Comparing Hobbes, Locke and Rousseau - Essay Example

Comments (0) Cite this document
There are multiple issues and controversies involved in this major problem including the meaning of political authority, the distinction between political authority and political power, moral…
Download full paperFile format: .doc, available for editing
GRAB THE BEST PAPER91% of users find it useful
Comparing Hobbes, Locke and Rousseau
Read TextPreview

Extract of sample "Comparing Hobbes, Locke and Rousseau"

Download file to see previous pages One of the key problems involved in the debate on justification of political authority is the balance between limitations imposed by any political authority and individual freedom. On the one hand, freedom is exceptionally important to the life of a person in many senses. On the other hand, an individual can not be allowed to act solely at his or her will: there must be certain rules for behavior. Establishing this balance between individual freedom and interests of the community is the key task of any state and government which acts like a stabilizer. In case this balance is in place, the highest level of individual freedom is achieved while the risk of falling into total anarchy is avoided (Popper, 1985).
According to Thomas Hobbes, in prehistoric uncivilized times before any sort of government emerged, there was constant war with “every man, against every man” (Hobbes, 1668, p.12). Consequently, Hobbesian justification of authority logically followed from the total brutality of human beings in their natural state characterized by intolerance: submission to authority was the only way to eliminate the brutality and intolerance of the State of Nature (Hobbes, 1668).
By contrast, John Locke believed that the original state of man was not as hostile as Hobbes thought. In Locke’s opinion happiness, reason and tolerance were the core characteristics of the natural man, and all humans, in their original state, were equal and absolutely free to pursue things, considered as indisputable rights, namely “…life, health, liberty and possessions” (Locke, 1990, par. 6). However, Locke’s State of Nature is not chaotic with every individual pursuing its own egoistic goals. Despite absence of any authority or government with the power to punish the subjects for wrong actions, Locke believed that the State of Nature was effectively regulated by morality. Since all human beings in the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
Cite this document
  • APA
  • MLA
(“Comparing Hobbes, Locke and Rousseau Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 1000 words”, n.d.)
Retrieved from
(Comparing Hobbes, Locke and Rousseau Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 1000 Words)
“Comparing Hobbes, Locke and Rousseau Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 1000 Words”, n.d.
  • Cited: 0 times
Comments (0)
Click to create a comment or rate a document

CHECK THESE SAMPLES OF Comparing Hobbes, Locke and Rousseau

Locke and Rousseau on Social Contract

... Ashcraft, Richard. John Locke: Critical Assessments. Ed. Preston King. New York: Routledge, 1991. Print. Boucher, David, and Paul Kelly. The Social Contract from Hobbes to Rawls. London: Routledge, 1994. Print. Laski, Harold. Political Thought in England from Locke to Bentham. Teddington, London: Echo Library, 2007. Print. Locke, John. Two Treatises of Government. London: Whitmore and Fenn, and C. Brown, 1821. Print. Rousseau, Jean Jacques. The Social Contract or Principles of Political Right. Trans. G. D. H. Cole. Kessinger Publishing, 2004.... ?The Social Contract: According to John Locke and Jean-Jacques Rousseau Locke’s Social Contract As a political philosopher, Locke...
5 Pages(1250 words)Research Paper

John Locke vs. Jean-Jacques Rousseau

...because it induces the people to have a new need that will make them compare to others eventually leading to a dominance of certain people over another. To avoid conflict, the prevailing class proposed to have some sort of body politic. Those who are powerless accept this believing that this will provide them freedom and safety when in fact will only make inequality more permanent by the establishment of laws. In a way, Rousseau can be said to be a precursor of Karl Marx’s socialist idea of class conflict that is precipitated by inequality in society. Locke on the other hand is the precursor of the modern idea of democracy because his theory of government in his Second Treatise of the...
3 Pages(750 words)Essay

Political Theory of Locke and Rousseau

...? Opportunity Exercise Shaunte Bowman Western Civilization II P.F. Navage 4/9 Political Theory of Locke and Rousseau Political Theory of Locke Locke is a philosopher, who was most recognized for his political theory and unparallel thinking on political and social arena .His political theory was that, human in his absolute form is peaceful and happy, and has the attribute of tolerance and reasoning in him. He claimed that every individual existing in this universe, has the right to be here and none had the right to harm one another. Hence, Locke is known as the “Father of liberalism” The contemporary concepts like “identity” and “self” was formulated with...
4 Pages(1000 words)Essay

