States of Nature

Journal of Value Inquiry 45 (1):27-36 (2011)
Abstract
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  political authority  natural rights
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