A comparison of hobbes and lockes philosophical viewpoints on law

John Locke 29 August 28 October Two Philosophers Two prominent English political philosophers have had a profound impact on modern political science.

A comparison of hobbes and lockes philosophical viewpoints on law

One reason for these different conclusions lies in their opposing understanding of human nature, with, in the most crude sense, Hobbes seeing man as a creature of desire and Locke as one of reason.

A second explanation for their conclusions is their understanding of the nature of rights. Locke saw certain rights as independent of government or the state, whereas Hobbes, in a sense, saw them as coming from the state.

This position of Hobbes is arrived at in a systematic way that perhaps makes him the father of political science. In terms of human agency Hobbes viewed motion as producing delight or displeasure within us. Obviously we will desire those pleasure or delight inducing motions rather than painful or even contemptible ones and so are in a fixed search for felicity and aversion to pain.

Furthermore, Hobbes saw men as roughly equal. Although one man may be physically stronger than another and one smarter than another, these differences do not produce any sort of natural hierarchy. In terms of intellectual equality Hobbes describes how any given man will often believe himself to be more wise than most others.

Yet it cannot be logically possible for most men to be more wise than most others. Our search for felicity coupled with us being relatively equal in terms of capabilities sets us on a collision course.

We want to fulfil our desires, but our neighbours want to fulfil theirs too. If we have the same tangible desire and that object is in scarcity then we will be on a path to confrontation. This confrontation puts our ultimate end or strongest desire self preservation in great jeopardy and if our opponent is successful and subordinates, kills or takes what we possess, the same misfortune may soon await him.

The problems associated with this search for felicity and aversion of the undesired do not end here though. For there is also the consideration of potential enemies.

A comparison of hobbes and lockes philosophical viewpoints on law

For man X may desire a set piece of land and take it peacefully, but his knowing that all else is equal could give him reason to suspect that man Y or Z may have a desire to take this land, even though they have made no such expression of the will.

In such a case he may make a pre emptive strike to eliminate what are merely potential enemies. It even matters not the status of either Y or Z.

Y may be a man of many possessions and prestige and so X has reason to suspect him of wanting to further these attributes.

Z may be a man with nothing and so X knows he also has motive to take his land and so in the state of nature no man is safe, not the figurative prince nor pauper. Yet still this is not all, for the picture painted becomes even worse if we consider those who simply enjoy conquest or the suffering of others.

Self preservation is the only right or perhaps obligation is more apt independent of government. For he saw the state as being prior to any kind of virtue which coupled with the picture painted informs why he thinks the state of nature to be a state of war.

Finally, Hobbes gives a list of laws of nature. These laws essentially come down to the fact that it is rational for us to seek peace in the state of nature, which would apparently conflict with the entire scenario he has so far presented.

However the laws of nature are an expression of collective rationality were as our behaviour described in the state of nature is an example of individual rationality.

While it may be rational to seek peace this is only possible if everyone else seeks peace and given the suspicious nature of man out with the state and the lack of mechanisms a commonwealth available to achieve this end, this expression of collective rationality simply cannot be made.

We have a duty to obey this law. While we have a duty to obey this law it does not follow that we would, like any law it requires an enforcer. The step Locke takes to solve this problem is to say, like Hobbes, that we are all equal and so we all have the authority to enforce the law of nature.

In applying the laws of nature man must do so to two effects; reparation and restraint. Locke believed that reason would enable the expression of the collective rationality for anyone who breaks the laws of nature has made himself an enemy to all mankind, and by definition to oneself.

He further goes onto say that a man who has received damage to his property in seeking reparation may be joined with other men who recognise the wrong he has been done. Together they may enforce reparations proportionate to the transgression.John Locke and Thomas Hobbes were known as social contract theorists as well as natural law theorists.

However, they are both completely different in terms of their stand and conclusions in several laws of nature. Thomas Hobbes was an English philosopher from Malmesbury.

He became famous when his. Hobbes vs Locke Thomas Hobbes, and John Locke both developed theories on human nature, the state of nature, how men govern themselves and the dynamics of the social contract. With the passing of time, political views on the philosophy of government steadily changed.

John Locke and Thomas Hobbes were known as social contract theorists as well as natural law theorists. However, they are both completely different in terms of their stand and conclusions in several laws of nature. Thomas Hobbes was an English philosopher from Malmesbury. He . Jul 01,  · Whatever the views that one has on Hobbes or Locke, it is important to see that both have had a profound influence on modern politics, human rights and specifically in the formation of the United States of nationwidesecretarial.coms: 8.

Hobbes believed that it was every man for himself, while Locke thought that the law of nature bound men and prevented an uncontrollable state like Hobbes’; “But though this be a state of liberty, yet it is not a state of license” ().

Hobbes. Locke. Rousseau. State of Nature. The state of nature is a state of war. No morality exists. Everyone lives in constant fear. Because of this fear, no one is really free, but, since even the “weakest” could kill the “strongest” men ARE equal. Men exist in the state of .

The State of Nature: Thomas Hobbes vs. John Locke | Owlcation