Two Views on Society
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-Summary British Royalty - including their civil war- Read mark up & post to wiki



After living through the English civil war, Thomas Hobbes became convinced that society needed a strong central authority to control and contain the natural barbarism of humans.
Illustration: Thomas Hobbes Credit: The Granger Collection, New York
Illustration: Thomas Hobbes Credit: The Granger Collection, New York




In [a state of nature], there is … no Knowledge of the face of the Earth; no account of Time; no Arts; no Letters; no Society; and which is worst of all, continuall feare, and danger of violent death; And the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.
Thomas Hobbes
Leviathan, 1651
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Illustration: John Locke
Illustration: John Locke


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John Locke believed that under ideal conditions, people lived according to a law of nature. Because people could interpret the law differently, they needed an authority to enforce it.

The state of nature has a law of nature to govern it. . . no one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty, or possessions: . . . Every one . . . may not . . . take away, or impair . . . the life, the liberty, health, limb, or goods of another.
John Locke
Two Treatises on Government, 1690
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Reading: Legacy - Enlightenment

Read & Answer the questions in your wiki.

  1. How could these two British philosophers think so differently about government & the role of the citizens??

  2. Why is the Age of Enlightenment also called the Age of Reason? How did that differ from the previous age, the Renaissance?

  3. What effect will the Age of Reason have on the Absolute Monarchs of Europe? Will the effect of enlightened ideas such as Freedom, Equality & Brotherhood eventually reach the lower class & what will it mean?


Enlightened Ideas

  • Humans have the ability to reason & that makes them unique
  • Reason can & should be applied to cure society's ailments
  • Using reason, people can cast off ideas of fear & superstition - reject unfair governments
  • Humans are naturally governed by laws of nature
  • Governments should reflect the natural law & educate citizens - so they can debate/question-solve societies problems

Illustration: Enlightenment society
Illustration: Enlightenment society