How does Hobbes's view of government differ from John Locke's?

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Ultimately, Thomas Hobbes is a defender of absolutism while John Locke is a critic of it (and a defender of the Parliamentarian side in the English Civil War) and their respective differences carry backwards all the way to their respective understanding of the State of Nature (a hypothetical thought experiment by which philosophers try to imagine what humanity would have looked like before the rise of governments, in order to discern the original purpose of government).

Hobbes, as said before, had a very negative view of human nature. For Hobbes, without the order imposed by government, human beings will abuse one another, and all their worst impulses will run wild. Governments restrain those impulses, and from this perspective, no matter how oppressive or autocratic a government is, it remains legitimate in Hobbes' mind, and should be obeyed.

Locke's understanding of the original Social Contract is very different from Hobbes (though perhaps more nuanced than it is often given credit for)....

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 642 words.)

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