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The second treatise on civil government by…
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The second treatise on civil government (original 1690; edition 1986)

by John Locke

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2,683244,142 (3.63)18
The Second Treatise is one of the most important political treatises ever written and one of the most far-reaching in its influence. In his provocative 15-page introduction to this edition, the late eminent political theorist C. B. Macpherson examines Locke's arguments for limited, conditional government, private property, and right of revolution and suggests reasons for the appeal of these arguments in Locke's time and since.… (more)
Member:DanielBarnes-Bineid
Title:The second treatise on civil government
Authors:John Locke
Info:Buffalo, N.Y. : Prometheus Books, 1986.
Collections:Your library
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Work Information

The Second Treatise of Government by John Locke (1690)

  1. 40
    The Spirit of the Laws by Montesquieu (Voracious_Reader)
  2. 20
    The Rights of War and Peace by Hugo Grotius (joshvando)
  3. 16
    Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal (original 1966 edition) by Ayn Rand (mcaution)
    mcaution: Insights into "The Nature of Government", "Man's Rights", and "What is Capitalism". A perfect stepping stone from Locke's political ideas. You can also find this lectures on the Ayn Rand Institute's website for free. aynrand(dot)org
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English (21)  Spanish (1)  Dutch (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (24)
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Locke states one of the building blocks of the concept of individual rights, that finally civil government exists because of an implied agreement to create a structure to control both the right of property, and the right of self preservation. When these rights are in conflict, it seems to him that the right of self preservation should prevail over the right to property. The rest of the essay is in defence of this principle against the idea that the rights of property are paramount in society. The essay was originally published in 1690, and was to some degree giving the reasons for the expulsion of James II from British government. ( )
  DinadansFriend | Apr 13, 2021 |
When you examine the "axioms" of his doctrine, it is very difficult to take his posterior developments very seriously as political theory. What if access to land is limited? ( )
  Adrianmb | Mar 24, 2021 |
We are born Free, as we are born Rational.

An inspiring (if somewhat unsound) foundational text in political philosophy. ( )
  drbrand | Jun 8, 2020 |
John Locke was an incredibly influential writer and thinker. But his writing is dense and outdated, so hard to sift through, and it's all a little redundant now. I love old theory writings but this one didn't really jump off the page at me, and plus Locke was super racist when it came to indigenous Americans. His beliefs are basically structured around keeping property in the hands of the elite so long as they seek to "better the collective stock of mankind", which seems very in line with some of America's greatest problems.

But, of course, life liberty and property. Natural rights. All that stuff. So he has his moments too. ( )
  MaxAndBradley | May 27, 2020 |
It has equal parts of great and cringe worthy moments ( )
  nachous98 | Jan 4, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 21 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (7 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Locke, Johnprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gough, J. W.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Macpherson, C. B.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mellizo, CarlosTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Peardon, Thomas P.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Yrjönsuuri, MikkoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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The Second Treatise is one of the most important political treatises ever written and one of the most far-reaching in its influence. In his provocative 15-page introduction to this edition, the late eminent political theorist C. B. Macpherson examines Locke's arguments for limited, conditional government, private property, and right of revolution and suggests reasons for the appeal of these arguments in Locke's time and since.

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