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					John Locke
Second Treatise
 on Government
Locke’s Second Treatise
I.     Biographical/Historical Background
II.    State of Nature One
III.   Freedom, Liberty, and License
IV.    Property and Labor
I.        Historical Background
    John Locke (1632 – 1704)
    Enters Oxford in 1651
        Studies philosophy, natural
         history, medicine
    Becomes physician and
     advisor to First Earl of
     Shaftesbury (big Whig
     politician)
    Reign of Charles II, Charles
     dies in 1685
I.        Historical Background
    Line of succession issue (Catholic vs.
     Protestant)
    Locke – through Shaftesbury – gets
     implicated in plot to assassinate James
    Leaves England for Holland in 1683
        Begins to write anonymous political pamphlets,
         including the Two Treatises on Government
         (1689)
I.         Historical Background
    1688 “Glorious Revolution” in
     England
        Replace the Catholic line from
         James with William and Mary
         (both Protestant)
    Locke was an advisor to
     William while the two of them
     were in Holland together
    In exchange for throne, William
     & Mary agreed to a more
     limited, constitutional
     monarchy
    Signed “Toleration Act” which
     allowed for religious toleration
     for most faiths (except
     Catholicism and Unitarianism)
I.      Historical Background
    Locke lives out his days on government
     pension

… without further ado, Locke’s Second Treatise
II.      State of Nature 1
   Locke begins Chapter 2:
       “To understand political power right, and derive it
        from its original, me must consider what state all
        men are naturally in…”
   What we need to know, then, is the natural
    condition of mankind
II.      State of Nature 1
       Continuing with the quote from the opening
        of Chapter 2
        “… and that is a state of perfect freedom to order
         their actions, and dispose of their possessions,
         and persons as they think fit, within the bounds
         of the law of Nature, without asking leave, or
         depending upon the will of any other man.”
       What does that mean?
II.       State of Nature 1
        Individuals living in state of nature
        Also seems we need to know 3 things:
    1.    Freedom
    2.    Law of nature
    3.    Property Rights
III. Freedom, Liberty, License
   Two senses of freedom at work here
       Free from any social bonds, which means
           Not dependent on the will of any other people
           I can do “X” without asking someone else’s approval
            to do “X”
           Bear in mind, he is saying that this freedom is natural;
            that we naturally are free from any social constraints
            or relations
           Note: to this point in human history, very few people
            could be said to enjoy freedom in this sense
III. Freedom, Liberty, License
   But it’s not just any freedom, rather it’s
    freedom in accord with “the law of nature”
   And that law is:
       “The state of Nature has a law of Nature to
        govern it, which obliges every one: and reason,
        which is that law, teaches all mankind, who will
        but consult it, that being all equal and
        independent, no one ought to harm another in his
        life, health, liberty, or possessions” (chp.2, par 6).
III. Freedom, Liberty, License
        We get 2 arguments to support this view:
    1.    Religious
            Each of us is created in God’s image
            We don’t have the right to destroy ourselves (as we
             are God’s creatures), so we can’t have the right to
             destroy others like us
    2.    Secular
            “equal and independent” phrase
            Moral sympathy and rationality
III. Freedom, Liberty, License
   Summary
       In state of nature we have freedom, which is life in
        accordance with the law of nature
       Distinction between liberty and license
       For Locke, liberty is not the right to do everything,
        but rather to do anything in accordance with the
        law of nature
III. Freedom, Liberty, License
   But…How can I be free if I must obey a law?


