Political Philosophy and Thomas Hobbes

Topics: Political philosophy, John Locke, René Descartes Pages: 3 (850 words) Published: October 20, 2013
The Philosophies of Enlightenment:
Compare and contrast views of John Locke and Thomas Hobbes
The Enlightenment, also named the Age of reason, was an era for the period of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The term “Enlightenment” also specifically talks about a rational movement. Moreover, this movement provided a basis for the American and French Revolutions. During this period, philosophers started to realize that by using reason they can find answers to their questions and solutions to their problems. Enlightenment philosophers believed that all human beings should have freedom of religion and speech. Furthermore, they wanted to have a government of their own and a right to vote. John Locke and Thomas Hobbes were two very important philosophical thinkers of their time. John Locke was a prominent thinker from England, and Thomas Hobbes is perhaps the most complete materialist philosopher of the 17th century. John Locke believed that people are good, and they should have natural rights such as "life, liberty, and property" but Thomas Hobbs main focus was how human beings can live together in peace and evade the danger and fear of civil war. John Locke (1634-1704) was one of the most significant and powerful philosophers during the Enlightenment era. Both the French Enlightenment and Founding Fathers of the American Revolution drew on his thoughts. John Locke suggested that the human mind was a tabula rasa (blank slate). There were no "innate ideas" known from birth by all people and society forms people’s mind. Since all people share the same undeveloped usual features, people are all equal and they determine their liberty. Locke said all human beings are equal expect women and Negroes because they are closer to the state of nature therefore they are less civilized and this led to the American Revolution. Locke's most important work of political philosophy was the Two Treatises on Government. He argued that the power of the king is derived from the...

Cited: Fernández Armesto, Felipe. "The Exchange Of Enlightenments: Eighteenth Century Thought." The World : A History. Upper Saddle River: Prentice Hall, 2010. 738-65. Print.
SparkNotes Editors. “SparkNote on John Locke (1634–1704).” SparkNotes.com. SparkNotes LLC. 2005. Web. 14 Mar. 2013
SparkNotes Editors. “SparkNote on Thomas Hobbes (1588–1679).” SparkNotes.com.
SparkNotes LLC. 2005. Web. 14 Mar. 2013.
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