Two Treatises of Government (Texts in the History of Political Thought)

Two Treatises of Government Texts in the History of Political Thought This is a new revised version of Dr Laslett s standard edition of Two Treatises First published in and based on an analysis of the whole body of Locke s publications writings and papers The In

  • Title: Two Treatises of Government (Texts in the History of Political Thought)
  • Author: John Locke Peter Laslett
  • ISBN: 9780521354486
  • Page: 430
  • Format: cloth
  • This is a new revised version of Dr Laslett s standard edition of Two Treatises First published in 1960, and based on an analysis of the whole body of Locke s publications, writings, and papers The Introduction and text have been revised to incorporate references to recent scholarship since the second edition and the bibliography has been updated.

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      Published :2021-01-04T04:26:14+00:00

    About "John Locke Peter Laslett"

    1. John Locke Peter Laslett

      Librarian Note There is than one author in the GoodReads database with this name John Locke was an English philosopher Locke is considered the first of the British Empiricists, but is equally important to social contract theory His ideas had enormous influence on the development of epistemology and political philosophy, and he is widely regarded as one of the most influential Enlightenment thinkers and contributors to liberal theory His writings influenced Voltaire and Rousseau, many Scottish Enlightenment thinkers, as well as the American revolutionaries This influence is reflected in the American Declaration of Independence.Locke s theory of mind is often cited as the origin for modern conceptions of identity and the self , figuring prominently in the later works of philosophers such as David Hume, Jean Jacques Rousseau and Immanuel Kant Locke was the first Western philosopher to define the self through a continuity of consciousness He also postulated that the mind was a blank slate or tabula rasa that is, contrary to Cartesian or Christian philosophy, Locke maintained that people are born without innate ideas.


    1. Those of us living in liberal democracies owe tremendous intellectual debt to John Locke. His "Second Treatise" in particular helped lay the foundation for a political system that emphasized "life, liberty, and property." The First Treatise is interesting to skim through, though it is in the second where the Locke is most substantive. His Theory of Private Property, which could also be construed as a theory of value, is an unmistakable revolution in political thought. It is, as Locke contends, w [...]

    2. As its title states, John Locke’s “Two Treatises on Government” are two separate treatments on the basis of just and legitimate government; the first of which is structured as a rebuttal to the notion, as articulated in Robert Filmer’s “Patriarcha, or The Natural Power of Kings”, of monarchical power authorized by “divine right” whereas the second is a positive articulation of concepts and principles setting the source of authority for any legitimate government within the consent [...]

    3. This is not the first time I've signed this book's dance card but it is the first time that I've read the first treatise. It is an energetic decimating of the political theory of someone that no one cares about anymore. That's how bad the theory was. And I have to say that I'm not sure it was the best use of Locke's time and effort to debunk it. But perhaps that's just the perspective of time speaking. I didn't mind the read, though. Locke is sometimes quite funny in his disgust and I was up any [...]

    4. This book is a must read for understanding social contract theory. Although it is not my cup of tea, it does confront a great many current political issues that were also present in the 17th century. I also liked Locke's. emphasis that government is meant to be supportive of the public & their rights, not the rights of the politicians or corporations.

    5. One of the volumes that helped our founders form the Republic in the Convention of 1787. I highly recommend that anyone who wishes to understand what principle we started out to live under were and therefore better understand what we've become in ignorance of them.

    6. A great work of political philosophy. Less 'revolutionary' than I thought it would be. And less 'liberal' than I thought it would be.

    7. Listened to a Librivox recording. Featured some very strong readers (all of book one was read with passion and eloquence) aside from about 3 chapters which were nearly unlistenable. It's easy enough to find this text online, so I read through the unlistenable chapters and went on my way. While the second treatise still raises some interesting questions concerning consent and government, I anticipate the first treatise will be nigh unreadable for modern readers. The first treatise uses scripture [...]

    8. It goes without saying that it is worthwhile to read these treatises for historical and philosophical background for much of Western government, particularly the United States's constitution. For that purpose, the second treatise in particular, which is a companion piece to the first, is useful. The first treatise is mostly only a refutation of an idea that many today would be entirely unfamiliar with, that all naturally ordained government is monarchical because of Adam. Reading the first treat [...]

    9. هنا وجدت أصول الفلسفة السياسية الحديثة بمختلف إتجاهاتها فمن كتاب لوك هذا يمكنك أن ترى إنبثاق الديموقراطية والشيوعية او الملكية الإنتخابية فى مهدها ومن ناحية أخرى تجد الأرستقراطية والملكية المطلقة فى طور الإحتضار فهكذا كانت الإتجاهات السياسية فى عصر لوك والكتاب فى حد ذاته [...]

    10. Many of the concepts here may appear obvious, for Locke himself, in writing this, laid the concrete and complex foundation for which liberal democracies became. It is certainly interesting, albeit controversial now, how he based the creation of a republican government upon family ties and values. Locke’s emphasis on preservation of property and will of the people is admirable indeed, yet can make way for majority rule and populist politics.Oh let’s not forget the notable absence of separatio [...]

    11. A lot of it is wasted on pointless argumentation about what exactly does the Bible say about the right to rule. There's a lot of Bible quoting and it doesn't get sensible until halfway through. The rest of it is groundbreaking nevertheless quite common sense nowadays. Except the bit about rulers not being allowed to appoint other rulers who were not elected directly by the people and ceding any law making power to them. Sounds like what is annoying people about the EU.

