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Paper Topic:

Social Contract Theory of John Locke

Locke on the Social Contract Theory

Social Contract Theory is a philosophy , which states that political and moral obligations of a person are rendered to him , upon an agreement between the ruler and the society . This agreement governs both the ruler and the ruled society to act in accordance with one another . John Locke along with Thomas Hobbes and Jean Jacques Rousseau , is one of the best known proponents of this theory , which emerged as one of the most influential political theories in the history of the Modern West . Social Contract Theory

was an answer to reject the Divine Right Theory , which was used by kings and queens as their basis for their right to rule

Locke 's most important and influential writings are in his book , Two Treatises on Government . The first treatise in his writing is geared towards the rejection of Divine Right theory and the second treatise states Locke 's own views on the justification for the civil government which he entitled An Essay Concerning the True Original Extent and End of Civil Government

John Locke 's Social Contract Theory held a positive view about human nature . He argued that humans have a gift of reason , and man 's natural condition is a state of perfect and complete liberty wherein , humans live their lives at its best without interference from other people People are assumed to be in equal footing with one another and are bound by the Law of Nature . This Law of Nature however is according to Locke 's view is the basis of all morality , and thus must not extend to harm other people 's rights with regards to their life , health , liberty or possessions (Locke 2003

Further more , as his concept of State of Nature lacks civil power amongst men and an appeal to the Law of Nature allowing people to defend themselves . Because of this lack of authority , a war is likely to break out , thus prompting the reason to abandon the State of Nature and recognize a contract that shall in turn form a government

This , as a result to man 's having the ability to think rationally humans submit themselves to a higher authority for the protection of their rights . However , in Locke 's Social Contract Theory , a rational individual will only agree to a government , with minimal and limited control , and a government that is controlled by the citizens . Because for Locke , the government can be easily lured to become restrictive corrupt and abusive of powers , thus prompting the individuals to always retain some power over the government for the sake of freedom and equality . This issue concerning freedom has always been central to Locke 's market government . Government must always employ the right blend of freedom and restrictions with it . For the people , their property and lives are their rational interests and their concept to form a government is geared towards the protection of these interests Therefore , the people , although putting the security of their rights in the...

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