An examination of lockes argument for the origin and practice of legitimate authority

John Locke (1632—1704)

The whole issue is muddied by the fact that Seliger gives no discussion of the nature of equality but then, neither does Locke.

For example, when I think about Elizabeth II as the Queen of England my thinking actually involves relations, because I cannot truly think of Elizabeth as a queen without conceiving of her as having a certain relationship of sovereignty to some subjects individual substances like David Beckham and J.

Locke spent his childhood in the West Country and as a teenager was sent to Westminster School in London. Similarly, factions ought not to be tolerated if their numbers grow to threaten the state. Second Treatise Chapter I. But his conclusion is that each individual must respect the life, health, liberty and possessions of all others.

While it is clear that Locke posited political equality, in the state of nature, he never assumed there would be equality of possessions. These are ideas such as memory, imagination, desire, doubt, judgment, and choice. One volume on epistemology and one on metaphysics.

Online Library of Liberty

In the state of nature man has two powers — to preserve himself according to the Law of Nature and the power to punish criminals.

It was a fear of persecution that kept him from admitting to authorship of the Two Treatises, after all Seventeenth Century Britain certainly produced many provocative and extreme opinions, and indeed a few writers, including some close associates, were executed for their seditious thoughts. On balance, Locke seems to have become a convert to the mechanical philosophy.

He, too, points out the contractual nature of the wage relationship and makes the important observation that in order for a person to hire labor, the employer must be able to exchange the fruits of his own labor acquired at some time past.

It was around this time that Locke composed his most famous political work, the Two Treatises Concerning Government. Filmer offers several descriptions of Biblical characters possessing power, but Locke disallows them all.

Although Locke specifically reiterates in several places within the Second Treatise that the cause for entry into civil society was the protection of property, by which he meant life, liberty, and estate, MacPherson consistently interprets him to mean solely estate, and landed estate at that.

Thus, much of Some Thoughts Concerning Education focuses on morality and the best ways to inculcate virtue and industry.

On his view, Catholics had a fundamental allegiance to the Pope, a foreign prince who did not recognize the sovereignty of English law. Adequacy and inadequacy have to do with how well ideas match the patterns according to which they were made.

Labour — active productive labour, based on rationality and productivity — increases the wealth of the nation, it does not generate a system of fair prices. That every body of law consists essentially in a consistent system of abstract rules which have normally been intentionally established.

Locke thinks we have enough knowledge to live comfortable lives on Earth, to realize that there is a God, to understand morality and behave appropriately, and to gain salvation.

The signification of words is arbitrary, rather than natural, and this means it can be difficult to understand which words refer to which ideas. A parent may, arguably, alienate his rights over a child, Locke notes, but a child cannot alienate the honour due to his parent, an argument Filmer ignores.

So the proviso concerning waste seems to drop away. Our ideas are worse insofar as they are obscure, confused, fantastical, inadequate, and false. He was buried at High Laver, near Oates.

Instead, each individual should be allowed to pursue true beliefs as best as they are able. Hence, Locke devotes all of Chapter V of his Second Treatise to tracing the steps by which reason teaches that men ought not to be harmed in their possessions.

Perhaps more importantly, Locke also distinguishes between a number of different types of dominion or governing power which Filmer had run together. It also makes it seem more plausible that they could be rational enough to create property in the first place, and to enter into a contract as formal as necessary to begin civil society.

The state of nature was apolitical in the sense that there were no governments and each individual retained all of his or her natural rights.

What were the characteristics of the state of nature where men were presumed to live without government? The mechanical philosophy argued that all features of bodies and all natural phenomena could be explained by appeal to these corpuscles and their basic properties in particular, size, shape, and motion.

With such a convoluted theory, surely God would have given us indications as to his meaning, after all, Locke adds, Scripture tells us whom we can and cannot marry.

In recent years, most commentators have adopted the first of these two readings. They are remunerated by fixed salaries in money, for the most part with a right to pensions.

John Locke: Political Philosophy

So legitimacy rests on two kinds of consent present in the social contrac: Finally, and perhaps most importantly, a government which failed to adequately protect the rights and interests of its citizens or a government which attempted to overstep its authority would be failing to perform the task for which it was created.

Although the Two Treatises would not be published until they show that he had already solidified his views on the nature and proper form of government.The condition in which people give up some individual liberty in exchange for some common security is the Social Contract.

One matter that Hobbes' investigation allows is the examination of governments for the purpose of determining their legitimacy. In Hobbes' time the rulers claimed their authority to rule by virtue of divine right. Locke’s emphasis on the philosophical examination of the human mind as a preliminary to the philosophical investigation of the world and its contents represented a new approach to philosophy, one which quickly gained a number of converts, especially in Great Britain.

for the most part, individuals should be allowed to practice their. Apr 13,  · The Partially Examined Life Philosophy Podcast. A Philosophy Podcast and Philosophy Blog.

Home; Podcast. All PEL Episodes; John Locke on Legitimate Powers. and those parts of both his argument and his resultant system that are just plain goofy.

Topic for #37: John Locke on Legitimate Powers

Read along with us with the free online text or buy the book. by. Constitutional Legitimacy Randy E. Barnett Georgetown University Law Center, [email protected] received, I maintain that laws passed pursuant to a legitimate constitu-tional authority can still bind us in conscience-that is, create a moral duty of obedience.

In Part III, I begin by showing how, contrary to popu. John Locke’s Theory of Property: Problems of Interpretation. by Karen I. Vaugn. He begins his discussion of the origin of property in the state of nature, that pre-political state so familiar to seventeenth century philosophers.

All the rhetoric in MacPherson’s examination of Locke’s theory of property aside, he shows a fine. Theories of Multicultural Toleration: An Examination of Justice as Fairness and Political Theology. The Post-Communist Transition as a Critical Juncture and Origin of Political Decay in Poland.

By Phillip S.

Swallow. The Polish populist Law and Justice Party (PiS) overturned the mainstream consensus in Polish politics by returning to power.

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An examination of lockes argument for the origin and practice of legitimate authority
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