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Hobbes and Lockes - Term Paper Example

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Name Instructor Class 9 October 2013 Contracts, Consent, and States of Nature: Hobbes versus Locke Seventeenth-century philosophers were concerned of the transition from no-state to state societies. Thomas Hobbes’ Leviathan and John Locke’s Second Treatise of Government explore the transition toward governments and civil societies using the concepts of State of Nature, contracts, and consent…
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Hobbes and Lockes
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Download file to see previous pages This section compares and contrasts Hobbes’ and Locke’ political theories on the nature of consent and contracts, where they have similar beliefs because they both think that consent is needed to form valid contracts. Hobbes and Locke share similar views on why consent and contracts are needed to cope with the State of Nature. Consent means that people are willing to leave the State of Nature to form a civil society that will serve communal needs and interests. Hobbes asserts that a covenant is needed to create a civil society that evades the State of Nature. He employs several terms to explain the roles of citizens and the Sovereignty in civil society. He uses the understanding of consent in relation to the status of the Sovereign as an Artificial Person by showing, that, by public consent, someone becomes an Artificial Person that has greater power than a natural person. Hobbes describes a person as someone “... ...
Hobbes argues that the Secondary State of Nature can allow the making of a valid contract because it concerns obligations and includes God as the source of enforcing power of laws: “All therefore that can be done between two men not subject to Civil Power is to put one another to swear by the God he feareth.” Because of their belief in God, they can agree on making and following a contract. Apart from fear of the State of War, Hobbes maintain that people have to give consent to create contracts. He notes that the covenant binds people upon their recognition of the Common-wealth: “I Authorize and give up my Right of Governing myself, to this Man, or to this Assembly of men, on this condition, that thou give up thy Right to him, and Authorize all his Actions in like manner.” People do not want to be completely alienated from each other despite the State of War, so it becomes relevant for them to confer authority on the Common-wealth as a binding Covenant. Their consent allows them to produce a Commonwealth and to accept their Sovereign ruler. Likewise, Locke believes that people consent to the social contract first before it becomes valid, and like Hobbes, he notes that people do not want a State of War, so they want to enter a civil society. Hobbes and Locke agree that consent is needed to form valid contracts and that when people are coerced to form contracts, these contracts are invalid. Hobbes says: “The cause of Feare, which maketh such a Covenant invalid, must be alwayes something arising after the Covenant made.” Locke confirms that consent must not be forced, or else, the contract is voided. Locke further believes that consent can be tacit or express; however, consent must be express to fully participate in the government. He stresses that ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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