Compare And Contrast Thomas Hobbes And John Locke


Thomas Hobbes and John Locke are two of the most important political philosophers of the 17th century. In many ways, they had very different ideas about the nature of society and the proper role of government. However, they also shared some key beliefs, including a belief in natural rights.

Hobbes was a strong believer in absolute monarchy, while Locke believed in democracy. Hobbes thought that humans were naturally violent and selfish, and that government was necessary to keep people in check. Locke believed that humans were basically good, and that government should only exist to protect people’s natural rights.

Interestingly, both Hobbes and Locke agreed that the best form of government is one in which power is divided among different branches. This helps to prevent any one person or group from having too much power and abusing it.

In general, Hobbes’ philosophy is more pessimistic, while Locke’s is more optimistic. However, both thinkers had a profound impact on the development of political thought.

Thomas Hobbes and John Locke were two of the most famous political theorists of their time. They both offered outstanding philosophical works on how our government should rule us. This paper will compare and contrast Thomas Hobbes’ Leviathan with John Locke’s Second Treatise on Civil Government, demonstrating the main differences and some similarities between them. Although they do share certain things in common, Hobbes and Locke have distinct points of view on many of their political debates, which I’ll elaborate further upon in this section.

Thomas Hobbes has a very pessimistic view of the state of nature, while John Locke’s is more optimistic. According to Hobbes, in the state of nature people are “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.” This means that individuals are in a constant state of war with each other because they are all competing for scarce resources.

People are also not very trustful of each other because they know that others are also looking out for themselves. In contrast, Locke believes that the state of nature is a time when people are free and equal. People are able to live peacefully together because they have reason and natural law to guide them. There is no need for government in the state of nature because people can govern themselves.

When it comes to government, Hobbes and Locke have different views on what its purpose is. Hobbes believes that the purpose of government is to keep people safe from each other. He believes that the government should have absolute power over its citizens in order to keep them from harming each other. Locke, on the other hand, believes that the purpose of government is to protect the natural rights of its citizens. He believes that the government should only have as much power as is necessary to protect these rights.

Finally, Hobbes and Locke also have different views on the social contract. Hobbes believes that the social contract is a agreement between the people and the government. The people agree to give up their freedom in exchange for protection from the government. Locke, on the other hand, believes that the social contract is an agreement between the people and each other. The people agree to follow the laws in order to live peacefully together.

As you can see, Thomas Hobbes and John Locke had different views on many important political topics. These differences likely stem from their different views of human nature. Hobbes believes that people are inherently evil, while Locke believes that people are fundamentally good. These different views lead to different conclusions about the best way to govern a society.

Hobbes and Locke have significant differences in their views of the state of nature. Hobbes thought that people act solely in their own self-interest, and that they will go to any length to assist themselves. He believed we are always competing with one another for the finest food, shelter, money, and so on. Hobbes thought that having a powerful sovereign was the greatest method to safeguard citizens.

Locke believed people are rational and reasonable. He thought people should be able to work together for the common good. Locke believed the best way to protect citizens would be to have a sovereign that is responsive to the people’s needs. Thomas Hobbes and John Locke offer different ideas about the state of nature, but both are influential thinkers in the development of political philosophy.

Locke’s understanding of the state of nature differs in a fundamental way. Locke’s idea of the state of nature is that individuals have set limitations on what they can and should not do, yet he believed that people are generally kind to one another and will not interfere with each other. As a result, in Locke’s perspective, humans live in peace. Hobbes, on the other hand, thinks that humans exist in a continual state of war with one another.

The state of nature for Hobbes is a place where humans are always competing with each other and trying to get ahead. There is no such thing as cooperation in Hobbes’ state of nature. In addition, Locke believes that the state of nature is not perfect, but it is good enough. Hobbes, on the other hand, believes that the state of nature is incredibly brutal and violent. Overall, Locke’s view of the state of nature is much more optimistic than Hobbes’ view.

Hobbes and Locke had very different ideas about government. While it isn’t explicitly stated in his text, most historians believe Hobbes was a supporter of absolute monarchy. He thought that the state should have complete authority over all its citizens. If no such government existed, he believed we would live in a constant state of conflict. The sovereign (government) is responsible for keeping the peace and, when required, national defense. The sovereign has total legislative, executive, and judicial authority as long as it does not infringe on the rights of others

All citizens are obligated to obey the sovereign’s commands, or face punishment. In a state of nature, Hobbes believes human life would be “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short.” People would constantly be in fear of being attacked or killed. There would be no laws to protect people from harm. In order to avoid this type of life, people give up their natural rights and submit to the authority of the sovereign.

Locke also has views on government that differ from Hobbes’. He does not believe the government should have absolute power over its citizens. He believes people have certain natural rights that cannot be taken away by the government. These rights include life, liberty, and property. People form governments in order to protect these rights. Locke believes the government should only have the power to make laws that protect these rights. If the government tries to take away these rights, the people have a right to overthrow that government.

Though they had different views on government, both Hobbes and Locke believed in a social contract. This is an agreement between the citizens and the government. The citizens agree to obey the laws of the government in exchange for protection from harm.

Both Thomas Hobbes and John Locke were great political thinkers of their time period. Though they had different opinions on some issues, they both helped shape our current government system. Thomas Hobbes wrote about his views on absolute monarchy while John Locke wrote about natural rights and a government with limited power. Though they had different perspectives, both Hobbes and Locke’s views on the social contract helped shape our current government system.


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