John Locke

Topics: Political philosophy, John Locke, Social contract Pages: 4 (1174 words) Published: August 12, 2013
John Locke – The Second Treatise of Civil Government
John Locke
* Widely known as the Father of Classical Liberalism
* Was an English philosopher and physician regarded as one of the most influential of Enlightenment thinkers * His work had a great impact upon the development of epistemology and political philosophy. * Considered one of the first of the British empiricists. he is equally important to social contract theory. * Published the “Two treatises of Government” in 1689 Two treatises of Government

* Two Treatises is divided into the First Treatise and the Second Treatise. * The First Treatise is focused on the refutation of Sir Robert Filmer, in particular his Patriarcha, which argued that civil society was founded on a divinely sanctioned patriarchalism. Locke proceeds through Filmer's arguments, contesting his proofs from Scripture and ridiculing them as senseless, until concluding that no government can be justified by an appeal to the divine right of kings. * The Second Treatise outlines a theory of civil society. John Locke begins by describing the state of nature, a picture much more stable than Thomas Hobbes' state of "war of every man against every man," and argues that all men are created equal in the state of nature by God. From this, he goes on to explain the hypothetical rise of property and civilization, in the process explaining that the only legitimate governments are those that have the consent of the people. Therefore, any government that rules without the consent of the people can, in theory, be overthrown. Second Treatise of Civil Government

The Second Treatise of Government places sovereignty into the hands of the people. Locke's model consists of a civil state, built upon the natural rights common to a people who need and welcome an executive power to protect their property and liberties; the government exists for the people's benefit and can be replaced or overthrown if it ceases to function toward that...
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