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Single Idea 19864

[catalogued under 25. Society / A. State of Nature / 2. Natural Freedom]

Full Idea

The estate all men are naturally in is perfect freedom to order their actions, and dispose of their possessions and persons as they think fit, within the bounds of the laws of nature.

Gist of Idea

In nature men can dispose of possessions and their persons in any way that is possible


John Locke (Second Treatise of Government [1690], 004)

A Reaction

Note that they have possessions, so property is not an invention of society, but something which society should protect. Presumably Locke thinks they could sell themselves into slavery, which Rousseau rejects.

Book Reference

Locke,John: 'Two Treatises of Government' [Everyman 1988], p.118