20. Locke I - for merge - Lecture #20 22/03/12 POL 200 Y 1...

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Lecture #20 22/03/12 POL 200 Y 1 Political Theory Locke: -Beginning of modern liberal democratic thought, along with Spinoza. -Disagrees with Hobbes on monarchical absolutism. -Vast difference in style. Hobbes tries to persuade us by jolting us, Locke tries to put us to sleep. -Long-winded and tedious. Downplays the novelty of his argument. Good reason! -Careful man in an age where care was necessary. Hobbes doctrines were not agreeable in Locke’s time, 35 years after Leviathan. -Locke had fled to Holland, and went into hiding. Wrote them and published them anonymously. -Locke never acknowledged the ownership of these treatises only after he was dead. -Never fully acknowledges Hobbes in name, though he does reference him. Chapter 1: -Having just refuted Filmer and natural political authority; derived from Adam. -Locke claims that there is no such natural political authority. Filmer is Locke’s stand-in for the entire classical thought! -Square one: No natural authority among human beings, but we need some account of how legitimate authority came about. -Locke agrees with Hobbes on the fundamental starting point. He disagrees on how to get legitimate authority. Chapter 2 and 3: Of the State of Nature and War -There is emphasis on the difference between nature and war. To confuse them is a mistake. -Reference to Hobbes in Chapter 3. -If one takes the view that the state of nature is idyllic, why do we need society at all? Why did we ever leave the state of nature, and why don’t we make a move to return to it? There must be something more in common with Hobbes and Locke. -How far is the state of nature from the state of war? -Conceptually they are very different. -Hobbes contends that the state of nature is inevitable one of war. -In practice, they have perfect freedom, within the bounds of the laws of nature. -If there is a difference between Hobbes and Locke, it will be in the laws of nature. -Equality, obvious that. -Bible and Hooker are the authorities Locke references. -Locke spins the words of both. -Hooker’s argument for natural equality was that we are naturally equal because we all owe each other Christian love. What are the political implications? -The state of nature is a state of liberty, not a state of license. The law of nature is reason.
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This note was uploaded on 04/04/2012 for the course POL 200 taught by Professor Chambers during the Winter '08 term at University of Toronto- Toronto.

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20. Locke I - for merge - Lecture #20 22/03/12 POL 200 Y 1...

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