Essays on Second Treatise of Civil Government

Second Treatise of Civil Government
Original title Second Treatise of Civil Government
Author John Locke
Genre Political Philosophy
Language English
Characters John Locke, Thomas Hobbes, Jean, Jacques Rousseau
Published 1689
ISBN 978-1-4209-5286-8
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John Locke’s Second Treatise of Civil Government is a political treatise published in 1689. It is one of Locke’s most important works on political philosophy and presents his theory of natural rights and the social contract.In the Second Treatise, Locke argues that the state of nature is a state of perfect freedom and equality where all men have a natural right to life, liberty, and property. However, men are not perfectly good and rational, and so they often abuse their natural rights. To protect these rights, men form governments which create laws to protect life, liberty, and property. Locke’s theory of the social contract is based on the idea that men consent to be governed by the laws of the state in order to protect their natural rights. The state of nature is thus a state of war, and government is necessary to protect men from each other.Locke’s theory of natural rights is based on the idea that all men are equal and have a right to life, liberty, and property. These rights are natural and inalienable, and they can only be forfeited by the abuse of them. Government exists to protect these rights, and when it fails to do so, it can be legitimately overthrown.

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