The traditional view according to which we adults tacitly consent to a state’s lawful actions just by living within its borders—the residence theory—is now widely rejected by political philosophers. According to the critics, this theory fails because consent must be (i) intentional, (ii) informed, and (iii) voluntary, whereas one’s continued residence within a state is typically none of these things. Few people intend to remain within the state in which they find themselves, and few realize that by remaining they are (...) consenting to the state’s lawful actions. In addition, the various obstacles standing in the way of us leaving the state render our remaining involuntary. Thus, the critics conclude, few if any people can be considered to have consented through their residence. I argue that these objections fail and that the residence theory remains a viable option, at least for those who are not committed incompatibilists. (shrink)
John Locke’s theory of state is heavily constructed around his doctrine of consent. The doctrine indeed signifies a critical moment in the development of liberal and democratic theories in the history of political thought. Nevertheless, the doctrine has provoked various controversies and raises doubts on whether Locke’s early and later positions are reconcilable. This paper joins the scholarly debate through investigating the role of consent in Locke’s theory of state. It rejects the ahistorical readings of the doctrine that deliberation and (...) voluntary intention constitute the necessary condition of consent. It also opposes the view that the doctrine of consent offers a moral ground for Locke’s argument on the legitimacy of government, nor does the doctrine directly makes the case for political obligation. Instead, I argue that the doctrine of consent normatively proclaims the essential value of liberty in Locke’s theory of state while historically it was employed as a response to England’s political reality. Locke’s articulation of the doctrine also reveals his life-long concern about the peril of anarchy. Thus, consent should be understood as a dynamic process of recognising the necessity of government while acknowledging the people’s resolution to be free. (shrink)
Na sua principal obra política, os _Dois Tratados Sobre o Governo_, Locke defende o direito do indivíduo de resistir ao soberano. Entretanto, segundo Locke, o ser humano abandona o estado de natureza voluntariamente para criar o Estado político com a esperança de que o poder político amenize as inconveniências do estado de natureza. Se a criação do Estado político foi voluntária, em que circunstâncias se deve resistir às determinações do soberano? Além disso, como fundamentar o direito de resistência ao soberano (...) que foi instituído com a permissão do próprio indivíduo que agora pretende resistir as suas determinações? O objetivo do presente texto é discutir os motivos pelos quais a defesa do direito de resistência se torna necessária no pensamento político de Locke, e de que forma e com quais fundamentos Locke defende tal direito no _Segundo Tratado Sobre o Governo_. Pretende-se reconstruir o argumento de Locke em defesa do direito de resistência a partir da análise da referida obra e seu contraste com o _Patriarcha _; do contexto histórico e de alguns dos seus principais comentadores.Ainda que, segundo Locke, o Estado tenha surgido para proteger os direitos individuais como a liberdade e a propriedade, o governante está sujeito a se corromper e utilizar sua posição para praticar a injustiça contra seus súditos. O direito de resistência, apoiado na lei da natureza que permanece em vigor mesmo no estado civil, é o último recurso dos indivíduos contra a tirania praticada pelo governante corrompido. (shrink)
John Locke es célebre como defensor de la libertad de conciencia, pero no ofrece una concepción robusta de la conciencia moral. Se busca realizar una exposición completa de la discusión que lleva a cabo Locke sobre ambos problemas, y se plantea la necesidad de tratarlos en conjunto para evitar la ba..
Europe and England in the seventeenth century -- John Locke : his life -- Essay concerning human understanding and other works -- Influences on Locke -- The meaning of Locke's philosophy -- The influence and importance of Locke's work and ideas.
