Lecture 16 - Constitutional Government: Locke, Second Treatise (7-12)

author: Steven B. Smith, Department of Political Science, Yale University
recorded by: Yale University
published: Jan. 4, 2010,   recorded: November 2006,   views: 3318
released under terms of: Creative Commons Attribution No Derivatives (CC-BY-ND)
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In the opening chapters of his Second Treatise, Locke "rewrites" the account of human beginnings that had belonged exclusively to Scripture. He tells the story of how humans, finding themselves in a condition of nature with no adjudicating authority, enjoy property acquired through their labor. The lecture goes on to discuss the idea of natural law, the issue of government by consent, and what may be considered Locke's most significant contribution to political philosophy: the Doctrine of Consent.

Reading assignment:

John Locke, Second Treatise of Civil Government, 7-12

Resources: John Locke, Second Treatise of Civil Government Courtesy of the University of Adelaide Library Electronic Texts Collection

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