State Of Nature With Respect To Freedom, Liberty, Justice

Categories: Social Justice

In the state of nature where we enjoy a perfect freedom, where desire is free of all impedimentsand is; of absolute equality, where no one is subordinate to anyone; and the element of mutual love, which arises from the desire for our equals. For Locke in some way, nature is the law of social order, it is a principle and because we are all equal, we have authority to enforce the same laws, we can do whatever we want with our possessions or even our own lives without asking anybody for permission (John Locke, 1689).

For Hobbes justice in the state of natural law in which, the freedom of the individual consists in simple terms, in doing what he wants (wishes) to preserve his own life; It is a state where duty-to be is not a problem. The problem of this arises when the natural right cannot be fulfilled without that duty that guarantees the freedom of the natural right, this is when all breaks loose and it becomes a total war of all against all (Thomas Hobbes, 1651).

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This concept is very important for the study of political theory because it teaches us how we as humans act regarding certain situations in society. For us to understand the ideas the philosophers are trying to teach us, so we can have an idea of what would be like living without a Government or structure and so we can understand the importance of having laws and regulations (Government).


  1. John Locke, 1689. Second treatise of Government, Chapter 2.

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  2. Thomas Hobbes, 1651. The Leviathan, Chapters XIII-XIV

Distributive justice

Distributive Justice is the balance between what the people can exchange, with what they need and what they deserve, therefore achieving an equitable distribution of goods or resources that are possessed. From a social point of view, it refers to the fact that all citizens can enjoy the essential goods, such as food, education, and health, alike.

John Rawls adjustedimpediments and by unifying both material and moral aspects, proposing that distributive justice is social justice, a general aspiration of society, which gives life to social institutions. According to Rawls, justice is the fundamental virtue of a society; this means that without a desire for justice, social institutions weaken. The desire for justice obeys the rejection of individualistic and selfish attitudes, since in a society with these generalized behaviors there would be a profound global imbalance and, therefore, injustice would prevail.

Rawls speaks of people as a whole, rejecting individualism and selfishness and accepting the cooperation of members, he says that by doing this, the resources will increase. (John Rawls, 1971)

This concept of Distributive Justice for the study of Political Theory is importan, because the subject is an “old concept” that started ever since humans started living as a society. We still see this concept of distributive justice in today’s modern society; this is something that will always exist, because we will always have inequality (rich and poor).


  1. John Rawls, A Theory of Justice: Revised Edition, 1971
  2. Andrew Lister Oliver Smithies Lecture, Trinity Term; May 10, 2011 Balliol College, Oxford
  3. The “mirage” of Social Justice: Hayek against (and for) Rawls

Free market

The Free Market is a concept applied to the economy, but it also has many political repercussions. In reality, a free market is a process in which many people act individually, driven by personal initiatives, making exchanges with each other, and without government intervention to orient those actions.


This concept for the study of political theory is very significant because it teaches about the free market and how without any intervention by a government the system can determine the prices of the goods according to their supply and demand. We learn about the good and the bad aspects of the free market.


  1. Freidrich Hayek, A free-market monetary system and the pretense of knowledge, 1974)
  2. Andrew Lister Oliver Smithies Lecture, Trinity Term; May 10, 2011, Balliol College, Oxford
  3. The “mirage” of Social Justice: Hayek against (and for) Rawls

Double Effect

A double effect is an action that has two different results, a good one and a bad one. It is the distinction between what is considered directly voluntary and indirectly voluntary. This distinction is used to confront practical conflict situations in which it is only possible to avoid an evil act to get a good result more or less necessary, or in theory, causing an evil that is not desired. In this case, the evil that is caused when seeking to do good is considered justified or permissible. The doctrine of double effect, also says that if we seek to do something good, this action may also have undesirable but foreseeable consequences; therefore, even knowing that it will bring certain evils (bad effects), it is justifiable to carry it out.

Saint Thomas Aquinas in the Summa Theologica says that the act of self-defense might have a double effect; the first one is saving our own lives and the second is the killing of the attacker. For Saint Thomas Aquinas this act of killing your attacker is not unlawful as long as you use only the necessary force, because it is done to save your own life. He also says that if in the act of self-defense you use more than the necessary force (use of violence) even though it is to save your own life, this “good” act can be considered unlawful. (Saint Thomas Aquinas, c. 1225–1274).

This is important for the study of political theory because following this principle of the double effect our actions and decisions take a human sense, which is what should prevail in our lives; lead us with humanity, ethics, with respect for life.


  1. Saint Thomas Aquinas, c. 1225–1274. Summa Theologica, Second Part of the Second Part, Question 67, Article 7.

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State Of Nature With Respect To Freedom, Liberty, Justice. (2022, May 26). Retrieved from

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