John Locke and the Theory of Natural Law

Dissertation, University of Kansas (1987)

The status of John Locke as a natural law theorist has been especially problematic for contemporary scholars. Although Locke appears to expound a political philosophy firmly rooted in the theory of natural law, many recent commentators have felt compelled to challenge this traditional reading. ;The purpose of this dissertation is to provide a critical exposition of John Locke's theory of natural law viewed in the intellectual context of seventeenth century natural law philosophy. Once Locke's doctrine is examined in its entirety and systematically developed in the light of other early modern natural law theories, it is my contention that many of the alleged inconsistencies can be resolved and a rather consistent, albeit incomplete, body of doctrines will emerge. ;The dissertation is divided into three major parts. The primary aim of part one is to critically examine Locke's account of law and moral obligation. This is followed by a consideration of Locke's alleged doctrine of hedonism. Part two consists in a reassessment of Locke's moral epistemology in order to ascertain the epistemological status of natural law. In part three I examine Locke's social and political philosophy. In this section, I show how the principles of natural law are employed by Locke to define the origin, character, and extent of natural rights, as well as the origin and character of both domestic and political power
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 68,975
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

John Locke, Natural Law and Colonialism.Barbara Arneil - 1992 - History of Political Thought 13 (4):587-603.
Locke on Punishment, Property and Moral Knowledge.Lee Ward - 2009 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 6 (2):218-244.
Locke, Natural Kinds, and Essentialism.Judith Kathryn Crane - 1999 - Dissertation, Tulane University
John Locke and the Right to Bear Arms.Mark Tunick - 2014 - History of Political Thought 35 (1):50-69.
Review of John Locke and Natural Philosophy. [REVIEW]Jan-Erik Jones - 2012 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2012.
Locke, Bacon and Natural History.Peter R. Anstey - 2002 - Early Science and Medicine 7 (1):65-92.
John Locke and Natural Law.Yih-Hsien Yu - 2006 - Philosophy and Culture 33 (3):21-35.
Hobbes and Locke on Natural Law and Jesus Christ.Timothy Stanton - 2008 - History of Political Thought 29 (1):65-88.


Added to PP index

Total views
1 ( #1,538,425 of 2,498,178 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #427,476 of 2,498,178 )

How can I increase my downloads?


Sorry, there are not enough data points to plot this chart.

My notes