Locke, John, Two Treatises of Government (PDF at McMaster); [Info] . Locke, John, A common-place book to the Holy Bible, or The. The thesis concentrates upon John Locke's early development in the field of space, the titles of a number of books have been abbreviated to their initials. An. An Essay Concerning Human Understanding by John Locke (First pubulished ) is a publi- cation of the BOOK I Neither Principles nor Ideas Are Innate.
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from The Works of John Locke. A New Edition, Corrected. .. crying up his books, and espousing his doctrine, save me from the re- proach of writing against a. This is a digital copy of a book that was preserved for generations on library shelves Whether a book is in the public domain may vary country to country. [PDF] The Philosophical Works of John Locke - Authorama This books was required for one of my daughter's college courses. It met her needs so I.
They tried to get a number of them, including Locke, extradited to England. So, apart from the few important things that we can know for certain, e. First, Modes I call such complex Ideas , which however compounded, contain not in themselves the supposition of subsisting by themselves; such are the words signified by the Words Triangle, Gratitude, Murther, etc. In his capacity as the secretary of the Board of Trade Locke was the collection point for information from around the globe about trade and colonies for the English government. Hobbes had argued that freedom and equality, and the priority of individual right, meant that individuals in the state of nature could pursue their survival and interest without limitation.
Both of these thinkers wrote in response to Robert Filmer, and Sidney met a bad end for his political efforts. For our purposes, the most important thinker with whom Locke was acquainted was likely John Selden, the full-fledged political and legal Hebraist and possibly the best English reader of Hebrew in his day.
Locke spent four formative years in France, and five in the Dutch Republic. He entered the domains of French and Dutch Hebraism, in which Jewish scholars had some part, but we do not know of any of his particular encounters with Jews or Hebraists in this period.
This would suffice to bring him deep into the realm of continental Hebraism. Was Locke a political Hebraist, in the sense that reading and using the Hebrew Bible were conceptually germ- mane to his distinctly modern political thought? This essay will assess the evidence for responding in the affirmative. Locke argued for these principles with reference to both the New Testament and the tradition of natural law. Hobbes to Locke Oxford: Clarendon, Some of the more significant reassessments that have appeared recently are mentioned in subsequent footnotes.
Hebraic Political Studies in the Hebrew Bible. Locke summoned all his biblical expertise in ord- der to refute the argument that God gave Adam absolute sovereignty, or that this sovereignty was passed on, first to Noah and then by lines of legitimate patrimony all the way to James II of England. Rule is not an absolute possession, Locke asserted, and it is not passed on through line- eal inheritance.
His method is anthropological, as Locke readily admitted in a statement Strauss took to be his working motto: Nidditch Oxford: Oxford University Press, , book 1, ch.
University of Chicago Press, A memorable statement to this effect was made by John Dunn in My purpose in this overview is twofold: Zuckert, Launching Liberalism: University Press of Kansas, , part 2.
Since Locke lacks rational knowledge of a revealing God, he knows of no authentic revelation, including of course the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures. It is important to stress that these two arguments can work tog- gether or as alternatives: Camb- bridge University Press, , p.
Jeremy Waldron, God, Locke, and Equality: Anstey, ed. New Perspectives London: Routledge, , pp. Unlike the key thinkers of the Scottish Enlightenment in the generation to follow, David Hume and Adam Smith, Locke put no trust in arbitrarily cumulating social relations and constructions. In his view, such human creations could not supply a foundation for moral value, and they could not be rational in themselves.
As I will argue below, it is a notion more openly reliant on Old Testament legalism. If man were independent he could have no law but his own will, no end but himself. He would be a god to himself and the satisfaction of his own will the sole measure and end of all his actions. We remain, then, with the initial query: This, I believe, is a problem not yet addressed by Dunn.
Waldron takes it on board by arguing for interdependence between The Reasonableness of Christianity and the Two Treatises. Norton and Company, ; Leon R. Kass, The Beginning of Wisdom: Reading Genesis New York: Hebraic Political Studies IV. The Two Treatises treats its readers to a rich and lively Old Testament tapestry of episodes and figures in direct quotes and indirect allusions.
This begs the question: Wilfrid Laurier University Press, I will offer two distinct, though possibly commensurable, answers. First, I will argue that the God of the Two Treatises is God the Lawmaker, and as such he is theologically grounded in the Old Testament, and alm- most solely there. It affected his imagination no less than the travel literature on America did, and it provided him with moral and political problems, and a set of responses, of no lesser importance than Bodin or Hobbes did.
In the present paper, these two arguments cannot be fully developed.
What follows is an analysis of some key evidence to substantiate my two main contentions: For Locke, Genesis and Deuteronomy and Judges and Kings consisted of a political history worth working with.
