Understanding John Locke
Understanding John Locke is the perfect philosophy study guide for reading Locke's Second Treatise of Government. Professor Houlgate takes the student along with him in a clear account and exploration of Locke's main theories about the nature and origin of political power, the state of nature, the state of war, the law of nature, the social contract, the origin of private property, the distinction between political, paternal and despotical power, the legitimate placing of political power, the separation of legislative and executive power, and the conditions for justifiable revolution. The book concludes with a postscript comparing and contrasting some of the political theories of Locke and his ancient Greek predecessor Plato.John Locke is the intellectual father of two revolutions: the Whig revolt against absolute monarchy in 17th century England and almost 100 years later, the revolt of the American colonies against British rule, culminating in the founding of the United States of America. Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Paine, George Mason and James Madison all ranked John Locke as one of the most influential thinkers they consulted during the American revolution and the formation of the liberal constitutional state that emerged from it. The primary vehicle of this influence was John Locke's Second Treatise of Government.
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