I will begin by giving a little background on the philosopher John Locke. Locke was born on August 28, 1632 near the city of Pensford in England, and he was educated at Westminster School in London in 1647 . After extensive reading and learning Locke began writing a number of different philosophical treatises and essays starting about 1680 and continuing through 1699 when he decided to spend the rest of his life in quiet reflection . The piece ok Locke’s work that we will be looking at for the purpose this paper is his book, An Essay concerning Human Understanding, and more specifically chapter twenty one that discusses his notion of power. I hope to accomplish two things in this paper. The first part, is to use this chapter and commentaries to explore Locke definition of power, which is when the mind, “informed by the senses,” is aware of and reflects on the changes that are internal to the self and external to the object relating to the senses . Locke then continues that there are two ways to look at power, the first is the power to make changes and the second is the power to be a receiver of changes . This is Locke’s notion of power formulated in a simplistic form, and I will attempt to explain the complex arguments he makes so that they will be more clear and direct. In the second part I will bring to light some of Locke’s errors in his consideration of pleasure and pain, according to the determination and morality of the will. Locke’s goal for happiness in life
In 1981, the nation was a loose confederation of states, which each operated like an independent country. The government had no judicial branch or executive officer. It lacked the authority to enforce its requests for money or troops from states. Since recently earning independence, the founders and public sought to protect the following in the Constitution: freedom of speech, freedom of press, freedom of religion, the right to bear arms, the right to not be subject to unreasonable seizures or searches, the right to not be forced to quarter soldiers, the right to due process of the law, the right to a fast and public trial by jury with counsel, the right to a civil trial by jury, the right to not be subjected to excessive bail and cruel punishment, and protection of state’s rights. Current protections and responsibility of states and Americans found in the U.S. Constitution were based upon John Locke’s Second Treatise of Government, the Magna Carta, and the English Bill of Rights.
Does the desire for power result in a conflict in society? John Locke’s Second Treatise of Government demonstrates how personal interests are the root of injustice. Personal interests possess aspects of self-concern and selfishness. Injustice is the result of personal interests, which leads to working against society’s idea of perfect equality. Private interests such as the craving for power leads to the elimination of equality, and equal opportunity. Locke states that “men [are] biassed by their interest[s]” (Ch. IX, Sec. 124, Pg. 66), therefore personal interests are prejudiced. Man’s desire for power incites injustice that is reflected in three ways of private interests: a desire for wealth, property, and authority.
The Founding Fathers of the United States relied heavily on many of the principles taught by John Locke. Many of the principles of Locke’s Second Treatise of Government may easily be discovered in the Declaration of Independence with some minor differences in wording and order. Many of the ideas of the proper role of government, as found in the Constitution of the United States, may be discovered in the study of Locke. In order to understand the foundation of the United States, it is vital that one studies Locke. A few ideas from Hume may be found but the real influence was from Locke. Rousseau, on the other hand, had none.
What would the American government be like today if it was not for the mind and political theory of John Locke? Some historians and philosophers believe that without John Locke our government would only be a shadow of what it is today. Arguably, one of his most important political and philosophical works was his Two Treatises of Government. There he argues that the function of the state is to protect the natural rights of its citizens, primarily to protect the right to property. John Locke, in many eyes, can be viewed as one of the father’s of Democracy. He embraced many of ideas in his theories on the state of nature and the rise of political society today. In Locke’s political society,
While reading the “The Second Treatise of Government,” you can notice and see that John Locke has a strong standing for civil rights as well as helping with the development of the Constitution of the United States. He states that the “consent of the governed,” is basically saying that communities are not put together by the divine right or ruled by. Paternal, familial, and political are types of powers that John Locke mentions that have all have unlike characteristics. He inspired others to believe in and want equal rights and democracy. John Locke talks about the state of nature, which basically states that no one has the power to be ruler of someone, as well as they are able to do what they want in a freely matter. In other words people are born just like anyone else that is born, and should have equally rights to property, health, and liberty, and that no one should have the power over anyone. Everyone should be able to live and enjoy his or her own freedom and wellbeing. However, the state of nature is not a guarantee to have natural laws, which could help with the protecting of one’s property. According to him having your own personal freedom was the true meaning of state of nature. John Locke thought that people were following his faith in human rationality through the declaration of Locke. John Locke states that if the government takes away from others for them to empower them then the people have right and opportunity to go against
The Second Treatise of Government provides Locke's theorizes the individual rights and involvement with the government; he categorizes them in two areas -- natural rights theory and social contract. 1.Natural state; rights which human beings are to have before government comes into being. 2.Social contact; when conditions in natural state are unsatisfactory, and there's need to develop society into functioning of central government.
