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New Views on Government

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Presentation on theme: "New Views on Government"— Presentation transcript:

1 New Views on Government
As the Enlightenment began, European thinkers began looking for ways to apply reason in order to improve the human condition. English thinker, wrote views of government in Leviathan Absolute monarchy best Believed people needed government to impose order People selfish, greedy Should exchange some freedoms for peace, safety, order Social contract Thomas Hobbes English philosopher, believed all people born equal Government should protect people’s natural rights Monarchs not chosen by God Government by consent Power limited by laws Ideas foundation for modern democracy John Locke

2 The Enlightenment in Europe
SECTION 2 The Enlightenment in Europe Two Views on Government New Ways of Thinking • Scientific Revolution spurs reassessment of many prevailing ideas - Europeans seek insights into society during 1600s, 1700s • Leads to the Enlightenment—a movement stressing reason and thought Hobbes’s Social Contract • Hobbes distrusts humans, favors strong government to keep order • Promotes social contract—getting order by giving power to monarch Continued . . . NEXT

3 Thomas Hobbes Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679)
Applied Newton to the nature of being Reality is bodies and motion Removed God from philosophy, not from religion Religious critics branded Hobbes a heretic Humans are purely material: the body (monistic) Not concerned with souls or minds because these cannot be observed or measured and so cannot be proven to exist Humans are the sum of their physical parts Deterministic—all human thoughts and actions are determined by past actions and environment and not by free will

4 Thomas Hobbes Thomas Hobbes believed that all humans are naturally selfish and wicked and prone to fighting. He said that in order to escape a bleak life, people should give up their rights to a strong leader who would give them law and order. This is called the social contract.

5 Thomas Hobbes Leviathan 1651
Felt the horrors of the English Civil War convinced him that all humans were naturally selfish and wicked Social contract- in order to escape a bleak life, people gave up their rights to a strong ruler—they gained law and order He felt that a government as an absolute monarchy was the right choice

6 Thomas Hobbes ( ) “The obligation of subjects to the sovereign is understood to last as long, and no longer, than the power lasteth by which he can protect them.” Sovereign free to rule- must act in interest of subjects Monarchy best form of govt. All powerful, centralize state If ruler fails to ensure stability, society will dissolve into a state of nature/chaos until new ‘contract’ is made Denies the people’s right to rebel in such instances Most famous work is Leviathan (1651) response to English Civil War

7 Hobbes’ Famous Works Leviathan Established the agenda for nearly subsequent Western Political Philosophy The book concerns the structure of society In the book Hobbes argues for a social contract and rule by an absolute monarch The social contract was made to institute a state that would provide for the "peace and defense" of the people, the contract would become void if the government no longer protected its citizens . In such a case, man would automatically return to a state of nature until the creation of a new social contract.

8 A Leviathan is a huge “sea monster”

9 Leviathan Metaphor for the state, the Leviathan is described as an artificial person whose body is made up of all the bodies of its citizens, who are the literal members of the Leviathan's body. The head of the Leviathan is the sovereign. The Leviathan is constructed through contract by people in the state of nature in order to escape the horrors of this natural condition. The power of the Leviathan protects them from the abuses of one another. "covenant" or "social contract," contract is the act of giving up certain natural rights and transferring them to someone else, on the condition that everyone else involved in making the contract also simultaneously gives up their rights. People agreeing to the contract retain only those rights over others that they are content for everyone else to retain over them.

10 Absolutism: to manage behavior
The Leviathan, or sea monster, represents the all powerful government Hobbes believed exist to avoid chaos Hobbes absolute ruler


12 Thomas Hobbes. Leviathan “The life without rule of law is the life of every man against every man which is solitary, dull brutish, nasty and short.” Hobbes concluded that upon death the individual is glad to find a hole to crawl out of this world from. His concept Leviathan is a giant restrained by the chains of the people. The sum of all is greater than the strength of any one thus created a dynamic of protection of ones life and labors from the despotic intentions of natural man.

13 Thomas Hobbes Leviathan 1651 Written in exile during the Puritan War Stressed the role of reason, social control to create a commonwealth where all could prosper Student of the Enlightenment stressing logic and reason of hard science Bacon, Newton, Descartes, Galileo


15 Hobbes View on Government
it is unnatural for man to put himself under control of a government, but knows it is rational to do so if we give up our rights to the government, the government will protect all the people and ensure peace power comes from the people not God; he rejected divine right believed the best form of government was an enlightened despot; a leviathan that will protect the people and make decisions that are best for the majority governments are created to protect people from their own selfishness and greed not possible to have peace and democracy because people are only interested in promoting their own interests

16 Hobbes Views on Mankind
humans are basically selfish by nature because people are equal and cannot accept this, they constantly compete to prove they are better this competition leads to violence people are motivated by a desire for power people should not be trusted to make their own decisions can apply the principles of mechanics and motion to humans: a)de corpore: behavior of physical life b)de homine: actions of the body and mind c)de cine: man’s organized social life “perpetual and restless desire (for) power…that ceases only in death” “If men are not naturally in a state of war, why do they always carry arms and why do they have keys to lock their doors?”- This quote supports the view that men are competitive by nature and are motivated for desire for power

17 Hobbes views on Freedom and Liberty
Believed that freedom and peace could not coexist everyone should have the right to own property

18 Historical or Contemporary Examples to Support Hobbes Views
English Civil War Success of Enlightened Despots

19 Locke’s Natural Rights
SECTION 2 continued Two Views on Government Locke’s Natural Rights • Philosopher John Locke says government gets power from the people • Stresses that people have a right to overthrow an unjust government NEXT

20 John Locke held a different view because he felt that people could learn from experience and improve themselves. Because of this view Locke favored the idea of self-government instead of an absolute monarchy.

