Hobbes and Locke: Comparing and Contrasting Political Philosophies

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(A) Comparing and contrasting the political philosophies of Thomas Hobbes and John Locke Thomas Hobbes and John Locke are comparable in their basic political ideologies about man and their rights in the state of nature before they enter a civil society. Their political ideas are very much similar in that regard. The resemblance between Hobbes and Locke’s philosophies are based on a few characteristics of the state of nature and the state of man. Firstly, in the state of nature both Hobbes and Locke agree that all men are created equal, but their definitions of equality in the state of nature slightly differ. According to Locke, “…in the state of nature… no one has power over another…” Locke’s version or idea of equality in the state of…show more content…
These dissentions create “… that kind of strife inevitably causes the worst of conflicts” , adding to the perpetual state of war. According to Locke, the state of war occurs because of destruction and enmity, which results from the perfect freedom and liberty found in the state of nature. This idea is similar to Hobbes’ reasons for the state of war, yet, Locke believes that it also occurs because of the “presence of a common authority that fails to act justly, the only possible state is a state of war, because the arbitrating power in place to stop war is itself in violation of the laws of nature and justice.” However, Locke’s law of nature that governs this state goes against Hobbes’ idea of self-preservation, because it does not allow for man to harm another’s life, liberty, health or possessions. This natural law is based on the idea that every man may be free in the state of nature, but everything belongs to one omnipotent power, “the Maker”. This natural law aids in the peace and preservation of all mankind, and is a responsibility that is given to every man and along with that the authority to punish transgressors of this law. This is another natural right of man, but it is one that could never be truly enforced in the state of nature. Since Locke established that all men are created equal by the same omnipotent power, he is also saying that no one man has the power to

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