Discussion Questions on Locke, ch. 5-10

These questions will focus mainly on chapters 5 - 7

1. In chapter 5 Locke offers a theory of natural property rights -- that is, of property rights that exist in the state of nature and do not derive from any legislation from any government. There are three components:

  • The right to appropriate unowned things
  • Two "provisos" or restrictions on that right
  • The right to essentially unlimited acquisition

What is the content and the justification for each of these three components in Locke's account?

2. How does paternal power differ from political power?

3. What does Locke take freedom to be, and how does his view of freedom differ from Hobbes'?

4. In sections 4 and 54 Locke offers an account of the equality among men in the state of nature. How does his account of equality differ from Hobbes'?

5. What, in Locke's view, constitutes a "political or civil society"?