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John Locke on War - Dictionary of Arguments

Höffe I 250
War/Locke/Höffe: In contrast to his contract-theoretical predecessors ((s) >Social Contract/Hobbes, >Contract Theory/Spinoza) Locke knows two states preceding the social contract, the peaceful natural state and the violent state of war.
For as soon as someone "tries to bring another person into his absolute power, he puts himself"(1) into the "state of enmity, malice, violence and mutual annihilation"(2), hence into a pre-contractual alternative to the natural state, into a state of war.


1. Locke, Second treatise of Government, 1689/90, § 17
2. Ibid. § 19


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Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution.
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.

Loc III
J. Locke
An Essay Concerning Human Understanding

Höffe I
Otfried Höffe
Geschichte des politischen Denkens München 2016


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