    12. One realizes in what privileged society on lives when one reads what Locke had to defend. Although impressed by the texts in general, I'm disappointed by his (blunt and awfull) justification of slavery. These were the times right? I'm glad subsequent generations of liberals dropped this.

    13. I think the second treatise is the main base of all liberal democracies nowadays , as it focused on two main thing: Liberty and Property. Unlike (The Social Contract) in which Liberty and Freedom were the main focus.I didn't like the first treatise, as I think there is no one talk like that anymore,these kind of monarchies that existed. It was frustrating talking about divine monarchy and relate every thought to the divine right of Adam ??? it was very strange theory coming from Robert Filmer an [...]

    14. A short but extraordinarily important book, Locke’s Two Treatises of Government are a must-read for anyone keen to understand the roots of what we think of today as our Western democracies.
In fact, it’s even shorter than it looks, if that understanding is our main goal: the whole first part is a demolition of arguments in favour of the divine right of Kings by Sir Robert Filmer, a leading political writer of the generation before Locke’s, now sunk into probably well-deserved oblivion. T [...]

    15. Published in 1690.Chapter II: Of the State of NatureTo understand political power we must look at how man behaves in a state of nature where no one tells him what to do or not to do, and where a state of equality prevails.Natural law says that man can't murder, steal, or infringe on the health or liberty of another (people have the right to life, liberty, health, possessions)"The state of nature has a law of nature to govern it, which obliges every one: and reason, which is that law, teaches all [...]

    16. John Locke's major work of political philosophy is often referred to as a major source for the Declaration of Independence, The Second Treatise of Civil Government. This work, authored in 1690, is a major statement of liberalism. Like Thomas Hobbes, Locke begins with humans living in a state of nature, a situation before the development of the state and government. The Lockeian state of nature was not an unpleasant place. Human reason led people to tend to leave one another alone in their respec [...]

    17. John Locke is probably better known for developing the idea of individual freedom into one of self-property - in other words, he ascribed to the list of fundamental, natural rights of every human that of property, and therefore extended the role of the government from the defense of the individuals to the defense of those individuals and their property, which he regarded as fundamentally part of those individuals. The revolutionary character of bourgeois capitalism can often appear a remote, eve [...]

    18. I read the Two Treatises shortly after reading Thomas Hobbes's Leviathan. Locke's first Treatise is entirely a response to Robert Filmer's Patriarcha, in which Locke quotes Filmer extensively, and rebuts Filmer's theory point by point. This is crucially important to the second Treatise, where Locke puts forth a theory of government that borrows significantly from Hobbes. Although Locke scarcely references Hobbes, it is clear that he treats Hobbes's theory as the prevalent one of the time, and it [...]

    19. Despite my ambitious plan to at least skim the First Treatise, I only read Locke's Second Treatise. I was surprised at how much I liked this book, especially since I started out pretty disgusted by Locke's viewpoint. The two main things that irritated me:1) His opinion that the primary goal of government is to preserve property. This just felt really materialistic to me. I felt better about this one when I read the parenthetical aside in chapter XV that read, "By property I must be understood he [...]

    20. This is a great book for those who know and understand political philosophy. What I really like about this book is that it exhibits and goes in depth on the benefits of a capitalistic and free society. Also, if you read this book you get to see one of the most famous quotes from the book which is "Every human has the right to life, liberty, and estate" Thomas Jefferson changed this in the United States Declaration of Independence to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness". This book also s [...]

    21. Five stars. This edition, with Peter Laslett’s excellent Introduction, is the one to read. Herein are three works: Laslett’s Introduction, the First Treatise, and the Second Treatise. The Introduction and the Second Treatise are five stars. The First Treatise is one star; however, the other two works so out shine it that it's ignored in my rating.If you follow your reading of the Second Treatise with a reading of the United States Declaration of Independence, you will see the obvious relatio [...]

    22. Two Treatisies of Government provides a decent introduction to some of the basic elements of political philosophy, but can leave the modern reader a bit unsatisfied. A good portion of the book is dedicated to refuting absolute monarchism, and many of its shortcomings for a modern audience can be understood as coming from this perspective. It is heavily (overly) dependent of Judeo-Christian phiosophy and history, but obviously so was 17th century England. Locke's idea of the origin of property ri [...]

    23. Sadly, neither of my public or private school educations required the reading of John Locke. Glad I discovered him on my own! I read Two Treatises of Government for the first time as a 33 year old during a time when I was discovering the preciousness of liberty on a daily basis after unknowingly taking my own for granted for the majority of my youth. This book was massively influential in developing my own political and moral philosophy.John Locke's ideas are powerful and based in natural law an [...]

    24. The edition itself is OK, featuring informative introduction, annotations and rich appendices consists of suggested readings, bibliography and index.As for the contents of the main body of the book, by John Locke, though I know that I am not in a position to criticise such a classic endorsed by countless academicians, I regret to confess that I could not enjoy reading these Treatises for following reasons:1) Though I understand the main purpose for the author to have written it, the First Treati [...]

    25. The fifteen years since my first attempt at this book have, in some ways, been a preparation for my current reading of it. Locke waxes poetical in the treatises, in a way that he does not in the Essay Concerning Human Understanding. At first, this lead me to the false perception that the treatises were elegant writing about democracy, rather than the thoroughly-worked out analysis of democracy's true nature that they, the Treatises, are. We all make mistakes when we're young and that perception [...]

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