The Ideas of Hobbes VS Locke

Essay by nickcappyJunior High, 9th gradeA, May 2004

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Hobbes Vs. Locke

Nick Cappy

Thomas Hobbes and John Locke were English philosophers who attended Oxford University. Hobbes was born in Westport, England and Locke was born in Wrington. These two philosophers became famous because of their ideas about politics and the understanding of human nature.

Thomas Hobbes had a very negative view on human nature. He describes human nature as being constantly at war with one another. According to Hobbes, all people were made equal in body and mind by nature. Somebody could be smarter or stronger than someone else but when looking at man as a whole, we are equal in both body and mind. "For such is the nature of men, that howsoever they may acknowledge many others to be more witty, or more eloquent, or more learned; yet they will hardly believe there be many so wise as themselves...everyman is contented with his share." Hobbes states that there are three natural causes of constant war.

The first being competition, which is for gain. The second is diffidence, which is for safety and the third is glory, which is for reputation. He believes that people naturally want to harm each other and that that is the reason laws had to be made. Hobbes thinks that man is greedy and envious and that the reason we are at war with one another is because we were created equal but we are now being pushed to become unequal by possessions and money.

John Locke, on the other hand, had a very different view on human nature. Locke believes that man is constantly at war with nature. He believes that man protects himself, by human nature, and while doing this men protect one another. He thinks that people get all of their ideas from experience. In other words, he...