Sample Philosophy Essays on Locke’s State of Nature


In his claims, Locke implies that human beings are in a state of liberty not a state of license. The state of nature is characterized by the liberty of people to do everything that is deemed best for them without seeking consent from anyone. Also, state of nature also requires human beings to treat one another equally and with respect. In a state of liberty, people have the freedom to do whatever they want with their property, but since it’s not a state of license, people have no right to harm themselves (Locke 19). They have the freedom to carry out any activity without any restrictions from any person. There are laws stipulated that guide the behaviors of people despite. Literary, it is not a state of license; meaning that they’re not licensed to do any harm to other people. It is for this reason that there are laws that have been put in place that limits our natural liberty in that we have to live by the laid down rules and regulations hindering natural liberty.


The Native Americans and European settlers obligated to treat one another equally. They were to preserve the rights of one another; they were required to treat one another with respect as no one was more superior to the other (Locke 10). Irrespective of their race and origin they were all products of one omnipotent God and thus possessed similar rights and privileges. They were to uphold the value and significance of one another as brothers and sisters. They were thus supposed to live together in harmony as brothers and sisters who are equal in all aspects. Conversely, Hobbes argues that the state of nature is a state of war. He points out that having a right to all things prompts competition for the resources. He imagines Locke’s state of having the freedom to make decisions can bring about disagreements, disputes, and war. They were, therefore, expected to seek for the peaceful existence with other communities.


Locke argues that despite the natural state whereby everyone is entitled to own property wherever place they would prefer. Man is obliged to acquire that property lawfully. He points out that the Indians in North America had no boundaries on their property and should they seek possession of something away from their territory, there would be a need for them to avoid trespassing on someone else’s boundary.  Locke has various views on private property whereby he advocates for the pursuit of happiness and liberty. He identifies that the right to property can only be preserved and the state can take up the role of preserving the private property.

Locke’s argument concerning many groups of Native Americans as having no property rights in land because they did not settle down on specific, fixed pieces of land should be rejected due to the contradictions that they pose on the laws of nature (Locke 9). Since human beings are solely obliged to own and use the land to the benefit of the entire humanity, they should work within their means to own these properties and should not be in excess such that others have short of the commodity. It is of my opinion that Locke rejects his argument as it contradicts with his previous claims of the state of nature.



Work Cited

Locke, John. Second treatise of government and a letter concerning toleration. Oxford University Press, 2016.

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