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Thomas Hobbes and John Locke Philosophy Ideas


Thomas Hobbes and John Locke were two prominent thinkers who argued in different ways. Their distinctions show how historical experiences formed one's outlook and affected one's argument. They both represented a growing trend to use reason as the concluding judgment of things in European society in the 17th and 18th centuries.


Hobbes’s account of voluntary motion implies conscious behavior, and that humans are motivated by fancies of the mind. Many people claim to think that it involves psychological egoism, since the philosopher states that people are driven by their appetites and aversions.

Hobbes inclined to think that a civil society should exist only due to the power of the state. When the philosopher speaks of the laws of nature, he explains that human knowledge is weak and useless in resolving practical disputes. When Hobbes discusses the right of nature, he means that life of every person is solitary, brutish, and short.

Retrieved from https://jim.com/hobbes.htm

The philosopher claims that his first and second laws of nature lead to the formation of a civil society because he has concluded that it is natural and appropriate for people to exchange some of their liberty for a security of self-preservation. Hobbes also asserts that a civil society requires an absolute sovereign, since the purpose of government is to enforce law and protect people (Hobbes).

I think that Hobbes is wrong, as his theoretical conception of the covenant disregards practical considerations. The idea of people gathering together in order to agree to a covenant has never been realized previously. On top of that, his concepts regarding the sovereign’s rights conflict with some of his other ideas.

Locke explained that in the state of nature, most people keep their promises and value their obligations. He pointed out that Hobbes’s statement regarding the state of nature is nothing but the state of war. Locke refuted the claim of his opponent by making real historical examples of individuals in the state of nature.

What concerns the knowledge of natural law, Locke stated that humans know what is correct and what is not. He asserted that they are able to distinguish lawful actions from unlawful ones well-enough to resolve any conflicts. People are capable of understanding the difference between their property and things that belong to someone else. Unfortunately, people do not always act in accordance with this knowledge.

Locke's political philosophy reveals that the notion of consent is significant. His analysis starts with people in the state of nature, where they are not subjected to a common legitimate authority and have the ability to judge disputes. The philosopher defines individual consent as the instrument with which political societies are established, while individuals join them. Locke clearly states that a person can become a complete member of the society by an act of expressing consent (Locke).

Retrieved from https://plato.stanford.edu/

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I would say that Locke is basically correct and convincing because legitimacy and consent have a solid conceptual bond. All legitimate exercises of political authority need the consent of those over whom the authority is implemented. This link is reactive to a variety of considerations.


In conclusion, Locke and Hobbes were both social contract and natural law theorists. However, their views regarding the state and the right of nature are completely different. Hobbes reiterated that the state needs to have limitless power in order to end all conflicts and contentions. He envisioned all non-state societies as bad happenings that have to be terminated. Locke argues that government is legitimate, however, only as long as it acts within the scope of the implied contract.

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