Locke’s account of the acquisition of property
• ‘God has given the earth to the children of men.”; given it to mankind in common
• nobody has any right to but himself. The labour of his body
o Mixing his labour in with it, at removing it from the common state of nature,
o The consent of everyone in the commons is not necessary because nature is plentiful
and man should only take so much as is required.
o “Nothing was made by God for man to spoil or destroy.” (sec 31)
• “God, when he gave the world in common to all mankind, commanded man also to labour,
and the penury of his condition required it of him. God and his reason commanded him to
subdue the earth, i.e., improve it for the benefit of life, and therein lay out something upon
it that was his own, his labour.” (sec 32)
• The logic behind the right to appropriate land is because appropriation does not mean that
other people are less well off since “there was still enough, and as good left; and more than
the yet unprovided could use.”
• “God gave the world to men in common; but since he gave it to them for their benefit… he
gave it to the use of the industrious and rational (and labour was to be his title to it)” (sec
• Within a confined boarder
o production is far more productive than leaving the land to nature.
o liable to be punished since he invades on his neighbours share of the commons. (sec 37)
• Labour puts the difference of value on everything (Sec 40)
• An American King
• The role of government is the establishment of laws to secure protection for industry and
• Between countries, countries give up their rights
o Short life span
o If a man sells his labour, or the product of his labour, then he is doing a justice by not
exploiting the land and letting it rot while under his possession. Similarly, bartering is
doing a justice to the commons.
• “And thus came in the use of money, some lasting thing that men might keep without spoiling,
and that by mutual consent men would take in exchange for the truly useful, but perishable supports of life.” (sec 48)
• monetary system, men agree to a system of disproportionate and unequal possession on the earth
since a measure of a mans wealth is (supposedly) a measure of his labour output
• -Anyone may appropriate only enough so as much and as good of a supply is left for others
• -one may appropriate only as much as he can before it spoils
• -one may acquire only what that person mixes with his labour
3) Explicate Hobbes’s account of the state of nature. Why, according to Hume, does this fictitious
state provide insight into justice but not our natural condition?
HUME--Justice is artificial
-Actions should be judged primarily by the motives that produce them.
Motive before action always with respect to virtuosity
-Were not natural affection a duty, the care of children would not be a duty. All men
suppose a motive to the action distinct from a sense of duty.
-No action is virtuous or morally good unless there be in human nature
some motive to produce it distinct from a sense of morality
-People can fake virtuosity if they don’t have a morality they should
-EG lending money. In SON no obligation to repay or abide by word . virtue is not
dependent on the external. Must come from within
-If appeals to the public interest are made- loan was secret and stays that way, man
is not kind and will take advantage of u, public interest only connected to justice
after establishment of conventions, not by nature
-No such passion for honesty or justice in human mind. Sympathy for others arises
only in that we can understand others pain, and that goes cross species not just in
-Men generally focus their attention on what they have vs. what they wish to attain.
Maintaining what they have – private compassion is not the source of justice
-Justice arises not naturally but from conventions and education. Sense of DUTY
follows the common and natural course of our passions. Man loves son more than.
More than. More than.
-Justice may be artificial but virtue is the most natural principle of the human mind.
Man is an invention animal and when invention is obvious and absolutely necessary
it can be said to be natural out of human principle 4) Hume claims that, with regard to the performance of promises, “its exact observance is to be
considered as an effect of the institution of government, and not the obedience to government as an
effect of the obligation of a promise.” Reconstruct Hume’s depiction of the consent argument, and
his criticism of the argument in light of the aforementioned quote.
5) Why does Kant claim that the prohibition against resistance to the state must be absolute? [Hint:
to answer this question you must consider the formal condition of external duties and the test of
rightfulness for any supposed right to resist.
6) Provide an explication of Mill’s Harm Principle. Does his Harm Principle provide an absolute
prohibition against interference with the liberty of citizens? Explain your answer.
• Everyone who receives the protection of society owes a return for the benefit. Each citizen should
be bound to observe a certain line of conduct towards the rest
o Not to injure the interests of one another
• Offending is justly punishable by opinion, but not through law.
• When a persons actions affect only himself (providing the person is of full age and ordinary
amount of understanding), there should be perfect freedom, legally and socially, to do the action
and stand the consequences
o Humans should encourage each other to make the right decisions but people are entitled
to do what they want
o If someone chooses to go against the judgement of others, then that is their prerogative,
but they should not be discriminated against on such grounds. The consequences of his
poor decisions should be sufficient and we shouldn’t seek to further his pain and
We are not bound to seek his society; we have a right to avoid it and to choose
the society most acceptable to us.
• Only acts encroaching on the rights of others are considered moral reprobation or grounds for
• Some rebut that no person is entirely isolated and it is impossible for a person to do anything
seriously or permanently harmful to himself without mischief reaching at least to his near
connections (through his familial obligations or though his examples in conduct)
o A person should only be punished for the breach of duty, but not for the extravagance
o Only when there is definite risk of damage to an individual or the public is the law
brought into deal with the situation. Where there is no immediate risk, there is no right
for the law • Additionally, if protection is due to those who are under age then isn’t protection still to be
afforded to those of mature age?
o Society has absolute power over them over their early portion of existence: it has had the
whole period of childhood and nonage in which to try whether it could make them
capable of rational conduct in life if society lets any considerable number of its members
grow up mere children, incapable of being acted on by rational consideration of distant
motives, then society itself is to blame for the consequences.
• No person should feel that anyone else has the right to tell them what to do. If this is the case,
then acting against what they are told is a form of rebellion against society.
• Furthermore, when society does interfere, they likely will not know what is best for your
wellbeing since they hold an outsiders perspective. They are not the best judge of our own self