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Locke, John: Political Philosophy | Internet Encyclopedia

Date of publication: 2017-09-05 08:03

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Locke begins with how disruptive the religious “scribblings” of the age have been to his country, pens causing “as much guilt as their swords.” While acknowledging his respect for both authority and liberty, Locke prefers to steer a middle path observing that liberty may “turn loose to the tyranny of a religious rage,” unless its outward form is subjected to the state’s jurisdiction – that is, religious dissent should be subservient to the need to secure the peace, and thus the people ought to accept the religious policy of the presiding regimes.

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Locke presses the point – whence does Adam receive his power over others? By becoming a father, Filmer (thirdly) argues (and thereby provides a justification for his patriarchy). Locke reminds his readers that Filmer passes over the role of the mother in producing children and that in quoting from the Bible, Filmer drops any references to the mother: ‘honour thy father and thy mother’ becomes just ‘honour thy father’. Nonetheless, if Adam’s power comes from begetting children and becoming a father, then without children he was surely powerless, Locke concludes.

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Bioterrorism. Could a pathogen be genetically designed to be virulent enough to extinct humanity? A pathogen would have to be designed to spread easily from person to person, persist in the environment, resist antibiotics and immune responses, and cause almost 655% mortality. Designing for long latency (. months) might be necessary to ensure wide distribution, but no length may be enough to infect every last human.

Chapter XVII.
In a note on usurpation, Locke apparently accepts the usurpation of power by another personality it only becomes problematic when the usurper adds to his power.

Such a belief seems only as "natural" as the belief that collections of atoms do not generate life, and just as unjustified. The operation of . the human brain does not mysteriously cause consciousness, but rather it simply constitutes consciousness.

But we can usefully separate the ethics from the politics if we follow Hobbes's own division. For him ethics is concerned with human nature, while political philosophy deals with what happens when human beings interact. What, then, is Hobbes's view of human nature?

Idealizations. Producers and consumers have complete information about the prices and quality of all goods available or demanded in the market. Markets for particular kinds of goods are not dominated by a relatively few sellers or buyers. Sellers are able to exclude potential buyers from consuming the sellers' goods without buying them. Under perfect competition, markets tend toward equilibrium. Mathematical proof has been given of the theoretical existence of at least one set of prices that will clear all markets simultaneously.

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That a man be willing, when others are so too, as far-forth as for peace and defense of himself he shall think it necessary, to lay down this right to all things, and be contented with so much liberty against other men, as he would allow other men against himself. ( Leviathan , )

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