This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

John Locke Essay

1431 words - 6 pages

JOHN LOCKE

Summary
The First Treatise is a criticism of Robert Filmer’s Patriarcha, which argues in support of the divine right of kings. According to Locke, Filmer cannot be correct because his theory holds that every man is born a slave to the natural born kings. Locke refuses to accept such a theory because of his belief in reason and in the ability of every man to virtuously govern himself according to God’s law. The Second Treatise is Locke’s proposed solution to the political upheaval in England and in other modern countries. This text laid the foundation for modern forms of democracy and for the Constitution of the United States.
The Second Treatise consists of a short preface ...view middle of the document...

In society, war ends when the act of force, such as fighting, is over. When the last blow has been thrown, both parties can appeal to common authorities for the final resolution of past wrongs. But in nature, war does not end until the aggressive party offers peace and offers to repair the damage done. Locke claims that one of the major reasons people enter into society is to avoid the state of war.
Chapter v deals with the definition and function of property. Whether by natural reason or the word of the Bible, the earth can be considered the property of all the people in the world to use for their collective survival and benefit. But Locke also believes in individual property. For individual property to exist, there must be a way for individuals to take possession of the things around them. Locke explains that the best theory of right to ownership is rooted in the fact that each person owns his or her own body and all the labor that he or she performs with that body. So, when an individual adds his own physical labor, which is his own property, to a foreign object or material, that object and any resulting products become his property as well. Locke defines labor as the determining factor of value, the tool by which humans make their world a more efficient and rewarding place for all. Locke explains that money fulfills the need for a constant measure of worth in a trading system but is still rooted in the property of labor.
The rest of the Treatise is devoted to a more specific critique of government, stressing the rule of the majority as the most practical choice for government. He identifies three elements necessary for a civil society: a common established law, a known and impartial body to give judgment, and the power to support such judgments. He calls for a government with different branches, including a strong legislature, and an active executive who does not outstrip the lawmakers in power. Toward the end of the Treatise, Locke finally arrives at the question of forming a new government. When the state ceases to function for the people, it dissolve or is overthrown and may be replaced. When the government is dissolved, the people are free to reform the legislative to create a new civil state that works in their best interest. Locke insists that this system protects against random unrest and rebellion because it allows the people to change their legislative and laws without resorting to force.
Analysis
The ideas expressed in the Treatises arose in the middle of England’s political drama involving Charles II. Locke hoped to provide a convincing critique of England’s current form of government and lay the groundwork for a better option. At the time, Locke’s good friend and ally Lord Ashley, the Earl of Shaftesbury, was working from within the aristocracy to overthrow Charles II. Shaftesbury and many others wanted to prevent him from allowing James II, his Catholic brother, to ascend to the throne. Locke worked on both treatises over...

Other Papers Like John Locke

Social Contract Theory Of John Locke

1278 words - 6 pages Social Contract Theory of John Locke Luca D. Iaria University of Phoenix CJA 532/ Ethics in Justice and Security Professor: Cyril Vierra January 25, 2015 John Locke was a British Philosopher born in 1632. His most famous written work was The second treatise of civil government (written in 1690). This book focused on the natural state of man and how government should be structured. Locke was a fan of man to say the least. Locke describes

Contrasting Thomas Hobbes And John Locke

1042 words - 5 pages Contrasting Hobbes and Locke Nearly two-hundred and twenty-five years ago the United States of America chose to fight a Thomas Hobbes government, with the hope of forming a John Locke institution. The ideas of these men lead to the formation of two of the strongest nations in the history of the world: Great Britain followed by the United States. Thomas Hobbes viewed the ideal government as an absolute monarchy, due to the chaos of

Stuart Mill And John Locke Conception Of Freedom

2373 words - 10 pages Introduction John Locke (1632-1704) and John Stuart Mill (1806-1873) are two important thinkers of liberty in modern political thought. They have revolutionized the idea of human freedom at their time and have influenced many political thinkers afterwards. Although their important book on human freedom, John Locke’s The Second Treatise of Government (1689) and John Mill’s On Liberty (1859), are separated 170 years, some scholars thinks that they

John Locke: The Role Of Private Property In One's Life

1771 words - 8 pages In the Second Treatise of Government by John Locke written in 1690, he writes about the right to private property. In chapter V which is titled "Of Property" he tells how the right to private property originated, the role it plays in the state of nature, the limitations that are set on the rights of private property, the role the invention of money played in property rights and the role property rights play after the establishment of