They came from an ancient civilization to be reckoned with. But the crucial point is that they made a polity in history, a constitution in legal history. Thus, the Israelites offer a case study among others and subject matter for theoretical comparison and analysis. Locke was not the first to historicize the Old Testament for the purp- poses of political theory. It is especially interesting that the natur- ral lawyers who had a historical tale to tell, Hugo Grotius and Samuel Pufendorf, took the Old Testament seriously as a historical textbook.
Locke belongs firmly in this tradition. Like Pufendorf, he treated the pre-Mosaic era as the early part of a historical phase theory of economic advance and political progress. Textual scrutiny reveals that almost every appearance of America in the Two Treatises dovetails with a similar, often more detailed account from the early chapters of the Hebrew Bible. It would not be a great exaggeration to suggest that whenever Locke rhetorically crosses the Atlantic, Adam and Eve are lurking in the foliage, no more than a parag- graph away.
Paragraphs — are crucial, insofar as they include America among rather than descending from, or reflecting, or echoing the primeval tribal polities described in the early chapters of Genesis. The argument is well known to Locke scholars. But it is seldom noted how Locke then repeats it almost verbatim, and we must pay attention to his telling use of pronoun: In fact, one passage from the Second Treatise is reproduced verbatim in the Declaration of Independence, the reference to a "long train of abuses".
Such was Locke's influence that Thomas Jefferson wrote: I consider them as the three greatest men that have ever lived, without any exception, and as having laid the foundation of those superstructures which have been raised in the Physical and Moral sciences".
But Locke's influence may have been even more profound in the realm of epistemology. Locke redefined subjectivity, or self, and intellectual historians such as Charles Taylor and Jerrold Seigel argue that Locke's An Essay Concerning Human Understanding marks the beginning of the modern Western conception of the self.
Locke's theory of association heavily influenced the subject matter of modern psychology. At the time, the empiricist philosopher's recognition of two types of ideas, simple and complex ideas, more importantly their interaction through associationism inspired other philosophers, such as David Hume and George Berkeley , to revise and expand this theory and apply it to explain how humans gain knowledge in the physical world.
Locke, writing his Letters Concerning Toleration — in the aftermath of the European wars of religion , formulated a classic reasoning for religious tolerance. Three arguments are central: With regard to his position on religious tolerance, Locke was influenced by Baptist theologians like John Smyth and Thomas Helwys , who had published tracts demanding freedom of conscience in the early 17th century.
His tract The Bloody Tenent of Persecution for Cause of Conscience , which was widely read in the mother country, was a passionate plea for absolute religious freedom and the total separation of church and state. Appraisals of Locke have often been tied to appraisals of liberalism in general, and to appraisals of the United States. Detractors note that in he was a major investor in the English slave-trade through the Royal African Company.
In addition, he participated in drafting the Fundamental Constitutions of Carolina while Shaftesbury 's secretary, which established a feudal aristocracy and gave a master absolute power over his slaves. For example, Martin Cohen notes that Locke, as a secretary to the Council of Trade and Plantations — and a member of the Board of Trade — , was in fact, "one of just half a dozen men who created and supervised both the colonies and their iniquitous systems of servitude".
Collectively, these documents are known as the Grand Model for the Province of Carolina. Locke uses the word property in both broad and narrow senses. In a broad sense, it covers a wide range of human interests and aspirations; more narrowly, it refers to material goods. He argues that property is a natural right and it is derived from labour. In Chapter V of his Second Treatise , Locke argues that the individual ownership of goods and property is justified by the labour exerted to produce those goods or utilise property to produce goods beneficial to human society.
Locke stated his belief, in his Second Treatise , that nature on its own provides little of value to society, implying that the labour expended in the creation of goods gives them their value.
This position can be seen as a labour theory of value. In addition, he believed that property precedes government and government cannot "dispose of the estates of the subjects arbitrarily.
Locke's political theory was founded on social contract theory. Unlike Thomas Hobbes , Locke believed that human nature is characterised by reason and tolerance. Like Hobbes, Locke believed that human nature allowed people to be selfish. This is apparent with the introduction of currency. In a natural state all people were equal and independent, and everyone had a natural right to defend his "life, health, liberty, or possessions". Like Hobbes, Locke assumed that the sole right to defend in the state of nature was not enough, so people established a civil society to resolve conflicts in a civil way with help from government in a state of society.
However, Locke never refers to Hobbes by name and may instead have been responding to other writers of the day. These ideas would come to have profound influence on the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States. According to Locke, unused property is wasteful and an offence against nature,  but, with the introduction of "durable" goods, men could exchange their excessive perishable goods for goods that would last longer and thus not offend the natural law.
