JohnLocke-gov161presentation1 - Ayellet Packin GOV 161...

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Ayellet Packin March 28, 2006 GOV 161 Presentation: John Locke’s Second Treatise of Government In his Second Treatise of Government John Locke explains the state of nature, war, slavery, property, political and civil society, and sources of power, among other things, but within his explanations there contradictions. The state of nature for Locke is one in which all men are equal, and in this state every man must concern himself with his own preservation, while abiding by the law of nature that acknowledges that people should treat each other within reason. Abiding by the law of nature not only allows, but encourages people to punish others that breaking the law. Here lies a contradiction in Locke’s theory: if one man is beating a second man because he broke the law of nature, a third man may come and think that the aggressor in this fight is in the wrong, and may attack him. In reality, the aggressor is punishing the wrongdoer, but to the onlooker it seems that the wrongdoer is the victim, and he could therefore punish the aggressor.
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