Thomas & Locke

Topics: Political philosophy, State of nature, Social contract Pages: 2 (513 words) Published: September 29, 2013
Damontay Fowler-Thomas
Mrs. Lee
Social Science
September 24, 2013

Thomas Hobbes and John Locke are most renowned for their philosophical thoughts. John Locke and Thomas Hobbes were two main political philosophers during the seventeenth century. Hobbes is largely known for his writing of the “Leviathan”, and Locke for authoring "An Essay Concerning Human Understanding." Included in their essays, both men discuss the purpose and structure of government, natural law, and the characteristics of man in and out of the state of nature. The two men's opinion of man vary widely. Hobbes sees man as being evil, whereas Locke views man in a much more optimistic light. While in the state of nature and under natural law, they both agree that man is equal.

The one great similarity between Thomas Hobbes’ state of nature and John Locke’s state of nature is that they both discuss how dangerous a state of nature can actually be. Both suggest that men are equals in this state with Hobbes stating “Nature hath made men so equal, in the faculties of body and mind, as that though there be found one man sometimes manifestly stronger in body, or of quicker mind than another; yet when all is reckoned together, the difference between man and man is not so considerable.” Likewise, Locke describes this nature as a “state of perfect equality, where naturally there is no superiority or jurisdiction of one over another.” Despite thinking alike in this way, however, Locke and Hobbes warn of the risk of the state of nature. Hobbes so states, “if any two men cannot enjoy the same thing, they become enemies and in the way to their end…endeavor to destroy or subdue one another.” Similarly, Locke points out these risks, saying that without the “law of nature,” man may make decisions that lead to a state of war.

Thomas Hobbes was born in England, in 1588. He lived to the age of 91, before passing away in 1679. Thomas Hobbes was not born into a wealthy family, which could...
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