green numbers give full details.     |    back to list of philosophers     |     unexpand these ideas

Ideas of Thomas Jefferson, by Text

[American, 1743 - 1826, A founder of the United States, and its third President.]

1775 U.S. Declaration of Independence
p.50 Men are created equal, and with certain inalienable rights
     Full Idea: We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.
     From: Thomas Jefferson (U.S. Declaration of Independence [1775]), quoted by Johanna Oksala - Political Philosophy: all that matters Ch.4
     A reaction: In the context, saying equality and rights are 'natural' is just a way of saying we will fight to the death to defend them. The big modern problem for the U.S. is that nominal equality before the law doesn't ensure equality in society.