In his view, the introduction of money marks the culmination of this process, making possible the unlimited accumulation of property without causing waste through spoilage. In his view, the introduction of money eliminates the limits of accumulation. Locke stresses that inequality has come about by tacit agreement on the use of money, not by the social contract establishing civil society or the law of land regulating property.
Locke is aware of a problem posed by unlimited accumulation but does not consider it his task. He just implies that government would function to moderate the conflict between the unlimited accumulation of property and a more nearly equal distribution of wealth; he does not identify which principles that government should apply to solve this problem.
However, not all elements of his thought form a consistent whole. For example, labour theory of value of the Two Treatises of Government stands side by side with the demand-and-supply theory developed in a letter he wrote titled Some Considerations on the Consequences of the Lowering of Interest and the Raising of the Value of Money.
Moreover, Locke anchors property in labour but in the end upholds the unlimited accumulation of wealth. Locke's general theory of value and price is a supply and demand theory, which was set out in a letter to a Member of Parliament in , titled Some Considerations on the Consequences of the Lowering of Interest and the Raising of the Value of Money.
His idea is based on "money answers all things" Ecclesiastes or "rent of money is always sufficient, or more than enough," and "varies very little He also investigates the determinants of demand and supply. For supply, he explains the value of goods as based on their scarcity and ability to be exchanged and consumed.
He explains demand for goods as based on their ability to yield a flow of income. Locke develops an early theory of capitalisation , such as land, which has value because "by its constant production of saleable commodities it brings in a certain yearly income.
As a medium of exchange, he states that "money is capable by exchange to procure us the necessaries or conveniences of life," and for loanable funds, "it comes to be of the same nature with land by yielding a certain yearly income Locke distinguishes two functions of money, as a "counter" to measure value, and as a "pledge" to lay claim to goods. He believes that silver and gold, as opposed to paper money, are the appropriate currency for international transactions. Silver and gold, he says, are treated to have equal value by all of humanity and can thus be treated as a pledge by anyone, while the value of paper money is only valid under the government which issues it.
Locke argues that a country should seek a favourable balance of trade , lest it fall behind other countries and suffer a loss in its trade. Since the world money stock grows constantly, a country must constantly seek to enlarge its own stock. Locke develops his theory of foreign exchanges, in addition to commodity movements, there are also movements in country stock of money, and movements of capital determine exchange rates.
He considers the latter less significant and less volatile than commodity movements. As for a country's money stock , if it is large relative to that of other countries, he says it will cause the country's exchange to rise above par, as an export balance would do.
He also prepares estimates of the cash requirements for different economic groups landholders, labourers and brokers. In each group he posits that the cash requirements are closely related to the length of the pay period.
Locke defines the self as "that conscious thinking thing, whatever substance, made up of whether spiritual, or material, simple, or compounded, it matters not which is sensible, or conscious of pleasure and pain, capable of happiness or misery, and so is concerned for itself, as far as that consciousness extends".
In his Essay , Locke explains the gradual unfolding of this conscious mind. Arguing against both the Augustinian view of man as originally sinful and the Cartesian position, which holds that man innately knows basic logical propositions, Locke posits an "empty" mind, a tabula rasa , which is shaped by experience; sensations and reflections being the two sources of all our ideas.
Locke's Some Thoughts Concerning Education is an outline on how to educate this mind: Locke also wrote that "the little and almost insensible impressions on our tender infancies have very important and lasting consequences. In his Essay , in which both these concepts are introduced, Locke warns against, for example, letting "a foolish maid" convince a child that "goblins and sprites" are associated with the night for "darkness shall ever afterwards bring with it those frightful ideas, and they shall be so joined, that he can no more bear the one than the other.
This theory came to be called "associationism", and it strongly influenced 18th-century thought, particularly educational theory , as nearly every educational writer warned parents not to allow their children to develop negative associations.
It also led to the development of psychology and other new disciplines with David Hartley 's attempt to discover a biological mechanism for associationism in his Observations on Man Locke was critical of Descartes' version of the dream argument , with Locke making the counterargument that people cannot have physical pain in dreams as they do in waking life.
Some scholars have seen Locke's political convictions as being based from his religious beliefs. Man was capable of waging unjust wars and committing crimes. Criminals had to be punished, even with the death penalty. He retained the doctrine of the verbal inspiration of the Scriptures. Locke was convinced that the entire content of the Bible was in agreement with human reason The reasonableness of Christianity , His political thought was based on Protestant Christian views.
Locke's concept of man started with the belief in creation. Locke's philosophy on freedom is also derived from the Bible. Locke also derived basic human equality from the Bible, including the equality of the sexes , the starting point of the theological doctrine of Imago Dei.
Following Locke's philosophy, the American Declaration of Independence founded human rights partially on the biblical belief in creation.