                   ?             ?
                                     ?
                 ?
III. Freedom, Liberty, License
   Drug addict example
       Do I want to be the kind of person who smokes
        crack?
       Do I want to smoke crack now? Or now? Or..
       Only the first person is truly free
       Freer in that life is more fully an expression of
        your own will
   When following the laws of nature, you are
    following the dictates of your own reason and
    nothing else
III. Freedom, Liberty, License
   In other words, freedom does not mean
    war… it means peace!
   Think of interpersonal interaction … do we
    need a sovereign to tell us what is right?
III. Freedom, Liberty, License
   So for Locke, state of nature is when we are
    all free, indeed it is a state of perfect freedom
   Also a state of equality, since no one is
    forced to submit to any authority higher than
    the dictates of her own reason
III. Freedom, Liberty, License
   Chapter 2
      “A state also of equality, wherein all the power and
      jurisdiction is reciprocal, no one having more than another:
      there being nothing more evident, than that creatures of
      the same species and rank promiscuously born to all the
      same advantages of Nature, and the use of the same
      faculties, should also be equal one amongst another
      without subordination or subjection, unless the Lord and
      Master of them all, should by any manifest declaration of
      his will set one above another, and confer on him by an
      evident and clear appointment an undoubted right to
      dominion and sovereignty.”
III. Freedom, Liberty, License
   For Hobbes, freedom and equality were in
    large measure responsible for the state of
    nature being a war of all against all
   For Locke, freedom and equality lead to a
    radically different situation
III. Freedom, Liberty, License
 “Men living together according to reason,
 without a common superior on Earth, with
 authority to judge between them, is properly
 the state of Nature” (chp. 3, par. 19).
III. Freedom, Liberty, License
   Which raises the
    question of why we
    would ever leave the
    state of nature? Why
    not anarchy?
   Do we find any
    problems lurking in the
    state of nature????
IV. Property & Labor
   Source of Private
    Property?
IV. Property & Labor
   2 Caveats though:
       no spoilage
       must leave as good in kind for others to
        appropriate
           that is, after you take your share, there’s still enough
            left for others to take their share
V. State of Nature 2
   Add money economy
   Effect on our relations?
Wealth       Inequality in the State of Nature I




         A            B              C             D

                            Individuals
Wealth                     Inequality in the State of Nature I




                                                        Rough Equality




                     A              B              C               D


         (chp. 5,par. 37; par 41)         Individuals
Wealth       Inequality in the State of Nature 2



                     After the introduction of a money economy,
                     inequality becomes much more extreme




         A            B              C              D

                            Individuals
Wealth                     Inequality in the State of Nature 2



                                   After the introduction of a money economy,
                                   inequality becomes much more extreme




                     A              B              C              D

     But everyone is better off           Individuals
     (chp. 5, par. 47)
VI. Mutual Advantage & the
Social Contract
   If we have social relations...
   And we have economic relations...
   Why do we need political relations?
   Why won’t people be able to get along?
   Why do we need politics?
              Don’t
            Cooperate        Cooperate




  Don’t     3,3                1,4
Cooperate




Cooperate
            4,1                2,2




               Prisoners’ Dilemma
VII. Prisoners’ Dilemma
 Symbolic Form:
 We’re in a Prisoner’s Dilemma situation
  whenever:
                 T>R>P>S
Temptation to defect > Rewards of Cooperation
Rewards > Punishment for Not Cooperating
Punishment > Sucker’s Payoff
VII. Prisoners’ Dilemma
   Note that even if we start at the cooperative
    outcome, that outcome is not stable
   Each player can improve his/her position by
    adopting a different strategy
       4 = best option        (Temptation)
       3 = 2nd best option    (Reward)
       2 = 2nd worst option   (Punishment)
       1 = worst option       (Sucker
              Don’t
            Cooperate        Cooperate




  Don’t     3,3                1,4
Cooperate




Cooperate
            4,1                2,2




               Prisoners’ Dilemma
VII. Prisoners’ Dilemma
   But since both players have changed strategy
    we end up at the non-cooperative outcome,
    where both players are worse off than if they
    had chosen to cooperate
              Don’t
            Cooperate        Cooperate




  Don’t     3,3                1,4
Cooperate




Cooperate
            4,1                2,2




               Prisoners’ Dilemma
VII. Prisoners’ Dilemma
   And, as we noted, this non-cooperative
    outcome is also a Nash equilibrium outcome
   Neither player has any incentive to change
    strategy since whoever changes will do
    immediately worse by making the move
              Don’t
            Cooperate        Cooperate




  Don’t     3,3                1,4
Cooperate




Cooperate
            4,1                2,2




               Prisoners’ Dilemma
VIII. Mutual Advantage and the
Social Contract
   Prevent defections and allow for cooperative
    behavior
   What kind of political life?
       Need to insure that everyone agrees to terms of
        contract
       What sort of terms would arise?
                Sovereign




We the People
                              Sovereign



     Reciprocal Obligations




We the People
The Social Contract
                          Sovereign
Binds the Sovereign and
the People




       We the People
VIII. Mutual Advantage and the
Social Contract
   Locke’s Social Contract then includes:
       Rights to protect us against the government
       Popular sovereignty
       Legislative power supreme (rather than the
        executive as in a monarchy)
       Basis for this -- fundamental equality of all human
        beings

				
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