Single Idea 20485

[catalogued under 25. Social Practice / B. Equalities / 1. Grounds of equality]

Full Idea

Hobbes's principle of equality was a claim about the mental and physical capabilities of all people. For Locke it is a moral claim about rights: no person has a natural right to subordinate any other.

Gist of Idea

Hobbes says people are roughly equal; Locke says there is no right to impose inequality


report of Thomas Hobbes (Leviathan [1651]) by Jonathan Wolff - An Introduction to Political Philosophy (Rev) 1 'Locke'

Book Reference

Wolff,Jonathan: 'An Introduction to Political Philosophy (Rev)' [OUP 2006], p.17

A Reaction

There are obvious questions to ask about the claim that people are naturally equal. For the second one, does the lion have a natural right to subordinate the gazelle? Who cares! I'm inclined to be consequentialist about equality.