21 John Locke He believed that people could learn from experience and improve themselves Two Treatises on Government Three natural rights Life Liberty Property Foundation of modern democracies. Favored limited governmental rule.

22 John Locke John Locke (1632-1704): Social realist
Influenced American writers of Constitution Believed mind was a tabula rasa (blank slate) Senses act on mind to train all aspects of a person Body is important for human development Intellectual pursuits are more important (dualist) Argued for the health of the student Proper diet and exercise “A sound mind in a sound body”

23 Two Treatises of Government (1690)
John Locke ( ) Two Treatises of Government (1690) Mankind naturally in state of anarchy (no government) Individuals left to own device would act with self-interest Mankind must enter into a political society to ensure stability Government therefore necessary, but only if it acts in the interest of the people- Social Contract Theory People have right to rebel in such cases Glorious Revolution (1688)


25 Locke believed all people were born with 3 “natural rights”
Right to Life Right to Liberty Right to Property Locke believed government was responsible for protecting these rights and could be overthrown if it failed. This is consistent with democracy - - people have the right to be in charge

26 Locke’s View on Mankind
Man has the ability to reason and compromise Man kind is innately good Man has the ability to think and problem-solve Man is born with a blank mind and shaped by his experiences and education Man uses his five senses to learn about the world. He uses this information to develop ideas All men are equal Men should help one another Happiness is determined by the will of the people Man's desire to pursue one's happiness is inborn.

27 John Locke Studied human reason, rationale
Used empirical studies to interpret human behavior Individuals are autonomous- no longer dependent on Church or King to make decisions Each person free to decide personal matter Each person free to decide matters of the state Opposes absolute ideas of governance

28 Locke’s View on Government.
Did not believe in divine right Believed in a constitutional monarchy with limited powers and three branches of government Social Contract: government is formed with the consent of the people; if the government fails to protect the people, the people have the right to revolt against the government Governments are formed to protect the people and their rights

29 John Locke View of the state of nature (pre-civil society)
Human beings are rational, free & equal. They are capable of running their own lives. They have rights to life, health, liberty and possessions that no one should harm. Yet there are no mechanisms (no police, no courts, etc.) to ensure that the strong do not prey upon the weak.

30 John Locke, continued To secure their rights, therefore, people give up some freedom and form government. The government’s purpose is to protect rights. It is a type of contract. The people retain their sovereignty, and the government is just a mechanism to help them. The individual is superior to the government.

31 John Locke, continued If government fails to protect those rights and becomes tyrannical, then the contract is null and void. The government loses its legitimacy, and people are free to make a new government. [The Second Treatise on Government] Called a “right of revolution.”

32 Locke’s Views on Freedom
Slavery is wrong Women have the ability to reason, and should be treated as equals to men Freedom of religion but only for forms of Protestantism; not for Catholics, Jews, or Muslims Everyone should have the right to life, liberty, and property

33 Locke’s Views on Knowledge
Knowledge reduces intolerance, bigotry, and violence More you know and understand, less you have to argue about Thoughts should be based on reason Law of nature can be observed through experiments

34 John Locke: Essay on Human Understanding
This was his major essay on people and how individuals learn. Believed that people are born with minds like a blank slate, tabula rasa, and what they know is based on experiences in their life. Saw inductive reasoning, reasoning that takes specific examples and attempts to draw general conclusions, as a way to establish laws for human behavior.

35 John Locke: Essay Concerning the True Extent and End of Civil Government
In this essay, Locke states that all individuals are born equal and entitled to some basic rights. The government is designed to protect people’s rights. When it ceases to do this, the people should revolt and form a new government.

36 Enlightenment influences
John Locke ( ) “An Essay Concerning Human Understanding” Tabula rasa Knowledge is sensory Denied inherited ability Rejected “original sin” This is key! Why??????

37 Enlightenment Influences
John Locke ( ) Every person has right to life, liberty, and property (except slaves) Necessary for……..Educational reform, freedom of the press, religious toleration

38 Historical or Contemporary Examples to Support Locke’s Views
Success of the American Revolution: a) Declaration of Independence b) Preamble to Constitution c) The Constitution

39 Contrast of Locke and Hobbes
Two Treatises of Government Government: voluntary association of humans acting in their self-interest Humans are reasonable and cooperative Power of the legislature: the people People could overthrow government and replace with better one HOBBES Leviathan All-powerful sovereign should rule stupid humans Humans: greedy and violent Power of the executive: the government should be an enlightened despot

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