SOAN 2111 Lecture 2: SOAN 2111 - John Locke CourseReadingPackage Notes

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SOAN 2111
John Locke (1632-1704) is the most representative thinking of the English American
tradition of social thought. He is known as the father of the English Enlightenment. His
ideas became reality, shaping actual institutions above the law as well as the common
sense of a confident and ultimate bourgeoisie along with the Calvinist. The war was part
of this struggle. Both constitutionalism and toleration became important for Locke and a
part of his writings. He attended the college of Oxford where he was never happy and
decided to leave. Taking opposition of Cooper lead him to the heart of the political
conflicts of the restoration period.
His political writing takes aim at two arguments for absolute government. In the first
treatise his target is the patriarchal theory of divine right stated by Filmer in 1960. He
opposed him by citing scripture but with empirical arguments. In the second one, he
states an issue with Hobbes. Hobbes assumed that without the restraints of the
government, men would be in a chronic state of war and insecurity – war of against all.
Humans are by nature so competitive and their desires are restless and unfixed. They
have the struggle between peace and anarchy.
Two Treatises on Government
II of the state of nature
4. to understand the political power right and derive it from its original we must consider
what state all men are naturally in and that is a state of perfect freedom: order their
actions and dispose of their posessions and person as they think fit within the boundaries
of the laws of nature without asking to leave or depend on the will of any other man.
A state of equality wherein all the power and juridicism is reciprocal, no one having more
than another, we have the same advantages in nature without having subordination or
subjection unless by the lord master of them all.
5. Equality of men in which making the foundation and obligation of mutual love
amongst all men and build the duties they owe one another.
6. In a state of Liberty can dispose his person or possessions he does not have the Liberty
to destroy himself or any creature in his possession where preservation calls for it.
The State of Nature has a law of nature to govern it which obliges everyone and teaches
every man who consult it: that everyone be equal and independent and show no harm in
their liberty, health, and possessions. It should not become a competition to preserve its
own mankind.
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