Locke's doctrine that governments need the consent of the governed is also central to the Declaration of Independence. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. English philosopher and physician. For other people named John Locke, see John Locke disambiguation. Portrait of Locke in by Godfrey Kneller. Wrington , Somerset , England. High Laver , Essex , England. Empiricism Foundationalism  Conceptualism  Indirect realism  Correspondence theory of truth  Ideational theory of meaning  Corpuscularianism  Social contract Natural law Liberalism.
Works listed chronologically. Fundamental Constitutions of Carolina. An Essay Concerning Human Understanding. Some Thoughts Concerning Education. Of the Conduct of the Understanding. See also: Two Treatises of Government. Central concepts. Types of republics. Important thinkers. By country. Related topics. Communitarianism Democracy Liberalism Monarchism. History of liberalism Contributions to liberal theory. Regional variants. Democratic capitalism Liberal bias in academia. Lockean proviso.
Liberalism portal. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Retrieved August 19, An Introduction , Wiley-Blackwell, , p. Yolton, Realism and Appearances: Two Treatises of Government 10th edition: Let us begin with the usage of words. It is important in a community of language users that words be used with the same meaning. If this condition is met it facilitates the chief end of language which is communication. If one fails to use words with the meaning that most people attach to them, one will fail to communicate effectively with others.
Thus one would defeat the main purpose of language. It should also be noted that traditions of usage for Locke can be modified. Otherwise we would not be able to improve our knowledge and understanding by getting more clear and determinate ideas. In the making of the names of substances there is a period of discovery as the abstract general idea is put together e. Language itself is viewed as an instrument for carrying out the mainly prosaic purposes and practices of every day life.
Ordinary people are the chief makers of language. Vulgar Notions suit vulgar Discourses; and both though confused enough, yet serve pretty well for the Market and the Wake. Merchants and Lovers, Cooks and Taylors, have Words wherewith to dispatch their ordinary affairs; and so, I think, might Philosophers and Disputants too, if they had a mind to understand and to be clearly understood.
These ordinary people use a few apparent qualities, mainly ideas of secondary qualities to make ideas and words that will serve their purposes. Natural philosophers i. Scientists are seeking to find the necessary connections between properties.
A whale is not a fish, as it turns out, but a mammal. There is a characteristic group of qualities which fish have which whales do not have. There is a characteristic group of qualities which mammals have which whales also have. To classify a whale as a fish therefore is a mistake. Similarly, we might make an idea of gold that only included being a soft metal and gold color.
But the product of such work is open to criticism, either on the grounds that it does not conform to already current usage, or that it inadequately represents the archetypes that it is supposed to copy in the world. We engage in such criticism in order to improve human understanding of the material world and thus the human condition.
In becoming more accurate the nominal essence is converging on the real essence. In contrast with substances modes are dependent existences—they can be thought of as the ordering of substances.
These are technical terms for Locke, so we should see how they are defined. First, Modes I call such complex Ideas , which however compounded, contain not in themselves the supposition of subsisting by themselves; such are the words signified by the Words Triangle, Gratitude, Murther, etc.
Of these Modes , there are two sorts, which deserve distinct consideration. First, there are some that are only variations, or different combinations of the same simple Idea , without the mixture of any other, as a dozen or score; which are nothing but the ideas of so many distinct unities being added together, and these I call simple Modes , as being contained within the bounds of one simple Idea.
Secondly, There are others, compounded of Ideas of several kinds, put together to make one complex one; v. Beauty , consisting of a certain combination of Colour and Figure, causing Delight to the Beholder; Theft , which being the concealed change of the Possession of any thing, without the consent of the Proprietor, contains, as is visible, a combination of several Ideas of several kinds; and these I call Mixed Modes.
When we make ideas of modes, the mind is again active, but the archetype is in our mind. The question becomes whether things in the world fit our ideas, and not whether our ideas correspond to the nature of things in the world. Our ideas are adequate. If we find that someone does not fit this definition, this does not reflect badly on our definition, it simply means that that individual does not belong to the class of bachelors.
Modes give us the ideas of mathematics, of morality, of religion and politics and indeed of human conventions in general. Since these modal ideas are not only made by us but serve as standards that things in the world either fit or do not fit and thus belong or do not belong to that sort, ideas of modes are clear and distinct, adequate and complete. Thus in modes, we get the real and nominal essences combined.
One can give precise definitions of mathematical terms that is, give necessary and sufficient conditions and one can give deductive demonstrations of mathematical truths.
Locke sometimes says that morality too is capable of deductive demonstration. Though pressed by his friend William Molyneux to produce such a demonstrative morality, Locke never did so.
The terms of political discourse also have some of the same modal features for Locke. When Locke defines the states of nature, slavery and war in the Second Treatise of Government , for example, we are presumably getting precise modal definitions from which one can deduce consequences. It is possible, however, that with politics we are getting a study which requires both experience as well as the deductive modal aspect.
