Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
Bold Standard

"State of Nature"--Hobbes vs Locke

1 post in this topic

In the political philosophies of Thomas Hobbes and John Locke, they both start out by describing society as being in something each defines as a "State of Nature," before the formation of government. What I don't understand is that, for Hobbes, this is a state of "war of all against all," yet in Locke, individuals already have individual rights and are limited in their actions, by virtue of being rational animals, from justifiably violating the rights of others.

What is it that makes Locke's State of Nature (or, if necessary, his underlying metaphysics) different from Hobbes', allowing him to introduce this concept of Natural Rights? Is this distinction essential to understanding how Locke was able to get from "State of Nature" to Capitalism, whereas Hobbes went from "State of Nature" to Absolutism? Or does is there a further distinction which arises further into their political systems independent of this that sets the two apart? Is Hobbes really "the father of the notion of modern Democracy," as some say, and if so, what does this mean?

I've been trying to study and compare the two on my own, and any leads you might be able to give me would help. Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0