Of Civil Government: Two Treatises by John Locke (1924)


Of Civil Government: Two Treatises by John Locke (1924)


Title: Of Civil Government: Two Treatises

Author: John Locke, W F Carpenter (intro)

Publisher: J M Dent / E P Dutton & Co. 1924. From the Everyman’s Library series.

Condition: Hardcover, cloth. Small book. In good condition: light wear.


SKU: locke-everyman Categories: , ,

A work of political philosophy published anonymously in 1689 by John Locke. The First Treatise attacks patriarchalism in the form of sentence-by-sentence refutation of Robert Filmer’s Patriarcha, while the Second Treatise outlines Locke’s ideas for a more civilized society based on natural rights and contract theory.

The First Treatise is focused on the refutation of Sir Robert Filmer, in particular his Patriarcha, which argued that civil society was founded on a divinely sanctioned patriarchalism. Locke proceeds through Filmer’s arguments, contesting his proofs from Scripture and ridiculing them as senseless, until concluding party no government can be justified by an appeal to the divine right of kings.

In the Second Treatise Locke develops a number of notable themes. It begins with a depiction of the state of nature, wherein individuals are under no obligation to obey one another but are each themselves judge of what the law of nature requires. It also covers conquest and slavery, property, representative government, and the right of revolution.

Locke begins by describing the state of nature, a picture much more stable than Thomas Hobbes’ state of “war of every man against every man,” and argues that all men are created equal in the state of nature by God. From this, he goes on to explain the hypothetical rise of property and civilization, in the process explaining that the only legitimate governments are those that have the consent of the people. Therefore, any government that rules without the consent of the people can, in theory, be overthrown.

– from wikipedia.