Sample Nursing Paper on Locke’s and Hobbes’s Views of Human Nature

Locke presents an optimistic view of human nature. He says humans have freedom of behavior with inherent and equal rights. Wars are nearly nonexistent in the society. Therefore, people establish states to protect their properties and improve their social connections. The state is a consented measure of controlling controversies among people by determining rules. These rules are the set standards that distinguish right from wrong (Vaughn, 2018). Hence social contract is complimentary to human affairs. On the other hand, Hobbes views humans as selfish and violent in nature. Without the rule of law, he believes that people constantly fight against each other, and the causes for quarrels are competition, diffidence and glory. “Competition makes people to invade for gain” while diffidence and glory enable people to fight for survival and reputation respectively (Vaughn, 2018). However due to the instincts of self-preservation, people give consent to enter social contract and consequently the state is established. The state determines rules and justice that eventually upholds peace. Therefore, social contract is necessary in human affairs.

Indeed, Locke’s and Hobbes’s Views are different. Locke presents human-nature as free, sociable and co-existing peacefully. He adds that human rights are inherent and God-given such that power of the people is only lent to the state to serve the people. In contrast, Hobbes views human nature as selfish, greedy and violent with two common-senses of survival and self-preservation. Therefore, he argues that people cannot be free, the need for a government system is necessary to keep the peace. In his view, people give up their power to the state and become its subjects.

Locke’s view is more accurate than Hobbes’. While Hobbes based his theory on medieval times of the human history, Locke used facts to defend his theory. He gave concrete evidence of people’s choice to form governments, for instance, people consented to transfer some of their rights to authority so that common order could exist.


Vaughn, L. (2018). Philosophy here and Now; Powerful Ideas in Everyday Life. (3rd edition). Oxford University Press.