Humanities
PHIL 202 John Locke and the Right to Private Property & Classical Liberalism Paper

PHIL 202

PHIL

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Philosophy 202

Required Texts

The following texts are all required,

Descartes, Rene. Discourse on Method

Frankfurt, Harry. Reasons of Love

Kant, Immanuel. Perpetual Peace

Locke, John. Second Treatise on Government

Rousseau, Jean-Jacques. Discourse on Inequality

Shakespeare. The Tempest

Machiavelli. The Prince

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PAPER FOR PHIL 202 SECOND PAPER FOUR TO FIVE PAGES IN LENGTH CHOSE EITHER TOPIC 1. In Chapter five, Locke presents an argument for man’s natural right to private property. What is that argument? What does he conclude that such a right consists in? What is the end, origin and extent of that right for man originally, and for man as he is presently situated? Is it natural to all men? Is it limited in scope? Has the right changed over time? What occasioned that change, if it did in fact alter? Does man have a right to unlimited acquisition of private property according to Locke? 2. For Locke, all power that one man has over another man is a limited power. Why is such power always limited? He further argues in the case of such particular modes of such a power that the limits, origin and ends of the power is different, why? In the case of parental power, spousal power, and political power, why is each of these powers limited in its own peculiar manner? Present how he argues that political power, his principal concern, is limited. Present how and why the other forms of power over an other is limited in their own manner. ...
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Running head: JOHN LOCKE AND THE RIGHT TO PRIVATE PROPERTY

1

John Locke and the Right to Private Property
Classical liberalism considers property, life and liberty as the fundamental rights.
However, the right to property is considered as one of the most distinctive aspects of the adored
triad of the natural rights accorded among humans. A critical analysis of John Locke’s
propositions on the right to private property greatly reveals his inclination on the labor theory.
Accordingly, the labor theory posits that the efforts, labor and intelligence upheld by people can
be translated to the equivalent value of the private property that individuals are entitled to own.
As such, John Locke bases his argument on the fact that an individual’s effort is an equal product
of his body. In this case, a person can only claim ownership of the labor that his/her body strives
to accomplish. The position is echoed in Immanuel Kant’s Perpetual Peace where the
philosopher defines the rightful ownership of property as one’s connection to a valued object to
the extent that another person’s use of such an object without the originator’s consent would be
offensive. As such, an individual only needs to appropriate the total output of his toil only in
instances where the positive side attributed to the output does not undergo spoilage but is put to
optimal utilization. For instance, western settlers in the early years had the power to fence off the
pieces of land that they acquired to meet their farming and grazing needs. As such, they had the
moral authority to claim the ownership of these pieces of land as private ...

Jkennish (19233)
UT Austin

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