Different theorists have attempted to explain why individuals submit themselves to an external power to form a society. Some philosophers argue that individuals submit themselves to an external power on a contractual basis through the mutual transfer of right since, primarily, everyone has a right to everything. On party, therefore, foregoes certain natural rights and so does the other so that both converge to limited rights that govern them. Such philosophers base their argument on the assumption that sovereignty is primarily unlimited and that it is foregone when rights are transferred (Kimmel 54). On the contrary, other theorists have argued that sovereignty is never foregone upon the transfer of rights but its rather maintained among the people through the people 's in the form of a government. The government is, therefore, portrayed, in this case, as an external power belonging to the people, by the people and for the people. These contrasting theories have generated heated arguments on which of them is analytically correct. This paper provides an analysis of the work of John Locke with regard to explaining why individuals submit themselves to external power to form a society. Also, the paper provides defensive evidence explaining why Locke 's work is the most compelling explanation of the question.
Meaning of 'Social Contract ' as Used in This Paper
In spite of the differing arguments, the theories converge on the fact that some social contract is formed between men.
From Aristotle to John Locke to Thomas Jefferson, the ideas of great philosophers influenced the foundations of the United States. When Jefferson began writing the Declaration of Independence, he wanted to make this new country based on the basic fundamentals. He wanted to base the country on what was considered the natural laws. Jefferson had many philosophical minds to ponder when writing the document, such as Aristotle and most importantly John Locke.
In his Second Treatise on Government Locke focus’ on liberalism & capitalism, defending the claim that men are by nature free and equal against the idea that God had made all people subject to a king. He argued that people have ‘natural rights’, such as the right to life, liberty, and property, that hold the foundation for the major laws of a society. He says, “…we must consider, what state all men are naturally in, and that is, a state of perfect freedom to order their actions, and dispose of their possessions and persons as they think fit.” (2nd Treatise, Chapter 2, sec 4). John Locke used this claim, that all men were naturally free and equal, for understanding the idea of a government as a result of a social contract. This is where people in the state of nature transfer some of their rights to the government in order to better guarantee the steady and comfortable enjoyment of their lives, liberty, and property.
The enlightenment era arose in the modern cultural ideology of the 18th century, as ideas among philosophers had a widespread effect among the society. The age of enlightenment, in western society, projected the rejection of traditional Christianity, western philosophy, intellectual advances, scientific, and cultural life, government legitimacy and authority. Upon the enlightenment period multiple philosophers emerged, the individuals arose to leading figures using reason to understand all aspects of human life. The motivations for the enlightenment came primarily from the Englishmen, John Locke. John Locke was a philosophical influence in both political theory and theoretical philosophy, which was embraced among the era of 1789-1914 and
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
Good night ladies and gentleman, I’ve been given the honor to present the Enlightenment Award to a man well known by his valuable contributions: John Locke. As all of you know he cannot be present today but I’m sure he would be proud to see how we have kept his ideologies alive, how his political philosophies influenced the 18th century society and how his ideas affect the modern American Culture. I’m incredibly thankful because I get to talk about this man and his accomplishments like his most noted works “Two Treatises of Government”, “An Essay Concerning Human Understanding”, and “A Letter Concerning Toleration”. Locke founded the empiricist theory of knowledge, inspired other philosophers and laid the groundwork for the American and French Revolution.
John Locke was an incredibly encouraging figure in the development of the ideals and methods of political functioning in the United States of America. John Locke applied many of his studies to write one of his most famous and moving works. “The Second Treatises of Government” is the document which ultimately struck the United States in their creation of the Declaration of Independence. In Locke’s work he had focused on the idea that governments shouldn’t be dictated by anyone person, but ultimately should be a united entity in which everyone in the country has a say in what is happening. For example, John Locke believed that the government should be in charge of deciding who should be the leading figure of power and protecting their citizens’ “Life, Liberty, and Property”. He also believed that if the government failed to fulfill their duties of protecting their people and establishing a limit of power for the leading figure of the country, it was the responsibility of the citizens to “overthrow the government.” John Locke kept a similar mindset to that of Hobbes when it comes to the government and its power. Locke’s work and ideas would go on to be highly influential upon Thomas Jefferson during the process of writing the draft of the Declaration of Independence. In this document Jefferson kept very close ties to Locke’s ideas to create what he believed would be the ideal government.
John Locke’s political philosophy has had a lasting impact on multiple influencers throughout history. With praises from the likes of Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, and countless others, Locke’s radical views on government have inspired many of the ideals of the American Revolution that we hear about today. “His influence in the history of thought, on the way we think about ourselves and our relation to the world we live in, to God, nature and society, has been immense” (Uzgalis). It’s safe to say that without Locke’s writings we wouldn’t have many of the political ideologies on natural and human rights that we hold so dear. Ironically, his complete body of work known as The Two Treatises of Government was published anonymously, and John Locke only acknowledged ownership in his will.
John Locke presents ideas within “Toleration and Government” which form a liberal ideology. The aim of this paper is to identify the strengths and weaknesses within John Locke’s ideology. Paragraph I will discuss the main concepts in the text. Paragraph II will identify the ideology’s explanation of political phenomena, it’s criteria and standards of explanation, and it’s cultural and social orientation. Paragraph III exemplifies elements which I found strong within Locke's work.