John Locke famously sets the arts of rhetoric at odds with the pursuit of knowledge. Drawing on the work of Ernesto Grassi, this article shows that Locke’s epistemological and political arguments are parasitic on the very tropes and figures he would exclude in any serious discourse. Accordingly, Locke’s attack on the divine right of kings and his famous argument for the social contract is read as exhibiting a rhetorical structure. This structure is crucial to Locke’s critique of heteronomy and his (...) attempt to facilitate the identification of oneself as a free subject. (shrink)
The contemporary political philosopher John Rawls considers himself to be part of the social contract tradition of John Locke, Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Immanuel Kant, but not of the tradition of Locke's predecessor, Thomas Hobbes. Call the Hobbesian tradition interest-based, and the Lockean tradition right-based, because it assumes that there are irreducible moral facts which the social contract can assume. The primary purpose of Locke's social contract is to justify the authority of the state over its citizens despite the fact that (...) those citizens are naturally free and equal. I assume that this task is of central importance to all right-based social contract theories: in chapter one I lay out the general problems faced by all contract theories, and in chapter two, three and four I examine in depth the accounts of political obligation offered by Locke, Rousseau, and Rawls. I conclude that all members of the right-based social contract tradition fail to provide an account of obligation that can explain the bond between a citizen and her state. (shrink)
Até que ponto o Poder Político é condição de Liberdade, e até que ponto a liberdade do cidadão contradiz o Poder Político? Dois autores entre os principais merecem especial acolhimento nas correntes políticas dos últimos séculos: John Locke e J. J. Rousseau. John Locke propôs a teoria da separação dos poderes, e a fundamentação da sociedade política no consenso da maioria. A maioria manda e é livre; a minoria obedece e é escrava. Obediência sem assentimento justificado é uma certa forma (...) de escravatura. J. J. Rousseau fundamentou e organizou a sociedade política na Vontade Geral. A Liberdade do cidadão é garantida pela obediência e adesão espontânea a essa Vontade: deste modo a liberdade individual desaparece. Tais doutrinas não conduziram à conciliação entre o Poder e a Liberdade. É urgente aprofundar o estudo das relações entre o Poder e a Liberdade pelo aprofundamento da natureza, origem e organização do Poder Político. /// To what extent is Political Power a condition of Freedom, and to what extent the citizen's freedom contradicts Political Power? Two among the main authors deserve a special attention in the context of political thought over the last centuries: John Locke and J. J. Rousseau. The former proposed a theory of powers separation, and founded political society on the majority consensus. The majority comands and is free; the minority obeys and is enslaved. Obedience without justified assent is a certain form of slavery. J. J. Rousseau organized and founded political society on General Will. Citizen's freedom is guaranteed by obedience and spontaneous agreement as to that Will: in this way, individual freedom desappears. Such doctrines did not reconcile Power and Freedom. It is, therefore, urgent a more penetrating study of the relations between Power and Freedom, by clarifying the origin, nature and organization of Political Power. (shrink)
Many will ask what Harlem finds to honor in the stormy, controversial and bold young captain. And we will smile. And we will answer and say unto them: Did you ever talk to Brother Malcolm? Did he ever touch you? Did you have him smile at you? Did he ever do a mean thing? Was he ever himself associated with violence or any public disturbance? For if you did, you would know him and if you knew him you would know (...) why we must honor him. (shrink)
THE SUBJECT MATTER of this essay is Locke's well-known discussion of consent in sections 116-122 of the Second Treatise of Government.' I will not be concerned to discuss the place of consent in Locke's political philosophy 2 My concerns are somewhat narrower than this. I will simply be concerned to show that in important respects several recent discussions of Locke's political philosophy have misrepresented Locke's views on the subject of express and tacit consent. At theheart of these misinterpretations lie misunderstandings (...) about the way in which landownership and the inheritance of land are related to express and tacit consent. I will show that these misinterpretations of Locke's views are, to a certain extent, indicative of internal strains that can bediscovered in Locke's arguments. My discussion will fall into four sections. In the first I will try toclarify Locke's views on the nature of express consent. I will show that Locke's views on this matter, when examined in their historical context, are not as obscure as some critics have suggested. In the second section I will examine Locke's views on the nature of tacit consent. I will be especially concerned to examine the relationship between landownership and express and tacit consent. In the third section I will look at Locke's views on the inheritance of land and how it relates to express and tacit consent. I will show that his views on this matter are not entirely consistent. In one passage Locke suggests that inheritance of land requires only tacit consent whereas, in another passage, he suggests that inheritance of land requires full membership of society and express consent. In the fourth and final section I will summarize the salient features of my interpretation of Locke's views on the subject of express and tacit consent. I will also briefly note interpretations of Locke's views that have been rejected in the course of this essay. . -/- . (shrink)
Much has been written about Locke 's Second Treatise,[Note 1] but still, I believe, the book's main line of argument has been left unclear. Some concepts need more prominence---the duty to preserve mankind, the right of war, and private judgment; others need less---consent, majority rule, and property. Locke 's aim was not to show that political obligation rests upon consent: that is assumed without argument.[Note 2] What he set out to prove is that there are certain limits to political obligation (...) which not even consent could set aside.[Note 3]. (shrink)