- Paperback: 148 pages
- Publisher: Book Jungle (February 2, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1438510543
- ISBN-13: 978-1438510545
- Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.3 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 204 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,522,826 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Two Treatises of Government
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In the "First Essay On Government", Locke takes the argument of the "divine right" of kings--and uses a brilliant, clever, and effective combination of Biblical theology and logical argument to completely obliterate that concept.
With that out of the way, Locke turned to write his "Second Essay On Civil Government", where the question is asked: Now that we have disproved any "entitlement" to royalty...where do we go from here? What is the basis for governing a civil society?
The major highlight of this treatise is Chapter 2, in which Locke formally establishes the doctrine of Natural Rights. He starts with the natural state of Man, leading up to the necessary elements of Man's existence--the philisophical necessities, of course, being "rights".
There is an interesting moment where Locke questions whether a citizen of one society should ever be punished for breaking the laws of another socety, even if said citizen is IN that other society. It's worth noting that Locke was quick to note that it is a QUESTION, not a statement of belief. Perhaps it's his idea of a "modest proposal".
Contrary to popular belief, Locke is not a "Poor Man's Hobbes" or a "Confused Man's Hobbes". Locke's views on rights and Liberty have quite a few differences from Hobbes's: while often subtle, they are very important, indeed. It becomes clear while reading Locke's prescriptions for government--including the people's rights to alter ot abolish it--that Locke would not have recommended an authoritarian government of the likes of the Leviathan!
Finally, there is "A Letter Concerning Toleration". Here, Locke tackles the issue of "seperation of church and state". He discusses what it truly means...and how it does NOT mean the weaking of religion that secular progressives of the Left desire it to mean. To the contrary, abolishing a state religion, Locke argues, actually should STRENGTHEN the religious element of a free society.
John Locke was, in short, a man years ahead of his time. It is a tragedy that few, if any, in government have seemed willing to listen to him.
1. "This edition of Locke's masterpiece is filled with flaws. I've noticed these after only a few minutes of inspection: In the first place, It's falsely advertised (the title is TWO Treatises of Government, but it only includes the second)" It includes not only both treatises but also several associated essays. The First Treatise begins on page 141, the Second on page 265.
2. "Second, it's supposed to be Two Treatises of CIVIL Government." The title of the book, listed both on the cover and inside, reads:"Two Treatises of Government." The subtitles of both Treatises read "... of Civil Government."
3. "the format is awkward for a book like this." The format is standard book form with good margins -- near ideal for a book of this type.
4. "There are no footnotes at all (not even translations when Locke cites non-English quotes)." There are footnotes on almost every page, many of them extensive. Titles of cited works are given in their original languages, as they should be, comments drawn therefrom are in English.
5. "there's no introduction." There are more than 130 pages of introduction.
6. "there's almost no publishing information at all." There is a full page of publishing information, more than twice as much as generally appears in books of this type.
7. "there are cheesy advertisements in the back." There are no advertisements anywhere in the book.
8. "And finally, one of those ads has a typo." Ergo, no typo.
It is sad to see such grossly misleading information in reviews -- whether from ignorance or carelessness or malice. The book does very well what it sets out to do. It is presented as a "Student Edition." It is all most serious students would ever need.
It is too bad that so many political groups intentionally misquote this work to further a political agenda that runs counter to what the book actually proposes.