The understanding of the state of nature is essential to both theorists' discussions. For Hobbes, the state of nature is equivalent to a state of war. Locke's description of the state of nature is more complex: initially the state of nature is one of "peace, goodwill, mutual assistance and preservation". Transgressions against the law of nature, or reason which "teaches mankind that all being equal and independent, no one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty and possessions," are but few. The state of nature, according to Locke's Treatise, consists of the society of man, distinct from political society, live together without any superior authority to restrict and judge their actions. It is when man begins to acquire property that the state of nature becomes somewhat less peaceful.
At an undetermined point in the history of man, a people, while still in the state of nature, allowed one person to become their leader and judge over controversies. This was first the patriarch of a... [continues]
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