Harry L. Watson’s book, “Liberty and Power, The Politics of Jacksonian America”, takes an analytical look at America and her politics during the Age of Jackson. Watson uses the economy and the ideological mindset of the people, to support a powerful argument about the beginning of American political parties and their importance in defining the political direction of the country. Watson argues that economic inequalities caused by the “Market Revolution” and a threat to American liberty caused Americans to organize politically in support of a
When there are no laws, there are no freedoms, hence, the Patriots and the Loyalists have to join together in order for the colonies to be prosperous. I, Thomas Tredwell, live in Smithtown, Suffolk County, Long Island. I was raised on a farm, but attended Princeton to study law. As a farmer and a lawyer, I understand both the Patriots’ and the Loyalists’ opinions. My fellow farmers are in debt and are struggling to make an income. The courts are closed in Manhattan, which is creating disarray. For the sake of a better state, the courts and ports should be open. I am very passionate about John Locke’s laws stated in the Second Treatise of Government and I value others opinions greatly. I agree with the Patriots’ and Loyalists’ opinions and deem Locke’s principles about liberty and order important for a society.
When looking at the Declaration of Independence and the justifications which Jefferson used in order to encourage the dissolve of the ties between the United Colonies and Great Britain, it becomes apparent how much of the theories of John Locke that Jefferson used as the basis for his argument. Focusing particularly on the second paragraph of the Declaration, the arguments for the equality of each man and the formation and destruction of governments come almost directly from Locke's Second Treatise of Government. The other arguments in the Declaration of Independence deal primarily with each citizen's rights and the natural freedoms of all men, two areas that Locke also spent
Individual power is the control held within the hierarchy of ascendancy over others. Although it does take into account the ability to have command over one’s self, with regard to the freedom of influence and authority. In George Orwell’s didactic Nineteen Eighty Four¸ the autonomy of the individual is suppressed. His dystopic, totalitarian society depicts a world where the supremacy of the corporation is maintained through the deprivation of self-expression and the ever present threat of violent coercion. The Party aims to achieve a social order that consists of no relationships, no desire, “no art, no literature, no science” in order that ultimately “no enjoyment in the process of life” be found. This ensures a civilisation where the
John Locke was born on August 29, 1632, into a middle class family during late Renaissance England. Locke started his studies at Christ Church in Oxford. He then went into medical studies and received a medical license, which he practiced under Anthony Cooper. They became friends, and when Cooper became Earl of Shaftesbury, Locke was able to hold minor government jobs and became involved in politics. Shaftesbury steered Locke towards the views of a government whose law was fair to all, and all were under the law.
There are two sides of the Liberal Theory of Justice which are represented by John Locke and John Rawls – Locke being on the liberal side while Rawls is more on the equalitarian side. Each agrees that man is an individual with rights given to him because of his mere existence. Even though Rawls, who came later, does build on Locke and their views are quite similar, they still have some disagreements on what these rights mean and how they should be handled.
When considering knowledge, Locke is interested in the ability for us to know something, the capacity of gathering and using information and understanding the limits of what we know. He believes this also leads him to realise what we perhaps, cannot know.  He wants to find out about the origin of our ideas. His main stand-point is that we don’t have innate ideas and he aims to get rid of the sceptical doubt about what we know. The innate ideas which Locke sets out to argue against are those which “the soul receives in its very first being, and brings into the world with it”.  “Let us suppose the mind to be, as we say, white paper, void of all characters”.  This quote depicts the idea of the “Tabula Rasa”, that at birth are minds
John Locke (1632-1704) was the first of the classical British empiricists. (Empiricists believed that all knowledge derives from experience. These philosophers were hostile to rationalistic metaphysics, particularly to its unbridled use of speculation, its grandiose claims, and its epistemology grounded in innate ideas) If Locke could account of all human knowledge without making reference to innate ideas, then his theory would be simpler, hence better, than that of Descartes. He wrote, “Let us then suppose the mind to be, as we say, white paper, void of all characters, without any ideas: How comes it to be furnished? To his I answer, in one word, from EXPERIENCE.” (Donald Palmer, p.165)
It was the Founding Fathers’ view of power that led them to declare their independence from Britain. When the French and Indian War ended, Britain gained a large amount of territory which costed a large sum of money to defend from trespassers. Consequently, Parliament started to tax the colonists without their consent. This unbalance of power caused tensions between Britain and the original 13 colonies. Therefore, the Founding Fathers decided that power should be distributed equally amongst the people and that government should be limited. These views were only strengthened when John Locke wrote “The Second Treatise of Civil Government”, which discussed natural rights, consent of the governed, and limited government. Many of the ideas of John Locke were widely accepted and used by the Founding Fathers, specifically Thomas Jefferson. In the Declaration of independence, Jefferson altered Locke’s phrase “life, liberty, and property” into “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”. These three ideas of Locke exist to this day in American political culture. Liberty is at the core of American values, some individuals quote Patrick Henry who said, “Give me liberty, or give me death” in the Revolutionary War. This famous statement of the Revolutionary War reflects that if there is no freedom (liberty) to choose or express oneself, then there is no purpose to living a life where one is not in control of their destiny. The second ideal, consent of the governed, describes how