’ state of nature sees men as equal to each other in regards to strength. That is, the faculties of man were created equally so that where one man may be physically stronger than another, the other man still has the opportunity to overcome his opponent through other means, such as the mind (29). However, Hobbes believes that men are in a constant state of competition as, if two men happen to have the same goal or end in mind, that “they cannot both enjoy, they… endeavor to destroy or subdue one another” (30). Because of this each man finds himself also in a constant state of fear of being stolen from in property, liberty or even life. The state of ...


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...re attractive. Therefore, Locke’s state of nature is not more plausible than Hobbes’ when it comes to the need to form a civil society, but it does present us with a more commonsensical or intuitive view of human nature as we know it today.
In conclusion, Hobbes’ state of nature lends more plausibility to the acceptance of a civil society, while Locke’s state of nature is more plausible in that it seems to align with some commonly held intuitions. Hobbes’ state of nature depicts the life of man as “nasty, brutish, and short” (31) and does not allow for innate morality, which for some may be seen as problematic for Hobbes’ theory. Locke’s state of nature seems to be more accessible as it presents a more dynamic picture of human nature. Moreover, it allows for an innate sense of morality within human beings that does not simply arise out of the formation of a society.

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Locke 's State Of Nature Essay

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