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Hobbes and Locke - Essay Example

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Leviathan" (1651) proposes contractarianism and Sovereignty. Leviathan serves as a political metaphor, alluding to the Bible. It argues that an ideal commonwealth is best attained by a sovereign power, which has an absolute authority responsible for protecting the security and the common defense of the Commonwealth.
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Hobbes and Locke
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"Leviathan" (1651) proposes contractarianism and Sovereignty. Leviathan serves as a political metaphor, alluding to the Bible. It argues that an ideal commonwealth is best attained by a sovereign power, which has an absolute authority responsible for protecting the security and the common defense of the Commonwealth.
In the First Part: Of Man, Hobbes' philosophy is built in the manner of a geometrical proof. He observes that the universe is a "plenum" filled with material bodies. The innate condition of mankind and the state of nature here is essentially brutal and it is a "war of every man against every man," (Hobbes, 79) in which one continually seeks to annihilate the other. Human beings naturally seek peace, and the best way to achieve peace is to construct the Leviathan through social contract. The Second Part: Of Commonwealth, shows the process of erecting the Leviathan by outlining the rights of sovereigns and subjects, and draws the legislative and civil mechanics of the commonwealth. He deduces twelve principals of the sovereign, proposes censorship of the press and the restriction of free speech rights for the promotion of order. The Third Part: Of the Christian Commonwealth, formulates the compatibility of Christian doctrine and the religious system of the Leviathan. He argues that though there is no God personally present in this world, even in the incarnation of Christ, there is a Prime Mover who intervenes in the world through the mediation of matter.Hobbes thus takes theological knowledge and reinterprets it to conform to his determination of natural facts and philosophical conclusions. The Fourth Part: Of the Kingdom of Darkness, engages in deflating false religious beliefs and argues that the political implementation of the Leviathanic state is necessary to achieve a secure Christian commonwealth. He denounces the idea that the Kingdom of God was the present Church and calls them deceivers who by their erroneous doctrines "disprepare" men "for the kingdom of God to come." (Hobbes, 378)
John Locke in his "Two Treaties of Government" (1689) recommends that the endeavor of a government should to provide liberty and security, but that the populace has a right to bring down the government when it fails to offer any.
John Locke provides an alternative version of the Hobbesian ideology and debates that the state of nature was happy and characterized by reason and tolerance. In Essay One, Chapter II, he maintains that the state of nature was ruled by equality and independence where none had a right to harm another's "life, health, liberty, or possessions" (Locke, Pg.107). In such a realm, Locke argues, the state was formed by a voluntary social contract where each was his own judge. Locke maintains that individuals living outside the natural law had no protection and that the state should be guided by the natural law. In Essay One: The False Principles and Foundation of Sir Robert Filmer, and His Followers, Are Detected and Overthrown, Locke attacks the views of Robert Filmer who had argued for an absolutist monarchy based upon the divine right policy. Locke denounces the doctrine of jury divino and negates Filmer's idea of mankind's primogeniture from Adam He advocates that no state could juxtapose upon the natural equality and freedom of man. In the Essay Two: Concerning the True Original Extent and End of Civil Government, Locke portrays the state of nature as one where individuals make judgements based upon the requirements of the law of nature. He asserts that the natural state of mankind is essentially anarchic. In contrast to Hobbes, who posited the state of nature as a hypothetical possibility, Locke shows that such a state did indeed exist. The second treatise also features Locke's views on conquest and slavery, property, representative government, and the right of revolution. Locke advocates the importance of the rights of property and maintains that each individual has a right to the product of his or her labor.
Works Cited
Hobbes, Thomas. "Leviathan or the Matter, Forme, & Power of a Common-wealth Ecclesiasticall and Civill." 1651, By Thomas of Malmesbury London, printed for Andrew Crooke, at the Green Dragon in St. Pauls Church-yard, Prepared for the McMaster University Archive of the History of Economic Thought, by Rod Hay, McMaster University History of Economic Thought Archive, September 2003, McMaster University Website, 24 June 2006. Locke, John. "Two Treatises Of Government by John Locke from The Works of John Locke." 1689, A New Edition, Corrected. In Ten Volumes. Vol. V. London: Printed for Thomas Tegg; W. Sharpe and Son; G. Offor; G. and J. Robinson; J. Evans and Co.: Also R. Griffin and Co. Glasgow; and J. Gumming, Dublin. 1823. Prepared by Rod Hay, for the McMaster University Archive of the History of Economic Thought Archive, September 2003, McMaster University Website, 24 June 2006. . Read More
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