In the fourth book of An Essay Concerning Human Understanding Locke tells us what knowledge is and what humans can know and what they cannot not simply what they do and do not happen to know. This definition of knowledge contrasts with the Cartesian definition of knowledge as any ideas that are clear and distinct.
What about knowing the real existence of things? Locke, for example, makes transdictive inferences about atoms where Berkeley is unwilling to allow that such inferences are legitimate. This implies that Locke has a semantics that allows him to talk about the unexperienced causes of experience such as atoms where Berkeley cannot.
What then can we know and with what degree of certainty? We can know that God exists with the second highest degree of assurance, that of demonstration.
We also know that we exist with the highest degree of certainty. The truths of morality and mathematics we can know with certainty as well, because these are modal ideas whose adequacy is guaranteed by the fact that we make such ideas as ideal models which other things must fit, rather than trying to copy some external archetype which we can only grasp inadequately.
On the other hand, our efforts to grasp the nature of external objects is limited largely to the connection between their apparent qualities. The real essence of elephants and gold is hidden from us: Our knowledge of material things is probabilistic and thus opinion rather than knowledge.
We do have sensitive knowledge of external objects, which is limited to things we are presently experiencing. While Locke holds that we only have knowledge of a limited number of things, he thinks we can judge the truth or falsity of many propositions in addition to those we can legitimately claim to know.
This brings us to a discussion of probability. Knowledge involves the seeing of the agreement or disagreement of our ideas.
What then is probability and how does it relate to knowledge? So, apart from the few important things that we can know for certain, e. What then is probability? As Demonstration is the shewing of the agreement or disagreement of two Ideas, by the intervention of one or more Proofs, which have a constant, immutable, and visible connexion one with another: Probable reasoning, on this account, is an argument, similar in certain ways to the demonstrative reasoning that produces knowledge but different also in certain crucial respects.
It is an argument that provides evidence that leads the mind to judge a proposition true or false but without a guarantee that the judgment is correct. This kind of probable judgment comes in degrees, ranging from near demonstrations and certainty to unlikeliness and improbability in the vicinity of impossibility.
It is correlated with degrees of assent ranging from full assurance down to conjecture, doubt and distrust. The new science of mathematical probability had come into being on the continent just around the time that Locke was writing the Essay. His account of probability, however, shows little or no awareness of mathematical probability. Rather it reflects an older tradition that treated testimony as probable reasoning.
Thus, when Locke comes to describe the grounds for probability he cites the conformity of the proposition to our knowledge, observation and experience, and the testimony of others who are reporting their observation and experience.
Concerning the latter we must consider the number of witnesses, their integrity, their skill in observation, counter testimony and so on. In judging rationally how much to assent to a probable proposition, these are the relevant considerations that the mind should review. We should, Locke also suggests, be tolerant of differing opinions as we have more reason to retain the opinions we have than to give them up to strangers or adversaries who may well have some interest in our doing so.
Locke distinguishes two sorts of probable propositions.
The first of these have to do with particular existences or matters of fact, and the second that are beyond the testimony of the senses. Matters of fact are open to observation and experience, and so all of the tests noted above for determining rational assent to propositions about them are available to us. Things are quite otherwise with matters that are beyond the testimony of the senses. These include the knowledge of finite immaterial spirits such as angels or things such as atoms that are too small to be sensed, or the plants, animals or inhabitants of other planets that are beyond our range of sensation because of their distance from us.
Concerning this latter category, Locke says we must depend on analogy as the only help for our reasoning. Thus the observing that the bare rubbing of two bodies violently one upon the other, produce heat, and very often fire it self, we have reason to think, that what we call Heat and Fire consist of the violent agitation of the imperceptible minute parts of the burning matter….
We reason about angels by considering the Great Chain of Being; figuring that while we have no experience of angels, the ranks of species above us is likely as numerous as that below of which we do have experience. This reasoning is, however, only probable. The relative merits of the senses, reason and faith for attaining truth and the guidance of life were a significant issue during this period.
As noted above James Tyrrell recalled that the original impetus for the writing of An Essay Concerning Human Understanding was a discussion about the principles of morality and revealed religion.
In Book IV Chapters 17, 18, and 19 Locke deals with the nature of reason, the relation of reason to faith and the nature of enthusiasm. Locke remarks that all sects make use of reason as far as they can. It is only when this fails them that they have recourse to faith and claim that what is revealed is above reason.
But he adds:. And I do not see how they can argue with anyone or even convince a gainsayer who uses the same plea, without setting down strict boundaries between faith and reason. That is we have faith in what is disclosed by revelation and which cannot be discovered by reason. In such cases there would be little use for faith. Traditional revelation can never produce as much certainty as the contemplation of the agreement or disagreement of our own ideas. Similarly revelations about matters of fact do not produce as much certainty as having the experience oneself.
