Tutorial #4 12/10/2012 07:35:00
1. How is Locke's understanding of political power different from other types
of power (for example husband over wife or father over children)?
Political power is there to make sure rights and freedoms are not
imposed on, whereas family can impose on your rights and control
Political power keeps the public in mind
2. How does he conceptualize men in the „state of nature‟?
Men in the „state of nature‟ are equal and have perfect freedom –
act according to will
Equal unless otherwise indicated by God - egalitarian
They take and give, but are steadily at the same pace
Everyone has the executive power of the law of nature
We need to use reason
3. Why start with the „state of nature‟? What is he trying to argue/illustrate?
Inconveniences in the state of nature (objectivity)
Why we created political power & why it is in our best interest
considering the circumstances and problems with the state of
Locke says we need a government (we were created by God, God
made us rational), Marx says we don‟t (we are rational because we
Showing the utopian state?
o Ideally, men are equal and free, and would be able to handle
this, but complications of life (property, violence) can shift
this balance far too easily
4. Why do men need the civil society? What do we give up? What are the
Lack of objectivity
We give up our perfect freedom and some of our power to the state
– especially our punishment, that goes to the Magistrate
In return, we get laws and protection – transparent system
Government to restrain the partiality and violence of men
Self-love makes men too partial to themselves
Decide controversies, punish offenders
We go into civil society to avoid the state of war
5. How do we make things our property? Are there limits?