Social Contract Theorists: Hobbes Vs. Locke

Improved Essays
Leah Schulz
Professor Jennifer Hanson
History 2- 81010
September 07, 2017 Hobbes vs. Locke Both, Hobbes and Locke, were known as social contract theorists as well as natural law theorists. Hobbes is well known for writing Leviathan and Locke is well known for writing Treatises on Government. However, they are different in regards to their stand and conclusions in several laws of nature. Thomas Hobbes was an English philosopher from Malmesbury. He first started rising to fame when his book Leviathan, laid the foundation of Western political philosophy. Hobbes garnered recognition in several areas; he was the champion of absolutism for the sovereign, but greatly contributed to many other subjects such as ethics, geometry, physics of gases, theology, and even political science. John Locke, on the other hand, has been coined the father of liberalism. He was one of the most influential Enlightment thinkers and proved to be a great English Philosopher and physician. Additionally, he was one of the first few
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Locke believed peace is the norm, and should be the norm. We can and should live together in peace by refraining from molesting each other’s property and persons, and for the most part we do. While Hobbes believed men cannot know good and evil, and in consequence can only live in peace together by subjection to the absolute power of a common master, and therefore there can be no peace between kings. Peace between states is merely war by other means. Furthermore, the stand on the social contract is different in Locke and Hobbes’ philosophies. Locke believed that we have the right to life as well as the right to just and impartial protection of our property. Any violation of the social contract would one in a state of war with his fellow countrymen. Conversely, Hobbes believed that if you simply do what you are told, you are safe. You will not violate the social contract because you do not have the right to

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