The Catholic University of America School of Philosophy

PHIL 202: The Modern Mind, Spring 2011 Fr. John Thomas Mellein, O.P. Locke Study Guide General points: Locke is interested in stable, peaceful government wherein the citizens are not subject to the whims of a ruler with arbitrary, absolute power. To this end he grounds government in the consent of the governed. To show why this must be the case, Locke speaks of man in a state of nature, state of war, and civil society. Government can be by consent of the governed because men are by nature free and equal, and have the power to be executors of the law of nature [Question: are women by nature free and equal also?]. The chief end of government is the protection of property. Are human beings fundamentally good, or fundamentally corrupt? Who has the most to gain by entering society and forming government? This is a treatise on government, and it is possible that the end or goal of government is not the same as the goal of individual life. That being said, what do you think, in Locke’s view, is the goal or purpose of human life? Does Locke’s view of human nature and government permit citizens of great moral or intellectual virtue? Is a Locke citizen likely to give his life for his country? In other words, does Locke’s theory of government foster concern for the common good, or individualism? Is man’s life in society fundamentally different from that in the state of nature? Is society a positive good, or a necessary evil? Chapter 1. 1. §3 How does Locke define political power? Do you agree with his definition? Chapter 2. The State of Nature 1. §4 What does Locke mean by equality? 3. §6 What distinction does Locke make between a state of liberty and a state of license? (dispose/destroy). 4. How do we know the law of nature?

§14 Is (or was) there anyone in the state of nature? 10. Why can’t we harm another person. or ourselves? Do you think this argument is essential to Locke’s theory of human nature and government? 6. What two distinct rights does Locke mention in §11? Who has the authority to waive these rights? 9. Do you agree with Locke’s argument for this right? (§35) 7. What is the difference between the state of war and the state of nature? Which is the natural state of man.e. Why does Hooker think we enter society (§15)? Are Locke and Hooker in agreement on this? Chapter 3: The State of War 1.k. why is every man an “executioner” of the law of nature? 7. What follows from the fact that “there is no superiority or jurisdiction of one over another?” Alternately. or fundamentally evil? Chapter 5. How severely can I punish another person? Does Locke believe in proportinate response? How is his position here consistent with his view that it’s o. i. What does Locke mean by property? (§123) 2. How does something become my property? (§27) 3. What are 2 limitations to how much I may take for myself? (§27) 4. i. What additional principle of limitation does Locke give in §31? 5.. to kill a thief? 8. are there natural checks to how . Is private property self-regulating.. Property 1.5. What kind of property is Locke primarily concerned about? (§32) 6. Why may I kill a thief? 3. How does someone put himself in a state of war with another person? 2.e. Locke argues for a right to private property. are most men fundamentally good.

§90 Why is absolute monarchy inconsistent with civil society? 5. and the reasons for/against it?] 3.. is the chief end of marriage? How does this influence his view of the necessity of permanence in marriage (i. Beginning of Political Societies 1.e.. What gives things their value? (§40) Name two other principles of value. Note Locke’s discussion of different kinds of equality in §54. is money good or bad? (cf. §91 Why is absolute rule worse than the simple state of nature? Do you agree with Locke on this? Chapter 8. “until death do us part?”) [What are your thoughts on the permanence of marriage. according to Locke. §78-81 What. Why shouldn’t we let children do whatever they want? (§63) Chapter 7. e. §100 What are the two objections? 3. §85 What does Locke say about slavery? Does this agree with his earlier comments on slavery. §51) 8. §77 Does Locke correctly interpret Genesis 2:18? 2. Political or Civil Society 1. Do you think he gives an . §101-112: Locke addresses the first objection.e. Chapter 6. also §§4651) Are there any limitations to how much money I can accumulate? 9.much property a person will want to have? (§36. §23-24? 4. and compare this to equality in §4. §95-99 The formation of civil society by the consent of the members. Paternal Power 1. 3.. i. what if the majority decides something unjust? Am I bound to submit? Another way of asking this question: Is civil society bound in any way by natural law? 2. Does civil law increase or diminish freedom? Why? 4. §75-76 Why is it natural that there would be confusion between paternal and civil power? 2. According to what Locke says in §37. and subsequent submission to majority rule.g. Do you see any value-judgement expressed in this setup.

adequate answer? See especially §111-112. 221) 2. What two things must people give up in order to enter society? 4. or a recipe for disaster? 1. How far does the legislative power (power of society) extend? Chapter 18. §220 What may the people do when government is dissolved? At what point may they act? 3. §123 (124) Why do people unite in society (what is the chief purpose of government)? 2. §120-121 Is it advisable to live for a long time in a country without becoming a citizen? To what extent is his argument based on ownership of land? What if you have a community where land ownership is not possible/desirable? Are there alternate ways of establishing citizenship? Chapter 9. What two main ways can government be dissolved? What are the two subcategories of the second way? (§212. §199 When does Tyranny occur? 2. Political or Civil Society 1. §119: What are the two kinds of consent which Locke identifies? 6. Tyranny 1. Is this a guarantee of stability. What four reasons does Locke advance to argue that the right to oppose an unjust ruler will not lead to total anarchy? Chapter 19: Dissolution of Government Main question: Locke locates government in the consent of the governed. Note the distinction between dissolution of society and dissolution of government. §222 Why may the people act against their government? . 4. What three things are wanting in the state of nature? 3. §113 and following: Are we under allegiance to the government under which we are born? What might be some of the consequences of arguing yes/no? 5.

§226 What is the foundation of authority? Who is the rebel? 7. Why can we not take back the power we have committed to society? Is this the same as leaving a country? . §235 What is Locke’s second response to Barclay’s claim that an inferior cannot punish a superior? 9.5.

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