Hobbes and Locke - Philosophy Paper

...Hobbes and Locke - Philosophy Paper In their works, Thomas Hobbes and John Locke explained the nature of power, of nature", and characterized "civil society" underlining the importance of state-church relations. (1) In his most prominent work "Leviathan", Thomas Hobbes explains the concept of the "state of nature". Thomas Hobbes supposed that the "state of nature" is especially evident in the exercise of power. So far as human beings are concerned the acquisition and exercise of power is inevitably connected with an agent's having some view of the good and an intention to bring it about. He explained that when all men lived without a...
5 Pages(1250 words)Essay

Hobbes and Locke

...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...
2 Pages(500 words)Essay

Thomas Hobbes vs. John Locke/pro John Locke

...Thomas Hobbes and John Locke stand out as two of the most prominent and influential of the political philosophers. Both are ified as social contract theorists but Hobbes, whose work predates Locke's by approximately one century, was the polar opposite of the latter. Indeed, it would hardly be an exaggeration were one to claim that the one's theory is the antithesis of the other's. The aforementioned is evidenced in the fact that both had very different notions of human nature and, accordingly, of the rationale behind the entry of citizens into a social contract, the implications of the said contracts and the rights of the populace versus the limits of government. ...
6 Pages(1500 words)Essay

Rousseau, Locke and Kant

...If changing the world means changing the beliefs, understandings, possibly even the worldviews of people, Rousseau, Locke and Kant have hanged the world. Certainly, unlike the case with Marx, their political philosophies did not inspire revolutions which changed nations, led to cold wars between East and West or motivated the construction of the Berlin Wall. However, Locke, Rousseau and Kant changed our political perspectives, our understanding of the rights and duties of citizens and states and emphasized man's right and responsibility to take political action, even revolution, when needed. From a subjective perspective, at least, these three philosophers have changed...
5 Pages(1250 words)Essay


...SOCIAL CONTRACT (after John Locke and Thomas Hobbes) 2009 John Locke and Thomas Hobbes are two representatives of the Age of Enlightenment. Both these authors caused a considerable influence upon the development of democracy, and for both of them personal liberty was an integral part of an ideal state. Both Locke and Hobbes were adherens of private property, and that was what embodied freedom for them. John Locke’s views John Locke’s political concept is based upon natural right and social contract theory. He proclaimed the division of powers into three branches: legislative, executive (which included...
4 Pages(1000 words)Assignment

The Social Contract Theory Of Hobbes, Locke, and Rousseau

...The Social Contract of Hobbes, Locke, and Rousseau Introduction The social contract is at theory that tries toexplain how the society originates as well as try to explain the presumed relationship between its members, how they acquire the responsibilities as well as their rights. It states that members of the society are accorded certain rights as a result of them giving up certain freedoms they can posses in the state of nature. The theory explains that the society enforces the rights and responsibilities that are borne by its members. Since these rights are not fixed and they are not natural, then it is possible for them to be altered should the society’s members decide to. It however...
2 Pages(500 words)Essay

The philosophers Thomas Hobbes and John Locke

...The Philosophers Thomas Hobbes and John Locke The Philosophers Thomas Hobbes and John Locke Philosophers Thomas Hobbes and John Locke hold different opinions on political authority. Locke believes that human beings are born free and equal; nature provides everyone with rights and governments are only formed to protect existing rights. This is different from Hobbes’ assumption that humankind is evil by nature and chaotic if left uncontrolled. Therefore, Hobbes advocates for absolute rule. Judging the two philosophers, the form of political authority that Locke favors is unrealistic. Hobbes believes that humankind is constantly faced by the threat of mayhem as everyone strives to satisfy their passions. As a result, formation... of a...
1 Pages(250 words)Assignment
sponsored ads
We use cookies to create the best experience for you. Keep on browsing if you are OK with that, or find out how to manage cookies.

Let us find you another Essay on topic Comparing Hobbes, Locke and Rousseau for FREE!

Contact Us