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American Political Thought Week 2

by: Aubrey Kenderdine

American Political Thought Week 2 POLS 2330

Marketplace > Northeastern University > Political Science > POLS 2330 > American Political Thought Week 2
Aubrey Kenderdine
Northeastern University

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About this Document

Locke Chapters 2-6, notes from reading and notes from lecture
American Political Thought
William G. Mayer
Class Notes
Politics, American Political Thought, Philosophical, Moral and philosophical approaches, John Locke, Locke, American Government, Government
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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Aubrey Kenderdine on Saturday September 17, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to POLS 2330 at Northeastern University taught by William G. Mayer in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 17 views. For similar materials see American Political Thought in Political Science at Northeastern University.


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Date Created: 09/17/16
American Political Thought Week 2 Notes Locke’s Second Treatise Chapters 1­3 are covered more in depth in Week 1 Notes Chapter 2 State of nature is state of  Freedom Equality Law State of nature has inconveniencies­ people are poor judges of their own cases There should be an unbiased mediator to end disputes and establish justice Hobbes believed that people are naturally violent and should be contained by government Chapter 3 In the state of nature, people settle disputes by making an appeal to heaven  Fight it out in a state of war Let God (who would intervene to help the right party) judge Chapter 4 Slavery can only be applied to people who have broken the law of nature (as an alternative to  taking their life) When a slave no longer wants to be a slave (and would rather be dead), all he has to do is resist Locke’s view of slavery is largely characteristic of slavery in the ancient world (as slaves were  taken from captives in war) At this time, there was slavery in the U.S. colonies, but this slavery couldn’t be justified because  children were born into slavery (and did not break the law of nature to become enslaved) Chapter 5 Most important chapter and still defendable today God gave Earth to mankind in common Saying God gave the world to Adam and successive heirs makes it hard to see that  anything can be owned except by a universal monarch The hand of nature belongs to men in common (plant production, animals, ecosystem) Everyone has the right to property in the state of nature 1. We own our own bodies 2. We therefore own labor of our bodies 3. Therefore when we take something out of the state of nature and mix our labor with  it, the product becomes our property Something can only become someone’s property if it was not already someone else’s property  (must come from the state of nature) Taking a part of what is common creates ownership and doesn’t depend on the consent of the  commoners An apple becomes property as soon as someone picks it up from under a tree Ownership of land when a man tills, plants, improves, cultivates Civilized part of mankind has made positive laws to settle property rights Limitations of property 1. Must leave enough and as good for others 2. Must be able to make use of property Property is not as much as you need but as much as you can use Anything beyond owning as much that can be beneficially used before it spoils is more  than his share and belongs to others Appropriation of land to improve it is not done at the expense of any other man because  there is still enough for everyone else Labor affects the value of everything Each acre of cultivated land is 10x more useful than an ace left to nature Land that was enclosed but not properly taken advantage of should be seen as wasteland  that could have been owned by someone else It’s better to have a large population than a large country because land has to be used well Communities began to settle bounds of separate territories (countries) Money Durable thing that men could keep for value that wouldn’t spoil Gave the opportunity to enlarge possessions Chapter 6 Mothers have an equal title to fathers that is called parental power instead of paternal (fatherly)  power  When mother and father disagree, the father decides Filmer  Equated paternal power to monarchical power Had to assert that paternal power is limitless, so as to say that fathers can put their  children to death Children present a problem to liberal theory­ they don’t have full capacity to reason Today: refusal of medical treatment only if over 18; Elian Gonzalez  Locke: parents have power of guardianship  Help their children become strong and healthy at adulthood Not use children for their own benefits (keeping them home from school to work) Guardianship extends until child has full capacity of reason Positive law from God that joins parents together and commands obedience of children, which  Locke limits to respect (not unlimited obedience)


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