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Compare and contrast the philosophies of Thomas Hobbes and John Locke.

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kalliem20 | Student, Undergraduate | Salutatorian

Posted August 28, 2012 at 3:06 AM via web

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Compare and contrast the philosophies of Thomas Hobbes and John Locke.

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted August 28, 2012 at 3:15 AM (Answer #1)

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Locke and Hobbes have similar philosophies in that both of them believe that human beings in a state of nature would have a bad life.  Both of them feel that human beings must create governments in order to protect themselves from the dangers of the state of nature.

They differ, however, with regard to what they think these governments should be like.  Locke is famous for advocating a government that is based on the consent of the governed and is concerned with protecting their rights.  Hobbes, by contrast, believes that individuals must completely give up their rights to an all-powerful sovereign.

In this way, these two men have very different prescriptions for how to get out of what they both agree is a state of nature that is not conducive to human happiness.

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