Tagged: John Locke

Three Perspectives on Political Theory

What is the main task for any state? Providing security, creating a diverse and stable reform-oriented middle class, or unifying the citizenship through education into a strong community? These three views on political theory can be correlated with the names of Machiavelli, Aristotle, and Plato. I will discuss them briefly.

1. Security first: political realism and the role of power (Machiavelli, Hobbes.)
2. Diversity and freedom: stability and reform (Aristotle, Locke)
3. Community, unity, and vision (Plato, Rousseau.)

John Locke

John Locke, (1632 – 1704) is famous for his arguments against rationalism and his contributions to empiricism. In his political philosophy, he argues for tolerance and liberalism. He accepts Hobbes’ argument for a social contract, but he defines it differently. The problem that Hobbes faces is how the social contract can ever be created, when people are only in a state of war with each other. If humans relate to each other only through mistrust, aggression, and fear, then how is it possible to create a lasting social contract in the midst of civil war? Locke overcomes this problem by...