Comparing Hobbe's and Locke's Theories on Nature

1224 Words Jun 24th, 2018 5 Pages
Two books that I am going to be drawing information from for my paper are Hobbes’ “Leviathan” and Locke’s “Two Treatises of Government.” This essay will be focusing on the differences between Hobbes’ and Locke’s ideas on the state of nature. One of the biggest, and in my opinion most important points that makes Hobbes different from Locke is his belief that the state of nature is equal to the state of war. Thomas Hobbes was an English philosopher, who lived between 1588 and 1679. He witnessed multiple events throughout his life that later led him to write his book “Leviathan,” in 1651 once the war had ended. Hobbes witnessed the English Civil War (1642-1651), the interregnum period of England starting in 1649, and the hardest of them …show more content…
After that Hobbes goes on to say, “The life of man is solitary, poore, nasty, brutish, and short.” (Hobbes) He argues that nothing is unjust in the state of nature. He believes that everyone has the right to do anything he/she wants because in the state of nature, there is no right or wrong and there is no law; everyone can do everything and nothing can be unjust. He says that “ Where there is no common power, no law; where no law, no injustice.” (Hobbes)
So all in all with Hobbes, he believes that all people are equal, therefore no power over the others in the state can be established. Everyone is the enemy to everyone else, therefore, no on can secure himself/herself, there is no property, and nothing is unjust. So overall, Hobbes state of nature is very pessimistic and is not a place to survive.
Locke’s idea of the state of nature is that everyone is equal to everyone. He states that, “the state of nature is also the state of equality, wherein all the power and jurisdiction is reciprocal, no one having more than another..” (Locke) Locke however, does not think that this leads the people to war. He thinks that the state of nature is NOT equal to the state of war, but there is a chance of it becoming the state of war. He says that the person who committed the crime against a certain person puts himself in the state of war with that
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