John Locke′s Second Treatise on Government - Jim

The works of Hobbes and Locke lay the groundwork for our current system through their impact on early American revolutionary sentiment. The American government displays the influence of these men in style and form. Thomas Jefferson went so far as to quote Locke almost directly in the writing of the Declaration of Independence. The intellectual foundations of our country can be traced more or less directly to the common experience of the English Civil War, and therefore, it is a quite important aspect of a student's historical education. The fourth objective of my unit is to read and discuss the Hobbes and Locke's , with attention to the position of both men on civil rights and the role of government and to the background of each man.

John Locke: The Great-Grandfather of Our Country | …

 John Locke, The Two Treatises of Civil Government (Hollis ed.) [1689]

Edition used: John Locke, Two Treatises of Government, ed

At the beginning of An Essay Concerning Human UnderstandingLocke says that since his purpose is “to enquire into theOriginal, Certainty and Extant of human knowledge, together with thegrounds and degrees of Belief, Opinion and Assent” he is goingto begin with ideas—the materials out of which knowledge isconstructed. His first task is to “enquire into the Original ofthese Ideas…and the ways whereby the Understanding comes to befurnished with them” (I. 1. 3. p. 44). The role of Book I of theEssay is to make the case that being innate is not a way inwhich the understanding is furnished with principles and ideas. Locketreats innateness as an empirical hypothesis and argues that there isno good evidence to support it.

John locke and american foundations in government - …

When Locke turns from speculative principles to the question ofwhether there are innate practical moral principles, many of thearguments against innate speculative principles continue to apply, butthere are some additional considerations. Practical principles, suchas the Golden Rule, are not self-evident in the way such speculativeprinciples as “What is, is” are. Thus, one can clearly andsensibly ask reasons for why one should hold the Golden Rule true orobey it (I, 3. 4. p. 68). There are substantial differences betweenpeople over the content of practical principles. Thus, they are evenless likely candidates to be innate propositions or to meet thecriterion of universal assent. In the fourth chapter of Book I, Lockeraises similar points about the ideas which compose both speculativeand practical principles. The point is that if the ideas that areconstitutive of the principles are not innate, this gives us even morereason to hold that the principles are not innate. He examines theideas of identity, impossibility and God to make these points.

A Essay Concerning the true original, extent, and end of Civil Government; by John Locke

What is the purpose of government according to John Locke’s Two ..

In Book I Locke says little about who holds the doctrine of innateprinciples that he is attacking. For this reason he has sometimes beenaccused of attacking straw men. John Yolton has persuasively argued(Yolton, 1956) that the view that innate ideas and principles werenecessary for the stability of religion, morality and natural law waswidespread in England in the seventeenth century, and that inattacking both the naive and the dispositional account of innate ideasand innate principles, Locke is attacking positions which were widelyheld and continued to be held after the publication of theEssay. Thus, the charge that Locke’s account of innateprinciples is made of straw, is not a just criticism. But there arealso some important connections with particular philosophers andschools that are worth noting and some points about innate ideas andinquiry.

John Locke: Separating The Church and The State | …

As a practical matter, this call led progressives to advocate both constitutional reform and an aggressive legislative and regulatory agenda. In keeping with the purpose of this web resource, my brief essay has focused on the more philosophic aspects of progressivism, because that is where progressivism’s encounter with the natural law tradition is most direct. On the more concrete side, readers are encouraged to study both the progressives’ critique of the constitutional separation of powers and the alternative solution that they proposed: the separation of politics and administration. By this latter formulation, progressives like Wilson and Goodnow meant that the national political institutions (Congress, the presidency, etc.) ought to be democratized and unified, bringing them into much closer contact with public opinion and facilitating their expression of the general public will. At the same time, since progressives believed that the most contentious political questions had been resolved by historical development (the Civil War had been decisive in this regard), the real work of government was not in politics, but in administration, that is, in figuring out the specific means of achieving what the people generally agreed they all wanted. It is in this way that progressivism became influential not only upon the development of our traditional political institutions, but also on the rise of the federal bureaucracy and the very significant role played by federal agencies in setting and enforcing national policy today.

John Locke's Second Treatise of Government ..

With respect to the specific content of natural law, Locke neverprovides a comprehensive statement of what it requires. In the TwoTreatises, Locke frequently states that the fundamental law ofnature is that as much as possible mankind is to be preserved. Simmonsargues that in Two Treatises 2.6 Locke presents 1) a duty topreserve one's self, 2) a duty to preserve others whenself-preservation does not conflict, 3) a duty not to take away thelife of another, and 4) a duty not to act in a way that “tendsto destroy” others. Libertarian interpreters of Locke tend todownplay duties of type 1 and 2. Locke presents a more extensive listin his earlier, and unpublished in his lifetime, Essays on the Lawof Nature. Interestingly, Locke here includes praise and honor ofthe deity as required by natural law as well as what we might callgood character qualities.