On Why Hobbes Is More Reasonable Than Locke

1003 WordsFeb 10, 20135 Pages
keOf all the social contract theories that have been put forth, the most influential perhaps have been John Locke’s and Thomas Hobbes’. While both are Natural Law theorists, they have completely different views of man’s state of nature. John Locke thinks of man in a natural state as a peaceful, social being while Thomas Hobbes thinks of man as an aggressive and greedy man. Both theorists also showed that man doesn’t live in a state of nature, social contracts will be formed to govern the populace. It is, however, the reasons for the formation of these social contracts that are of relevance to this essay. I believe that neither of these theories are accurate depictions of man but Hobbes seems more practical in his theory than Locke. In a…show more content…
Hobbes’ problem is maintenance of peace, which is essential for man to live a comfortable life, is solved by appointing an authority (the Leviathan) to ensure that this happens. The biggest argument I could draw from the argument in class was that Hobbes saw man as unable to form any relationships with another so as to achieve a common good. This, I would like to point out, is a state of nature, which I am yet to witness. Hobbes’ biggest undoing perhaps, is his infatuation with preservation of the power of the Leviathan. He says that the Leviathan has the power to punish all who undermine its authority. Elinor Ostrom’s view What I took from Ostrom’s discussion on “Economics, the State and the Third Sector” is that we should not always look to the state as the solution to all our problems. Furthermore, institutional diversity should be embraced because you cannot have a one-size-fits-all solution for some issues. Where land is a scarcity e.g. The People’s Republic of China, there is a much more urgent for land law than there is in such sparsely populated areas such as Chad’s rural lands. This part of Ostrom’s views I totally agree with. Furthermore, in her treatise, “Governing the commons”, she demonstrates man’s apathy to a state of nature, coming together to create a law that will govern their use of common property.
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