Have you ever been in a class where there were disagreements?In the late 17th and 18th century there was many changes that people did not always agree with and the people started questioning ways of living and knowing.They discussed the ideas of improving society,reason, natural laws,salon, and philosophers.What really was the major idea of the philosophes? The philosophes believed that greater individual freedom could improve society in several areas, these areas included: government,religion,economics and women.
John Locke, born August 29th, 1632 in England became one of the most influential people during the 17th century. Locke was born in a tiny cottage by a church in Waringhton, Somerset, near Bristol to John Locke and Agnes Keene. Both he and his father shared the same name, John Locke. Senior Locke was a country lawyer and a clerk to the Justices of the Peace who fought on the Parliamentarian forces as a captain of cavalry during the English Civil War of 1640s. Using his connections through the war, he placed his son in the prestigious Westminster School in London. After Locke Jr. finished his studies at Westminster School in 1652, he received admission into the Christ Church College in Oxford, where he focused on the basic curriculum of logic,
It is widely accepted that the American Revolution was quite different for its time. Some may argue the English revolution was similar in a sense of greatly reducing the power of monarchy, however at this time there had not been many quite like it in the sense of a revolution completely doing away with monarchy. In this revolution we saw a rising movement from the people to oppose monarchy and demand a rule by the people. In this revolution we saw average people rise to take arms against King George after being inspired by literary works of revolutionary figureheads. Most commonly in the form of pamphlets, these literary masterpieces demanded change and spurred others to become passionate revolutionaries hell-bent on liberty. Lines were drawn and this movement soon became in full swing thanks to revolutionaries such as: Samuel Adams, Thomas Paine, and Thomas Jefferson. Their literary propaganda constantly drew more supporters and sympathizers to the cause day after day. There is one thing however all their literary works have in common. They all are inspired by the same man. A common ancestor of a sorts, almost all of their literary works are heavily influenced by a British man named John Locke who died nearly a hundred years before the revolution began! Almost all of this revolution propaganda is Lockean,and derives from his principles and beliefs. In a sense he is in turn one of the most uncredited authors of his time
This essay will discuss and show how Thomas Jefferson’s theory of revolution follows the speculation of government from the philosopher John Locke. We’ll additionally discuss Thomas Hobbes’s theory of government. Both John Locke and Jefferson’s theories contributed to the American Revolution and to the Declaration of Independence. Thomas Jefferson’s theory of revolution found within the Declaration of Independence follows John Locke’s theory of government in multiple aspects, as well as in both the description of freedom of opportunity. Thomas Jefferson speaks regarding the explanations for the first American colonies ' separation from England in his theory of revolution, we are able to see how similar it is to John Locke’s theory of government, with the precise issue of the law of nature and man’s reasons to separate. Treatise of government written by John Locke, discusses the law of nature being observed and the way all people are equal in terms of being born having natural rights. Both John Locke and Thomas Jefferson wrote throughout their times of revolution and were the voice of individuals who wished to have freedom, however were unsure on the way to attain or what they might do if freedom was achieved. The societies that they lived with having an oppressive government that was being met with resistance from several of the people who were now not afraid to challenge the authority of their time. Despite the fact that the writing of Jefferson and John Locke were in
Edwards was born into a family of prominent Congregational ministers in East Windsor, Connecticut in 1703. Edwards was enrolled in Yale University where he read Newton and Locke, and “he begun to put together his thoughts on natural science (then called “natural philosophy”), a subject that particularly excited him in his late teen years and one that would remain a lifelong interest. In New York he began a notebook of “Miscellanies,” in which he placed his thoughts on theology and philosophy. By the end of 1723 he had added three more notebooks: “Notes on the Apocalypse,” “Notes on Scripture” and “The Mind” (Marsden 59). We can say John Locke was a major force of behind this growth of Jonathan Edwards , but only the Locke 's influence on his epistemology, philosophy of language, and philosophical psychology was profound. Edwards was independent thinker although he seized by the Locke’s ideas, Edwards remained restive always wishing to push beyond Locke and wanting more than Locke gave (Simonson 24). After briefly serving congregations in New York and Bolton, Connecticut, Edwards returned to Yale where he completed his Masters of Arts degree and became senior tutor in 1724. In 1725, the church in Northampton chose Edwards to succeed his grandfather, Solomon Stoddard — the so-called “pope of the Connecticut valley.” The most notable events of his tenure were the revivals of 1734 and 1740–41, the latter of which came to be known as the Great Awakening.
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
Throughout history, there have been many political philosophers whom influenced the government seen in history books and in modern-day society. Despite the varying ideas about government by each political theorist, aspects of each individual idea can be seen in several political documents such as the United States Declaration of Independence. One of these political theorists being Thomas Hobbes, who believed that people would benefit greatly from a Monarch. While John Locke, another renowned political theorist believed that, though the government could help the people, but did not need absolute control over every aspect of their lives. Though, both theorists had different ideology on the structure of the government the ideas would later go on to influence several political documents including the United States Declaration of Independence.