Revelation, then, cannot contradict what we know to be true. If it could, it would undermine the trustworthiness of all of our faculties. This would be a disastrous result. Where revelation comes into its own is where reason cannot reach. Where we have few or no ideas for reason to contradict or confirm, this is the proper matters for faith. These and the like, being Beyond the Discovery of Reason, are purely matters of Faith; with which Reason has nothing to do. Because the Mind, not being certain of the Truth of that it evidently does not know, but only yielding to the Probability that appears to it, is bound to give up its assent to such Testimony, which, it is satisfied, comes from one who cannot err, and will not deceive.
But yet, it still belongs to Reason, to judge of the truth of its being a Revelation, and of the significance of the Words, wherein it is delivered. So, in respect to the crucial question of how we are to know whether a revelation is genuine, we are supposed to use reason and the canons of probability to judge. Should one accept revelation without using reason to judge whether it is genuine revelation or not, one gets what Locke calls a third principle of assent besides reason and revelation, namely enthusiasm.
Enthusiasm is a vain or unfounded confidence in divine favor or communication. It implies that there is no need to use reason to judge whether such favor or communication is genuine or not.
This kind of enthusiasm was characteristic of Protestant extremists going back to the era of the civil war. Locke was not alone in rejecting enthusiasm, but he rejects it in the strongest terms. Enthusiasm violates the fundamental principle by which the understanding operates—that assent be proportioned to the evidence. To abandon that fundamental principle would be catastrophic. Locke wants each of us to use our understanding to search after truth.
Of enthusiasts, those who would abandon reason and claim to know on the basis of faith alone, Locke writes:. Rather than engage in the tedious labor required to reason correctly to judge of the genuineness of their revelation, enthusiasts persuade themselves that they are possessed of immediate revelation. Thus, Locke strongly rejects any attempt to make inward persuasion not judged by reason a legitimate principle. Ruth Grant and Nathan Tarcov write in the introduction to their edition of these works:.
The Essay thus shows how the independence of mind pursued in the Conduct is possible. Some Thoughts Concerning Education was first published in This became quite long and was never added to the Essay or even finished.
As Locke was composing these works, some of the material from the Conduct eventually made its way into the Thoughts. Though they also note tensions between the two that illustrate paradoxes in liberal society. The Thoughts is addressed to the education of the sons and daughters of the English gentry in the late seventeenth century. It is in some ways thus significantly more limited to its time and place than the Conduct. Yet, its insistence on the inculcating such virtues as.
In the Middle Ages the child was regarded as. Their education was undifferentiated, either by age, ability or intended occupation. Axtell Locke treated children as human beings in whom the gradual development of rationality needed to be fostered by parents. Locke urged parents to spend time with their children and tailor their education to their character and idiosyncrasies, to develop both a sound body and character, and to make play the chief strategy for learning rather than rote learning or punishment.
Thus, he urged learning languages by learning to converse in them before learning rules of grammar. Locke also suggests that the child learn at least one manual trade. In advocating a kind of education that made people who think for themselves, Locke was preparing people to effectively make decisions in their own lives—to engage in individual self-government—and to participate in the government of their country.
The Conduct reveals the connections Locke sees between reason, freedom and morality. Reason is required for good self-government because reason insofar as it is free from partiality, intolerance and passion and able to question authority leads to fair judgment and action. Lord Shaftsbury had been dismissed from his post as Lord Chancellor in and had become one of the leaders of the opposition party, the Country Party.
In the chief issue was the attempt by the Country Party leaders to exclude James, Duke of York from succeeding his brother Charles II to the throne. They wanted to do this because James was a Catholic, and England by this time was a firmly Protestant country. They tried a couple of more times without success.
Having failed by parliamentary means, some of the Country Party leaders started plotting armed rebellion. The Two Treatises of Government were published in , long after the rebellion plotted by the Country party leaders had failed to materialize and after Shaftsbury had fled the country for Holland and died. The introduction of the Two Treatises was written after the Glorious Revolution of , and gave the impression that the book was written to justify the Glorious Revolution.
We now know that the Two Treatises of Government were written during the Exclusion crisis in and may have been intended in part to justify the general armed rising which the Country Party leaders were planning. The English Anglican gentry needed to support such an action.
But the Anglican church from childhood on taught that: Passive resistance would simply not do. John Dunn goes on to remark: The gentry had to be persuaded that there could be reason for rebellion which could make it neither blasphemous or suicidal. Sir Robert Filmer c — , a man of the generation of Charles I and the English Civil War, who had defended the crown in various works.
