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Locke,Rousseau,More

Locke,Rousseau,More - Politics and the Social Contract John...

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Politics and the Social Contract: John Locke and Jean Jacques Rousseau Clark Wolf Iowa State University [email protected]
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Argument for Analysis Since people have fundamentally equal rights and abilities, radically unequal distribution of wealth and goods is fundamentally unjust. But where political institutions protect rights to private property, radical inequalities are sure to arise. Since the right to property leads to injustice, property rights are unjust.
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Argument for Analysis If property rights can arise without the violation of anyone’s rights, then property rights are permissible. If property rights are required for implementation of Natural Law, then property rights are required by justice. But the protection of property rights leads to radical inequalities. It follows that radical inequalities are sometimes consistent with justice.
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NOTICE: Those who would like to re-take midterm or Quiz may do so on Friday between 2:00 and 3:00. Catt Hall 407. If you can’t make it then, see me! Anyone may re-take these exams. The new grade will not replace the old, but will be taken into account in your final grade for the course.
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Argument for Analysis Locke argues that we can gain property in land by “mixing our labor” with it, as long as we don’t appropriate more than we can use without waste, and as long as we leave “enough and as good” for others. But Locke’s theory can’t justify existing property rights: the world is finite, and the human population of the earth is large. At this point, there is no land left to appropriate. So previous appropriation cannot have left “enough and as good” in the common, so it must have violated the ‘enough and as good’ requirement. So on Locke’s view, existing property rights in land are illegitimate.
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Argument for Analysis 1) Locke specifies that legitimate appropriation must leave ‘enough and as good’ for others. 2) At present there is no land left in a common. 3) previous appropriation did not leave “enough and as good” in the common. 4)Previous appropriation was unjustified. 5) on Locke’s view, existing property rights in land are illegitimate.
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Argument for Analysis The political theories of Hobbes and Locke are irrelevant. Hobbes and Locke both describe civil government as arising from a pre-social state of nature, where society is unorganized and has no strucuture. But people have never lived in such a state, so we can’t learn anything about real societies by looking at such an artificial construct.
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1) Hobbes and Locke both describe civil government as arising from a pre-social state of nature, where society is unorganized and has no structure. 3) But people have never lived in such a state, so 4) we can’t learn anything about real societies by looking at such an artificial construct.
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