Liberal Social Contract Theories: Hobbes and Locke

4 April 2015
A comparison between Hobbes’ and Locke’s theories.

This paper discusses the concept of liberalism with reference to Hobbes’ and Locke’s viewpoints. The author of this paper explains that both writers discuss the ideas of government and liberalism from a different viewpoint to other writers in that they refer to ideas of the nature of man and man’s conduct in the ‘state of nature’ rather than ideas based on religion. While both refer to the concept of a social contract as a way to rule and govern, Hobbes stresses the importance of the monarch as the ruling and powerful entity, while Locke emphasizes the importance of the community and people as the superior aspect
In developing their theory of government, both Hobbes and Locke start with a hypothetical ‘state of nature.’ And both have reason and rationality as their base to arrive at their respective conclusions, rather than concepts derived from religion and divinity. The difference lies in their ideas of the nature of man and man’s conduct in the state of nature. Hence their different conclusions. Although both talk of a Social Contract while developing their respective ideas of government, Hobbes favors monarchy and holds the monarch, once the people give consent to him, as all powerful, whereas Locke holds that the people [i.e. the community] that give legitimacy to the ruler to govern are supreme.

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Liberal Social Contract Theories: Hobbes and Locke. (2015, Apr 23). Retrieved September 18, 2020, from https://newyorkessays.com/essay-liberal-social-contract-theories-hobbes-and-locke/
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