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Government Essays & Research Papers

Locke And Hobbes Purpose Of Government

Topic: Government

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Thomas Hobbes and John Locke were political philosophers of the seventeenth century who each attempted to decipher the best form of government. Though they were both naturalists, Locke and Hobbes shared very different views on the natural laws that moved humans and this led to radically different beliefs on what they thought to be the ideal form of government. The first conceptual difference between Hobbes and Locke is the necessity of a central authority for humans to be able to live together in a peaceful and stable environment. For both philosophers, when humans exist without any acting authority it is known as a state of nature. According to Hobbes a state of nature was a condition in which humans are constantly fearful for their safety and experience only fleeting moments of pleasure. This means that it is almost impossible to have any sort of meaningful existence without the presence of a universal authority, or as Hobbes calls it a Leviathan. In a Hobbesian state of nature, hu...

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