Thomas Hobbes & John Locke Flashcards

Thomas Hobbes & John Locke Flashcards
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Locke's View of Unalienable Rights
Locke believed that each person had unalienable rights from birth, which could not be given away; they were given by God and nature.
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'The War of All Against All'
A way that Hobbes describes a state of nature, unless the people have a powerful Leviathan (a metaphor for government) to keep their selfishness in check.
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According to Hobbes, the best form of government is a _____.
Monarchy - he describes three types of sovereign in Leviathan: monarchy, aristocracy, and democracy, but considers monarchy to be the best.
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The First Two Laws of Nature in Leviathan
First, humans are in search of peace. Second, humans should quit the state of nature by forming a commonwealth.
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According to Hobbes, the thing that drives humans is a fear of _____.
Death - therefore, it is in their rational self-interest to submit to a sovereign ruler to limit the brutal chaos of the state of nature.
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John Locke's View of the State of Nature
Locke saw the state of nature as fairly peaceful and ideal for personal freedoms. However, since conflict is inevitable, people give power to a governing body that protects them.
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A 'Social Contract'
An agreement between citizens to live within a governmental system. Political theorists often offer different views of how the social contract should function in society.
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Hobbes' 'State of Nature'
A society without civil government which, according to Hobbes, is brutal, nasty, chaotic, and short.
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17 cards in set

Flashcard Content Overview

These flashcards provide an introduction to some of the most important philosophical and political ideas of Thomas Hobbes (1588-1671) and John Locke (1632-1704). Learn about their differing ideas about the state of nature and the ideal form of government. This flashcard set also reviews some of their key works, the idea of a social contract, and the lasting influence of Locke's views about unalienable rights.

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Hobbes' 'State of Nature'
A society without civil government which, according to Hobbes, is brutal, nasty, chaotic, and short.
A 'Social Contract'
An agreement between citizens to live within a governmental system. Political theorists often offer different views of how the social contract should function in society.
John Locke's View of the State of Nature
Locke saw the state of nature as fairly peaceful and ideal for personal freedoms. However, since conflict is inevitable, people give power to a governing body that protects them.
According to Hobbes, the thing that drives humans is a fear of _____.
Death - therefore, it is in their rational self-interest to submit to a sovereign ruler to limit the brutal chaos of the state of nature.
The First Two Laws of Nature in Leviathan
First, humans are in search of peace. Second, humans should quit the state of nature by forming a commonwealth.
According to Hobbes, the best form of government is a _____.
Monarchy - he describes three types of sovereign in Leviathan: monarchy, aristocracy, and democracy, but considers monarchy to be the best.
'The War of All Against All'
A way that Hobbes describes a state of nature, unless the people have a powerful Leviathan (a metaphor for government) to keep their selfishness in check.
Locke's View of Unalienable Rights
Locke believed that each person had unalienable rights from birth, which could not be given away; they were given by God and nature.
The Effects of Locke's Views on American Founding Documents
Locke's ideas about unalienable rights can be seen in several founding documents of the United States including the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights.
The Three Primary Natural Rights, According to Locke
Life, liberty, and property - according to Locke, these natural rights needed to be protected by a government.
Two Treatises on Government
John Locke's famous book of political philosophy, published anonymously in 1689. It presented a view of social contract theory and natural rights that became popular in the mid-1800s.
Tabula Rasa
Locke held that each person is born a tabula rasa, or blank slate. Then, through experiences, people come to learn and know things.
Empiricism
A school of thought which holds that all knowledge is derived from experience. Locke is an empiricist who argued that we can only know about something through our experiences.
Locke's Understanding of Sensation and Reflection
These are two ways we can experience and gain knowledge. Sensation relies on our senses. Reflection relies on consciousness to reflect on (think about) our experiences.
Hobbes' 'Kingdom of Darkness'
A state of ignorance - Hobbes writes that fear based on religious doctrine can lead to ignorance and he lays out four specific causes in Book 4 of Leviathan.
Absolute Monarchy
A government in which a king has complete power over his subjects. Hobbes considered this to be the most effective government to keep humanity's natural brutality in check.
Hobbes and the English Civil War
Hobbes' views were largely shaped by the English Civil War (1642-49) and the turbulent interregnum years to follow (1649-1660). He lived in self-imposed exile for safety until 1651.

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