His most famous work, however, Patriarcha , was published posthumously in and represented the most complete and coherent exposition of the view Locke wished to deny. Filmer held that men were born into helpless servitude to an authoritarian family, a social hierarchy and a sovereign whose only constraint was his relationship with God.
Only in this way could he restore to the Anglican gentry a coherent bssis for moral autonomy or a practical initiative in the field of politics. The First Treatise of Government is a polemical work aimed at refuting the theological basis for the patriarchal version of the Divine Right of Kings doctrine put forth by Sir Robert Filmer. In what follows in the First Treatise , Locke minutely examines key Biblical passages.
Natural rights are those rights which we are supposed to have as human beings before ever government comes into being. We might suppose, that like other animals, we have a natural right to struggle for our survival.
Locke will argue that we have a right to the means to survive. When Locke comes to explain how government comes into being, he uses the idea that people agree that their condition in the state of nature is unsatisfactory, and so agree to transfer some of their rights to a central government, while retaining others.
This is the theory of the social contract. There are many versions of natural rights theory and the social contract in seventeenth and eighteenth century European political philosophy, some conservative and some radical. These radical natural right theories influenced the ideologies of the American and French revolutions. When properly distinguished, however, and the limitations of each displayed, it becomes clear that monarchs have no legitimate absolute power over their subjects. Once this is done, the basis for legitimate revolution becomes clear.
Figuring out what the proper or legitimate role of civil government is would be a difficult task indeed if one were to examine the vast complexity of existing governments. How should one proceed? One strategy is to consider what life is like in the absence of civil government. Presumably this is a simpler state, one which may be easier to understand.
Then one might see what role civil government ought to play. This is the strategy which Locke pursues, following Hobbes and others. So, in the first chapter of the Second Treatise Locke defines political power. Political power , then, I take to be a right of making laws with penalties of death, and consequently all less penalties, for the regulating and preserving of property, and of employing the force of the community, in the execution of such laws, and in the defence of the common-wealth from foreign injury; and all this only for the public good.
Treatises, II, 1,3. In the second chapter of The Second Treatise Locke describes the state in which there is no government with real political power. This is the state of nature. It is sometimes assumed that the state of nature is a state in which there is no government at all. This is only partially true. It is possible to have in the state of nature either no government, illegitimate government, or legitimate government with less than full political power.
If we consider the state of nature before there was government, it is a state of political equality in which there is no natural superior or inferior. From this equality flows the obligation to mutual love and the duties that people owe one another, and the great maxims of justice and charity.
Was there ever such a state? There has been considerable debate about this. Still, it is plain that both Hobbes and Locke would answer this question affirmatively. Whenever people have not agreed to establish a common political authority, they remain in the state of nature. Perhaps the historical development of states also went though the stages of a state of nature. An alternative possibility is that the state of nature is not a real historical state, but rather a theoretical construct, intended to help determine the proper function of government.
If one rejects the historicity of states of nature, one may still find them a useful analytical device. For Locke, it is very likely both. The chief end set us by our creator as a species and as individuals is survival. A wise and omnipotent God, having made people and sent them into this world:. So, murder and suicide violate the divine purpose.
If one takes survival as the end, then we may ask what are the means necessary to that end. So we have rights to life, liberty, health and property. These are natural rights, that is they are rights that we have in a state of nature before the introduction of civil government, and all people have these rights equally. There is also a law of nature.
It is the Golden Rule, interpreted in terms of natural rights. Thus Locke writes:. The state of nature has a law of nature to govern it, which obliges everyone: Treatises II. Locke tells us that the law of nature is revealed by reason. Locke makes the point about the law that it commands what is best for us. If it did not, he says, the law would vanish for it would not be obeyed. It is in this sense that Locke means that reason reveals the law. If you reflect on what is best for yourself and others, given the goal of survival and our natural equality, you will come to this conclusion.
Locke does not intend his account of the state of nature as a sort of utopia. Rather it serves as an analytical device that explains why it becomes necessary to introduce civil government and what the legitimate function of civil government is.
Thus, as Locke conceives it, there are problems with life in the state of nature. The law of nature, like civil laws can be violated. There are no police, prosecutors or judges in the state of nature as these are all representatives of a government with full political power.
The victims, then, must enforce the law of nature in the state of nature. In addition to our other rights in the state of nature, we have the rights to enforce the law and to judge on our own behalf. We may, Locke tells us, help one another. We may intervene in cases where our own interests are not directly under threat to help enforce the law of nature. This right eventually serves as the justification for legitimate rebellion.
Still, in the state of nature, the person who is most likely to enforce the law under these circumstances is the person who has been wronged. The basic principle of justice is that the punishment should be proportionate to the crime. But when the victims are judging the seriousness of the crime, they are more likely to judge it of greater severity than might an impartial judge. As a result, there will be regular miscarriages of justice.
