John Locke Research Paper

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Why is the concept of trust central to Locke’s theory? What Locke means by “trust”. I will begin instead by addressing the importance of trust to Locke’s work through the crucial role it plays in three major stages of political society and government: A clarification of certain key terms is in order before any further progress is made. By the state of nature, Locke means a condition of “living together, according to reason, without a common superior on earth, with authority to judge between [men]” (p. 15, par. 19).On the other hand, a state of war is in effect when “there is no common superior on earth to appeal to for relief” in the event of an attack by one party against another (p. 15, par. 19). Lastly, the “reason” according to which men live together in the state of nature…show more content…
The decision to enter political society is a permanent one for precisely this reason: the society will have to be defended and if people can revoke their consent to help protect it when attacked, the act of consent made when entering political society would be pointless since the political community would fail at the very point where it is most needed. People make a calculated decision when they enter society, and the risk of dying in combat is part of that calculation. Grant also thinks Locke recognizes a duty based on reciprocity since others risk their lives as well. Most of these approaches focus on Locke's doctrine of consent as a solution to the problem of political obligation. A different approach asks what role consent plays in determining, here and now, the legitimate ends that governments can pursue. One part of this debate is captured by the debate between Seliger and Kendall, the former viewing Locke as a constitutionalist and the latter viewing him as giving almost untrammeled power to
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