The Political Philosophies Of Thomas Hobbes And John Locke

3805 Words Aug 13th, 2014 16 Pages
The purpose of this essay will be to thoroughly compare and contrast the political philosophies of Thomas Hobbes and John Locke. At the surface, these two scholars seem to offer contradictory models of political order, while at the same time relying on similar views of human nature. These men published their most famous offerings, Hobbes’ Leviathan and Locke 's Second Treatises of Government, during an era of developing capitalism and market mechanisms. I will discuss the role of the emerging social and economic principles played in the way each scholar accounted for and show how the social and economic relations of early capitalism clearly defined the political theories of each scholar. I will conclude this essay by showing how each man arrived at his theory of political order despite their many similarities.
John Locke is a modern philosopher who is frequently associated with the teachings of capitalism due to the emphasis placed on private property rights in his book Second Treatise of Government. C.B. Macpherson offers a rather interesting interpretation of the account of property found in Locke’s writings. In his book The Political Theory of Possessive Individualism, Macpherson makes the case that Locke "provides a positive moral basis for a capitalist society" (Macpherson, 1962 pg. 221). Thomas Hobbes’ Leviathan, although a highly influential work for early political philosophy, is in fact, quite vague on any form of economic theory. Hobbes’ is perhaps most famous for…

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