During the Enlightenment period, many thinkers shared their ideas about society, Thinkers like John Locke, Baron de Montesquieu, Thomas Hobbes, and Jean-Jacques Rousseau wrote books to spread their ideas against the Old Order. First, John Locke believed everyone had natural rights. These natural rights were life,liberty,and property. The main purpose of the government would be to protect these rights. Locke influenced important people such as Thomas Jefferson when he wrote the Declaration of Independence. Instead of life,liberty and property, Jefferson use life,liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Second, Baron de Montesquieu believed in a separation of power in the government. If separation of powers is present in a government, it would
In the early eighteenth century, two English philosophers named Thomas Hobbes and John Locke were inspired by the brutal English Civil war to write about the natural characteristics of humans. In his book, Leviathan, Hobbes expresses his opinion that humans were naturally egotistical, vicious, and greedy towards others, as there would be no question of morality or punishment for their actions. However, Locke believed that humans had a natural sense of morality, and also that people had the natural rights of life, liberty, and property. Hobbes and Locke then used their opinions on basic human nature to define why people form a government, which they describe as a “social contract,”
Thomas Hobbes has been famous for his philosophies on political and social order. In many of his scholastic works, he maintains the position that in the presence of a higher authority the duty of the rest of mankind is to simply obey. The discourse on this essay will focus on his views expressed in his book The Leviathan. In this book Hobbes’ views are fundamentally entrenched in his description that in a society with no higher authority life would be nasty, short and brutish (?).This essay will engage in discussion by first laying out the conceptual arguments of anarchy and the human state of nature. Secondly, it will assess some of the opponent views to repressive government being the sure maintenance of political and social order. Furthermore an assessment of whether the theories of Hobbes are still relevant to the current understanding of International Relations considering the events and processes in this particular stage.
The social contract theory comes to effect when individuals are keen on leaving the state of nature, which entails a time of chaos and lawlessness. Hobbes views this state of nature as states of war where there are individuals constantly seeking to destroy each other in the constant quest for power. Whilst Hobbes believes that life in this state of nature is “nasty, brutish, and short,” Locke holds a more optimistic view of the state of nature. In Locke’s view of the state of nature, all men are free “to order their actions, and dispose of their possessions and persons, as they think fit, within the bounds of the law of
The natural state of mankind before forming a government. Hobbes and Locke both believed in a state of nature. They also both believed in a social contract. Hobbes wanted a government to protect people from each other. Locke wanted a government to protect our natural rights. Hobbes believed that power resided to the Monarch. Locke believed that power resided to the people. Hobbes believed that a government’s power cannot be limited. Locke believed that a government’s power can be limited. Hobbes believed that people do not have the the right to alter a government. Locke believed that people do have the right to alter a government.
Hobbes developed the ‘social contract theory’, which is the idea that civilians give up some of their freedom and liberty for protection from the leader. This concept, which was used during Hobbes’s time, is still a part of the government today. Hobbes brings down this concept in his world famous book, Leviathan. A picture of a ‘giant’ monarch holding onto a tiny world is used to describe his version of the social contract. The drawing depicts the trade of freedom for safety. His negative and pessimistic point of view on humanity led him to draft this version of the social contract. Hobbes, who lived in the United Kingdom, under the rule of a monarch, affected the government of this time by introducing this idea. His social contract defied a democracy, and favored a monarchy. The monarchs and rulers of his time approved of his draft, whereas rulers later on who believed in a democracy strongly disagreed with this
Two famous philosophers, Thomas Hobbes and John Locke, have contributed to modern political science by expressing their views on human nature and the general laws that man had to follow. Both of their views differed in terms of how man should live his life. These views will be shown by comparing both philosophers’ opinions on the nature of man, and the various laws that constituted.
Thomas Hobbes and John Locke are two theorists known for their views regarding the social contract. Both theorists study the origins of government and the level of authority given to the state over individuals, thoroughly constructing their arguments through the social contract. A philosophical approach was used in both Hobbes’s and Locke’s arguments, however supporting different authorities. Thomas Hobbes advocates for absolutism whilst John Locke advocates for a constitutional government. Through the close examination of the state of nature, the relationships between subject and sovereign and views regarding the social contract, one can observe a more sensible basis for constructing a successful political society.
When comparing the two different accounts of English philosophers Thomas Hobbes and John Locke we must take into consideration a number of things such as the age in which they lived and the time in which they produced their philosophical writings. We will however find out that these two philosophers actually have a couple of things in which agree on even though most of their opinions clash. On one side we have Thomas Hobbes who lived in the time of the English Civil War (1642-1651) who provides a negative framework for his philosophical opinions in his masterpiece Leviathan and who advocates for philosophical absolutism . On the other side we have John Locke, living during the glorious revolution (1688-1689) he presents a positive attitude in his book The Second Treatise of Government and advocates for philosophical and biblical constitutionalism.
Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679) theory of social contract, which states that we need moral, legal rules because we want to escape the state of nature which is solitary, poor, brutal, nasty, and short. In this state, a man can kill others, and there are limited resources. This can soon lead to a state of war in which we are constantly disposed to harm others to achieve our goals. So, in this state of war if a person was to possess a beautiful house or property, and had all the comforts, luxuries, and amenities to lead a wonderful life; others could come and harm him and deprive him of his fruit of labor, life, and liberty. Therefore, the state of nature is that of fear, violence, and distrust. There is only constant fear of violence and death, and hence the life of man will be solitary, poor, brutal, nasty, and short as Hobbes mentions.
Edmund Burke, after a visit to France in 1773, wrote a pamphlet titled Reflections on the Revolution in France (1790) to express his disdain for the events and methods of the French Revolution. Where other political writers of the Enlightenment and Anti-Enlightenment Eras propose theories of politics and government, Burke does not promote a theory, a set of premises, a call to action, or even a succinct conclusion. He rather details his disposition of contractual government and politic science. He believes that the human condition, the traditions, experiences, and knowledge acquired by humans, is far to complex to be described by science and therefore avoids he commonly held views of political science from the Enlightenment Era. However, Thomas Hobbes, as he writes in Leviathan (1651) believed that all political phenomenons could be reported systematically as he equated all humans to machines, predictable by consistently acting in their self interest. [PG 3] Burke’s criticism that can be applied to Hobbes lies on three fronts; that the understanding human condition cannot be derived through logic; that consent, explicit or tacit, does not exist after the first social contract; and that a rebellion is neither possible nor effective when in a social contract.
Hobbes’s opinions about politics and government were far different from fellow English philosopher John Locke’s in his document Second Treatise of Government published in 1689. Locke existed during a much later period in Europe, when the Wars of Religion was over and England had established the Glorious Revolution Agreement between Dutch nobility, William and Mary, and Parliament. Due to the different time periods in which Hobbes and Locke lived, their experiences had a major effect on their opinions about government. Hobbes’ Leviathan and Locke’s Second Treatise of Government had different opinions regarding a man’s state of nature and social contract.
The anarchist’s challenge states that there is no explicit need for governmental organization and the social contract is limiting individuals from reaching pure freedom. Anarchy literally translates to “without government.” Theorists like William Godwin and Max Striner argued that the individual is sovereign. Their emphasis is on complete autonomy of the individual, rather than the State of Society; this distinguished them from later anarchist thinkers, such as Michael Bakunin and George Woodcock (Carter, 1971). These Anarchist theorists truly believe that anarchy is the best option for people, and it is only without government that people can be free. Anarchists fundamentally object to the notion of a social contract and promote the freedom of the individual. Hobbes’ social contract theory provides a compelling answer to the anarchist’s challenge through his explanation of the state of nature and his solution being an absolute sovereign; furthermore, this argument is supported with historical examples.
Thomas Hobbes proposed that the ideal government should be an absolute monarchy as a direct result of experiencing the English Civil War, in which there was internal conflict between the parliamentarians and the royalists. Hobbes made this claim under the assumption that an absolute monarchy would produce consistent policies, reduce conflicts and lower the risk of civil wars due to the singular nature of this ruling system. On another hand, John Locke counters this proposal with the view that absolute monarchies are not legitimate as they are inconsistent with the state of nature. These two diametrically opposed views stem from Hobbes’ and Locke’s different understandings of human nature, namely with regard to power relationships, punishment, and equality in the state of nature. Hobbes’ belief that human beings are selfish and appetitive is antithetical with Locke’s contention that human beings are intrinsically moral even in the state of nature, which results in Locke’s strong disagreement with Hobbes’ proposed absolute monarchy.
Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Thomas Hobbes, two titans of the Enlightenment, work within similar intellectual frameworks in their seminal writings. Hobbes, in Leviathan, postulates a “state of nature” before society developed, using it as a tool to analyze the emergence of governing institutions. Rousseau borrows this conceit in Discourse on Inequality, tracing the development of man from a primitive state to modern society. Hobbes contends that man is equal in conflict during the state of nature and then remains equal under government due to the ruler’s monopoly on authority. Rousseau, meanwhile, believes that man is equal in harmony in the state of nature and then unequal in developed society. Thus, both men would evaluate the statement that “in a legitimate state all men are free and there is no inequality,” differently. Rousseau would mostly disagree, holding that the state itself is the impetus for inequality. Hobbes would largely agree, contending that men are equal both in a primitive state of conflict and under a sovereign’s awesome power. These different responses result from the philosophers’ opposing views on fundamental human nature, civil society’s raison d’etre, and government’s inevitable form.