This is perhaps the most important problem with the state of nature. In chapters 3 and 4, Locke defines the states of war and slavery. Such a person puts themselves into a state of war with the person whose life they intend to take. This is not the normal relationship between people enjoined by the law of nature in the state of nature.
Locke is distancing himself from Hobbes who had made the state of nature and the state of war equivalent terms. For Locke, the state of nature is ordinarily one in which we follow the Golden Rule interpreted in terms of natural rights, and thus love our fellow human creatures.
Slavery is the state of being in the absolute or arbitrary power of another. In order to do so one must be an unjust aggressor defeated in war. The just victor then has the option to either kill the aggressor or enslave them.
Locke tells us that the state of slavery is the continuation of the state of war between a lawful conqueror and a captive, in which the conqueror delays to take the life of the captive, and instead makes use of him.
This is a continued war because if conqueror and captive make some compact for obedience on the one side and limited power on the other, the state of slavery ceases and becomes a relation between a master and a servant in which the master only has limited power over his servant.
Illegitimate slavery is that state in which someone possesses absolute or despotic power over someone else without just cause. Locke holds that it is this illegitimate state of slavery which absolute monarchs wish to impose upon their subjects. It is very likely for this reason that legitimate slavery is so narrowly defined.
Still, it is possible that Locke had an additional purpose or perhaps a quite different reason for writing about slavery. However, there are strong objections to this view. Had he intended to justify Afro-American slavery, Locke would have done much better with a vastly more inclusive definition of legitimate slavery than the one he gives.
This, however, is also not the case. These limits on who can become a legitimate slave and what the powers of a just conqueror are ensure that this theory of conquest and slavery would condemn the institutions and practices of Afro-American slavery in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries.
Nonetheless, the debate continues. Roger Woolhouse in his recent biography of Locke Woolhouse Indeed, some of the most controversial issues about the Second Treatise come from varying interpretations of it. In this chapter Locke, in effect, describes the evolution of the state of nature to the point where it becomes expedient for those in it to found a civil government. In discussing the origin of private property Locke begins by noting that God gave the earth to all men in common.
Thus there is a question about how private property comes to be. Locke finds it a serious difficulty. What then is the means to appropriate property from the common store? Locke argues that private property does not come about by universal consent.
Locke holds that we have a property in our own person. And the labor of our body and the work of our hands properly belong to us. So, when one picks up acorns or berries, they thereby belong to the person who picked them up.
Daniel Russell claims that for Locke, labor is a goal-directed activity that converts materials that might meet our needs into resources that actually do Russell One might think that one could then acquire as much as one wished, but this is not the case. Locke introduces at least two important qualifications on how much property can be acquired.
The first qualification has to do with waste. As much as anyone can make use of to any advantage of life before it spoils, so much by his labor he may fix a property in; whatever is beyond this, is more than his share, and belongs to others. Since originally, populations were small and resources great, living within the bounds set by reason, there would be little quarrel or contention over property, for a single man could make use of only a very small part of what was available. Note that Locke has, thus far, been talking about hunting and gathering, and the kinds of limitations which reason imposes on the kind of property that hunters and gatherers hold.
In the next section he turns to agriculture and the ownership of land and the kinds of limitations there are on that kind of property. Once again it is labor which imposes limitations upon how much land can be enclosed. It is only as much as one can work. But there is an additional qualification. Nor was this appropriation of any parcel of land , by improving it, any prejudice to any other man, since there was still enough, and as good left; and more than the as yet unprovided could use.
So that, in effect, there was never the less for others because of his inclosure for himself: No body could consider himself injured by the drinking of another man, though he took a good draught, who had a whole river of the same water left to quench his thirst: The next stage in the evolution of the state of nature involves the introduction of money. Locke remarks that:. So, before the introduction of money, there was a degree of economic equality imposed on mankind both by reason and the barter system.
And men were largely confined to the satisfaction of their needs and conveniences. Most of the necessities of life are relatively short lived—berries, plums, venison and so forth. And says Locke:. The introduction of money is necessary for the differential increase in property, with resulting economic inequality. Without money there would be no point in going beyond the economic equality of the earlier stage.
In a money economy, different degrees of industry could give men vastly different proportions. This partage of things in an inequality of private possessions, men have made practicable out of the bounds of society, and without compact, only by putting a value on gold and silver, and tacitly agreeing to the use of money: The implication is that it is the introduction of money, which causes inequality, which in turn multiplies the causes of quarrels and contentions and increased numbers of violations of the law of nature.
This leads to the decision to create a civil government. Before turning to the institution of civil government, however, we should ask what happens to the qualifications on the acquisition of property after the advent of money? One answer proposed by C. Macpherson in The Political Theory of Possessive Individualism is that the qualifications are completely set aside, and we now have a system for the unlimited acquisition of private property.