Two of the Most Famous English Political Philosophers and their Theory of Human Nature

“What worries you, masters you.”

– John Locke –


The renaissance-art-lead -
The Renaissance Art Work. | Source: Google –

Both Thomas Hobbes and John Locke were – and are still – famous for their theory in human nature as well as their political beliefs. Hobbes has expanded the theory of classical realism while Locke is the father of liberalism. Classical realism or realism in general, is a political theory that believes human or state (state in politics means country) is selfish. As each individual or state can not be certain of the intention of others, survival is the main goal of life and if necessary to gain power. In contrary, liberalism believes in the positive aspect of human nature, that people and state will cooperate together instead of going to war.

Thomas Hobbes
thomas hobbes - wiki quote
Thomas Hobbes. | Source: Google – Wikiquote.

Thomas Hobbes in an English philosopher that was born on the 5th of April 1588. He started to deliver his theory at the age of 64 and died at the age of 91. Hobbes has written many theories mainly on human nature. His famous theory is on “Social Contract” and “Classical Realism”. Hobbes believes that human nature is dark and cruel. He believes that human nature are animals, brutal and chaotic. His famous article is called “Leviathan” – in which he described his theory of social contract. Hobbes argued that in the state of nature – long before the king was born and the government was made – people were fighting against each other, there were no certain situations and chaos. Thus, the social contract theory argued that people are willing to give a little bit of their sovereignty or freedom in order to get a protection from the government – means that the government and the citizen have a contract in which the citizens are giving some of their freedom for an exchange of a governor. But why the citizens want a governor? Because Hobbes believes that government is important as in without government, the world will be chaos like what he argued the state of nature is. Therefore, Hobbes argued that any government – even the bad government – is better rather than not having a central authority (the state of nature).


“Though of so unlimited a power, men may fancy many evil consequences. Yet the consequences of the want of it, which is perpetual warre of every man against his neighbor, are much worse.”
– Thomas Hobbes –


John Locke
john locke - factions
John Locke. | Source: Google – Factions.

In the opponent of Thomas Hobbes theory, John Locke believes that human by nature is kind, love and positive. Locke was born on the 29th of August 1632 and died at the age of 72. His political theory on social contract argued that human nature is kind and tolerant. As well as Hobbes, he argued that human nature could make people be selfish and have the rights to defend themselves. He also believed in social contract theory which stated that government is needed in order to prevent chaos. However, in contrary with Hobbes, Locke argued that the power of government is limited – which in other words is not absolute. Locke is the father of liberalism. He has influenced the ideology of democracy in the Western Europe as well as American Revolutionaries.


“All mankind … being all equal and independent, no one ought to harm another in his life, healthy, liberty or possessions.”
– John Locke –


“Curiosity is the lust of the mind.”

– Thomas Hobbes –

Author: Valentina Laura

A dreamer & a lover.

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