PHIL 1010 Lecture Notes - Atomic Theory, Plat, Practical Reason

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Published on 15 Apr 2013
School
University of Guelph
Department
Philosophy
Course
PHIL 1010
Locke's Liberal State
> Representation and 'persons'
Landowner's and rights
Who's going to 'sign on' to this program?
> Majority Rule
> Libertarian Locke or welfare state Locke?
Small government or big government
Locke's Two Radical Proposals
> Persons are rational, autonomous, equal and free by nature
This presents the basis for liberal individualism
Society is a collection of autonomous individuals seeking the security of central
governing bodies
Society is a collection of people
> Locke is representation
What does this mean exactly?
Representation
> The interests and opinions of the citizens are a key factor in making public
policy and legislation
> Political actors act on behalf of the citizenry
If they fail, in this regard, this is grounds for 'eviction'
> This sounds straightforward...
> Three issues that arise here:
Individualism as a basis for social organization, idea that society is a sum of
collection of individuals
Property and representation
Equality: what role does this play in the state
Individualism and Government
> Individuals for Locke:
Atomic theory of self
Goods acquirers of goods
Rational agents - Practical reasoning key here
Notions of justice and good based on individuals interests and inhibition of
personal freedom
Competitive
'a state of perfect freedom to order their actions ... as they think fit... without
asking leave, or depending on the Will of any other Man'
Limits on freedom must be justified on grounds that such limits secure our
individual interests/property
In fact, for Locke, law as a restriction must enhance our freedom to pursue our
interests and be safe in our property
Problems with this model
> Priority of individual over collective goods
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Document Summary

> libertarian locke or welfare state locke: small government or big government. > persons are rational, autonomous, equal and free by nature: this presents the basis for liberal individualism, society is a collection of autonomous individuals seeking the security of central governing bodies, society is a collection of people. > the interests and opinions of the citizens are a key factor in making public policy and legislation. > political actors act on behalf of the citizenry: if they fail, in this regard, this is grounds for "eviction" > three issues that arise here: individualism as a basis for social organization, idea that society is a sum of collection of individuals, property and representation, equality: what role does this play in the state. > priority of individual over collective goods: mills harms principle a good example, government has to pay attention to individuals right, that is freedom freedom to pursue as long as you don"t harm others.

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