The States of Nature
The Journal of Value Inquiry, Forthcoming
16 Pages Posted: 11 Jul 2010 Last revised: 22 Jul 2010
Date Written: July 21, 2010
Whatever else might be said about the Lockean and Hobbesian states of nature, it is widely believe that they are mutually incompatible. One or the other (or neither) is a correct way of thinking about the state of nature, but not both. This paper argues that this intuitively plausible claim is incorrect - if not as a matter of textual interpretation, then as a matter of analysis of the concepts that we have inherited from those texts. Not only does it make sense to talk about a Hobbesian and Lockean state of nature existing simultaneously, but doing so allows us to draw important and novel insights about important contemporary questions in political philosophy.
Keywords: Hobbes, Locke, State of Nature, Political Legitimacy, Natural Rights
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