Q:

How did Thomas Hobbes and John Locke view the purpose of government?

A:

Quick Answer

John Locke believed that the government existed in order to help protect people and to help society function, while Thomas Hobbes believed that people needed the government to tell them what to do, or otherwise, there would be nothing but fighting among people. Locke supported a representative government such as the English Parliament, while Hobbes supported the absolute power of leaders such as kings.

Continue Reading

Full Answer

Locke believed that people had rights that were intrinsic and could not be taken away by others, such as the right to property and to happiness. He believed that people should be free to make their own choices as long as they were not dangerous to others. Locke also believed that the government should be representative and that the people should have the opportunity to elect leaders. However, despite this belief in representative government, Locke only wanted people with land and an education to be able to be elected because he felt the average person would not be able to make good decisions for the nation.

Hobbes believed that people at their core had tempers and were mean when left alone because nature forced them to be that way in order to survive. He thought that people would not be able to be productive or live in peace without a strong authoritative power telling them what to do. He believed that this should come in the form of an absolute ruler so that there would always be a "consistent exercise of political authority."

Learn more about Philosophy

Related Questions

  • Q:

    What are some interesting facts about John Locke?

    A:

    John Locke is regarded as one of the most fundamental philosophers in the world, being responsible for greatly influencing the ideals behind both the French Enlightenment and the American Revolution, as well as founding the philosophical school of thought called Realism. John Locke was born in 1632, went on to study at Oxford University, where he studied medicine.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Why was John Locke so important?

    A:

    John Locke contributed to the field of philosophy; his philosophical views influenced leaders in the French Enlightenment and American Revolution. Locke was born in Somerset, England, in 1632. He arrived into a wealthy family, and received education at the Westminster School in London and later at Christ Church in the University of Oxford.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What did John Locke believe?

    A:

    Among his many philosophies, John Locke is most known for his belief in religious freedom and tolerance. Locke was an English philosopher who is considered an important figure in early modern philosophy, and scholars consider him the father of classical liberalism.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How did John Locke influence the Constitution?

    A:

    Despite holding citizenship in England, John Locke promoted a government powered by the people and for the benefit of citizens. Locke lived during the 17th century, and had a prime role in shaping the spirit and language of the United States Constitution. Locke expressed his opinions on proper governance through several key works, including the "Second Treatise of Government," which established fundamental criteria for a sound and legitimate government.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore