Comparing John Locke and Thomas Hobbes Essay

1241 Words 5 Pages
Thomas Hobbes and John Locke are two political philosophers who are famous for their theories about the formation of the society and discussing man in his natural state.
Their theories are both psychologically insightful, but in nature, they are drastically different. Although they lived in the same timeframe, their ideas were derived from different events happening during this time. Hobbes drew his ideas on man from observation, during a time of civil strife in Europe during the 1640's and 1650's. Locke drew his ideas from a time where Hobbes did not have the chance to observe the, glorious revolution. In uncivilized times, in times before government, Hobbes asserted the existence of continual war with "every man, against every man."
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This convention holds in our society and is revealed through in everyday items such as keys. We lock our cars and houses so that others are physically prevented from having access to what is ours, an observation Hobbes himself makes. Control, security and limitation are encountered in each person?s daily life. Behind this control is politics. In our society, authority decides what is right and wrong, good and evil; essentially what we are protected against and what we are not.

John Locke kept more optimistic beliefs. In the state of nature men mostly kept their promises and honored their obligations, and believed man is reasonable rather than selfish as according to Hobbes. Locke maintained that the original state of nature was happy and characterized by reason and tolerance. He further maintained that all human beings, in their natural state, were equal and free to pursue life, health, liberty, and possessions; and that these were inalienable rights.

He stated that men in its nature are independent and equal and the reason for why person will join the society is the willingness to avoid the conflicts and war that will provide the security for this person. Humans know what is right and wrong, and are capable of knowing what is lawful and unlawful well enough to resolve conflicts. In particular, and most importantly, they are capable of telling the difference between what is theirs and what belongs to someone else.

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