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Two Treatises of Government - John Locke (Giants of Political Thought)

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An audio lecture which discusses John Locke and his Two Treatises of Government. Two Treatises of Government is the most famous and influential defense of limited government ever published. Written during a period of increasing opposition to the restored English monarchy, this work was published anonymously in 1689. It is a classic account of natural rights, social contract An audio lecture which discusses John Locke and his Two Treatises of Government. Two Treatises of Government is the most famous and influential defense of limited government ever published. Written during a period of increasing opposition to the restored English monarchy, this work was published anonymously in 1689. It is a classic account of natural rights, social contract, government by consent, and the right of revolution. This presentation discusses the life of John Locke, the evolution of his ideas, and the political conflicts in seventeenth-century England which led to the writing of Two Treatises of Government. The famous Second Treatise, which contains Locke's central ideas on rights, government, and revolution, is examined in detail. Special attention is given to Locke's theory of private property, which has influenced law and government for over two centuries. Unabridged Audiobook Length: 2 hrs and 43 mins


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An audio lecture which discusses John Locke and his Two Treatises of Government. Two Treatises of Government is the most famous and influential defense of limited government ever published. Written during a period of increasing opposition to the restored English monarchy, this work was published anonymously in 1689. It is a classic account of natural rights, social contract An audio lecture which discusses John Locke and his Two Treatises of Government. Two Treatises of Government is the most famous and influential defense of limited government ever published. Written during a period of increasing opposition to the restored English monarchy, this work was published anonymously in 1689. It is a classic account of natural rights, social contract, government by consent, and the right of revolution. This presentation discusses the life of John Locke, the evolution of his ideas, and the political conflicts in seventeenth-century England which led to the writing of Two Treatises of Government. The famous Second Treatise, which contains Locke's central ideas on rights, government, and revolution, is examined in detail. Special attention is given to Locke's theory of private property, which has influenced law and government for over two centuries. Unabridged Audiobook Length: 2 hrs and 43 mins

31 review for Two Treatises of Government - John Locke (Giants of Political Thought)

  1. 5 out of 5

    Bob Nichols

    Locke anchors his second Treatise in natural law. By that, Locke means an externalized, objective truth that is discoverable by reason. That truth is a god-given and god-ordained freedom. From this, Locke deduces the essence of his political theory. "Man" is free and "man" ought to be free. "Is," in other words," carries with itself an "ought." "Men" need to be free to do what they need to do to survive and to secure their well-being. The object of freedom, broadly stated, is property. Governmen Locke anchors his second Treatise in natural law. By that, Locke means an externalized, objective truth that is discoverable by reason. That truth is a god-given and god-ordained freedom. From this, Locke deduces the essence of his political theory. "Man" is free and "man" ought to be free. "Is," in other words," carries with itself an "ought." "Men" need to be free to do what they need to do to survive and to secure their well-being. The object of freedom, broadly stated, is property. Government's role is minimal. Its job is to preserve the overall order so that the freedom of one does not come at the expense of the freedom of another. Equality and freedom go together. To be free means no hierarchical control over one's freedom, by others, and by government beyond what is needed to preserve order. With one exception, this all makes sense. Locke anchors his political theory in a god. If one does not believe in god, then is anything and everything permitted, as Dostoyevski famously observed? Do we revert to "might is right" principle, and to "everybody out for themself-only the strong survive" mantras, as some have interpreted evolutionary theory to say? If so, Locke's deductive theory becomes just another plea for fairness that falls on deaf ears for those who could care less about the freedom of others. In that case, that freedom is then an obstacle that gets in the way of the self's freedom and is a problem to overcome. That, as I argue below, would be a one-sided and wrong-headed interpretation of evolutionary theory. Locke does not need a god to anchor his political theory. Natural law may be reframed more properly as a property that lies inside of us as biological beings. In a way, Locke gets at what's involved here in his discussion of property, which is that which is needed generally to survive and to live comfortably. The need to be free to seek and defend is what humans share with all of life - the only difference is that humans are able to formulate, as Locke does in his second treatise this basic need for freedom as an abstract principle to guide our moral and political life. There are two ways to express that freedom and achieve its benefits, and this is where equality is integrally tied to freedom, as a means is to an end. One may express that freedom at the expense of the other, or one may see that one's own freedom is tied up with the freedom of the other, either prudentially as Adam Smith argued or via an emotional tie through the social instincts to the group (i.e., Darwin's tribal theory - alone one dies; as a member of a group, one survives). In the former, there's no belief in equality; in the latter, equality is paramount for group solidarity. Both poles of human behavior work as evolutionary survival strategies. In one, dominance, manipulation, deception all promote the self's freedom at the expense of others; in the other, cooperation, compassion, and the norms of reciprocity and fairness support the freedom of each. There is no magic formula of reason to work out which of these two poles of behavior will prevail. Each culture, each era, each generation has to work out what type of society they want to live in. Some will be ok with massive inequality and the motivation to do otherwise is just not there. Others, as Hobbes observed will not be ok and they will fight back - not through pleas of reason, but through the application of strong counter-power. Power per se is not bad. It depends on whether it is used to assert one's freedom at the expense of another, or used to reestablish a social order so that the freedom of all is protected. The full series of "Giants of Political thought" by Knowledge Products is a top of the line product. Political theory, and its philosophy products, come alive.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jason

    For some reason, I thought this was the actual treatises, not a well done lecture on them. I really appreciated the context that was given.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Madame Reads

  4. 5 out of 5

    Ash Ryan

  5. 4 out of 5

    R

  6. 4 out of 5

    Tony

  7. 4 out of 5

    Stanislav Siris

  8. 5 out of 5

    Larry

  9. 5 out of 5

    Ryan

  10. 4 out of 5

    BookDB

  11. 4 out of 5

    Peter

  12. 4 out of 5

    Alex Rembold

  13. 5 out of 5

    Kevin

  14. 4 out of 5

    Aleksandr

  15. 5 out of 5

    Anna Ramstedt

  16. 5 out of 5

    Shivam

  17. 4 out of 5

    James F

  18. 5 out of 5

    Sleet Sleet

  19. 4 out of 5

    Kasey Pilcher

  20. 5 out of 5

    LanAnh Hoang

  21. 5 out of 5

    Jef

  22. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

  23. 5 out of 5

    Chris Greenlee

  24. 5 out of 5

    Gazmend Kryeziu

  25. 5 out of 5

    Charlie Flourish

  26. 4 out of 5

    Steven

  27. 4 out of 5

    Gaurav Dhamandha

  28. 5 out of 5

    Amber Kim

  29. 5 out of 5

    Laura Méndez

  30. 4 out of 5

    Alex

  31. 4 out of 5

    Alsan Volkan

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