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READING GUIDE: LOCKE - THE SECOND TREATISE
Write brief answers to 3 and 7.
- What does Locke think of the doctrine of "the divine right of Kings"?
- How does Locke characterize a state of nature? Are men equal in such a
state? Why does he think such equality should lead men to love one another?
- Is the state of nature a state of license? If not, why not? What is the
law of nature which governs the state of nature? In whose hands is the
execution of the laws of nature? What rights and powers does a man have over
a criminal in the state of nature? What about a murderer?
- What is the difficulty in the state of nature of everyone having the
executive power? What is the proper remedy for the inconveniences of the
state of nature?
- Is the state of nature a theoretical construction for Locke or did he
think that some people lived or live in that state? What rights does a person
have in a state of nature? What happens to these rights when civil government
- What is a state of war? Why is it that he who attempts to get another man
in his absolute power, "does thereby put himself in a state of war with
him..."? Why is it legitimate for me to kill someone who is in a state of war
with me? What relation does the state of slavery have to the state of war?
- What does Locke think about absolute monarchy as compared with a state of
nature? Is it a legitimate form of civil government. In what relation does
a king or absolute monarch stand in to his people?
- How does civil society come about in Locke's view? Why does it come
about? What are the ends of civil government? What is lacking in a state
of nature which a civil government can remedy? What are the limits of civil
- What is the nature of political power? How does it differ from paternal
power? --despotic power?
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