Socrates and John Locke

787 words - 4 pages universal agreement)? Is he right? In John Locke’s Essay Concerning Human Understanding, he addresses his argument against innate ideas, and how exactly our ideas are not innate, but rather gained from experience. His basic argument against innate ideas was that if we were to have innate knowledge, then the same type of knowledge would be imprinted in everyone’s head. He brings up that children and “idiots” do not possess, nor do they have the

John Locke- Second Treatise Of Civil Government

725 words - 3 pages Locke believed that it is the natural right of all people to be free. Unfortunately, in a state of nature, the weak become deprived of their rights by the brutish. Locke states that government is necessary to protect the life and property of ordinary citizens, only because without it, the people cannot be free. Locke also advocated a strong set of checks and balances. He believed that the citizens themselves were the final set of checks and

The Resposibility Project

900 words - 4 pages to achieve this, they gave up their rights and freedoms freely to some authority by this contract who must command obedience. Thomas Hobbes believed that law should be dependent upon the sanction of the sovereign because it will preserve peace, life, and prosperity. The next philosopher is John Locke and his theory about social contract differed from that of Thomas Hobbes. According to John Locke man lived in a State of Nature, but his

Locke on Government

1028 words - 5 pages , the brilliant minds of the Enlightenment included men such as: Francis Bacon, Montesquieu, Voltaire, Jean Jacques Rousseau, and David Hume. One, foremost among their ranks, was John Locke. John Locke was born on August 28, 1634 in Somerset England and began his formal education in 1647 at the prestigious Westminster School for Boys. He went on to study literature, physical science, medicine, politics and natural philosophy at Christ Church in

Economical Philosophy

1679 words - 7 pages Yaw Ankobiah Essay Assignment 4/17/15 POLS 251 Professor Clarke Word Count: 1,597 The Ideals of Commerce of Aristotle vs. John Locke Aristotle and John Locke are two of the more prominent philosophers of their respective time periods when historically analyzing political philosophy. Each philosopher has many written sources of their beliefs and ideals, many of which go against the ‘norms’ of the societies of their time period. Second

Abstract Ideas: Locke Vs. Berkeley

954 words - 4 pages In the following paper I will present and analyze John Locke's position on the nature of general terms. I will do so by breaking down his position and then through the criticisms presented by George Berkeley will unveil more about the nature of general terms.In Locke's An Essay Concerning Human Understanding he discusses the nature of general terms. For this, Locke defines a general term as that which is used as sorter, putting entities into

A History of Modern Psychology

930 words - 4 pages reasoning. Rene Descartes, another philosopher determined that psychology is an actual discipline. There are several philosophers that have influenced 19th Century philosophy. Edward Hitzig and John Locke are respected 19th Century philosophers, just to name a few. These philosophers have had an impact on 19th Century philosophy like no other. Their discoveries provide a different perspective on modern psychology. ("Understanding Learners", n.d

Related Essays

John Locke Essay

633 words - 3 pages Christy Murphy WHO 1030 11:00 – 11:50 Case Study #1 John Locke John Locke was more than just an ordinary man. He was the son of a country attorney and born on August 29, 1632. He grew up during the civil war and later entered the Church of Christ and remained there as a student and teacher for many years. With a wide variety of political and religious views, John expressed most of his personnel views on education, social, political

John Locke Essay

1511 words - 7 pages happiness through seeing things “from the perspectives of eternity.” Spinoza wanted his ethics to show human life is subject to the universal laws of nature. We must, therefore, free ourselves from our emotion. John Locke (1632-1704) was one of the most famous empiricists. Locke wanted to understand where our ideas came from and how real our sense are. He felt we could perceive pure sensations and that we build these up through reflection to form

John Locke The Blueprint Essay

1017 words - 5 pages John Locke: The Blueprint Speech Outline Specific Purpose: to inform my audience about the contributions that philosopher John Locke made to American society. Central Idea: The impact of John Locke’s philosophies on the American Constitution and society. Introduction I. Imagine living in a land where the Government took away all of your hard earn money without justification or where the expression of your views and

Thomas Jefferson Vs. John Locke Essay

1354 words - 6 pages history books will tell that the contributing factors that formed Thomas Jefferson’s ideas of the identity of America were linked to events such as the Reformation, the Renaissance, and the British Country party. However, one man’s works continually surfaced in Jefferson’s political and even private writings. John Locke, a British Enlightenment philosopher, was repeatedly referenced in documents like the Declaration of Independence, the Notes on