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It can be assumed that political philosophy is opposed to ideology in the standard sense. This philosophic approach calls for the arguments concerning the concepts of freedom, equality, democracy, and power and enables several concepts to coexist. In terms of the political philosophers, Locke, Hobbes, and More, they contributed greatly to the development of philosophical thought. However, it can be stated that Hobbes was most successful in grappling with the great problems of their age.
Hobbes developed the ideas of natural and civil societies. Initially, he considered that people fight against each other which did not meet the human need for self-preservation and meant that society had to strive to maintain peace. This approach implied the setting in which all the people were united by the will to maintain security. Also, Hobbes developed the idea of absolute power, which could not be controlled by anyone. Notably, these concepts were the reflection of the events in England in this period. They mirrored the need for a strong state to restore order and peace in the country.
In his turn, Locke was the founder of the classical liberalistic ideas. He dwelt upon the domains of natural law and the contractual foundations of the state. The key fundamentals of his thought were the notions of power separation, sovereignty, and inalienable rights. In his approach, the state had to protect people’s right to liberty and property. He also formulated the rule of law concept, which included the subordination of all people to the law without exceptions.
As for More, he considered the approach of ideal utilitarianism. He argued that apart from meeting the desires and needs as both actual and predictable preferences, other things might also have the highest value. Among these preferences, he singled out the personal relationship and the aesthetic experience. However, the key aspect of his thought was the idea of equality.
Strengths and Weaknesses
All three philosophers supported the domain of social contract. Nevertheless, each of them supported the divergent tenets. Hobbes advocated for the pessimistic and egoistic view of human nature while the other two philosophers argued for the opposite. To be more precise, Locke stated that the government endorses and guards people and their rights. Hobbes refuted this concept assuming that only an absolute ruler could struggle with the people’s evil nature by overpowering them. In Locke’s theory, the rights were preserved, and the malfunctioning state could be substituted. Whereas, Hobbes’s approach implied the protection by a powerful ruler, though, people’s freedom would be finite. Meanwhile, in More’s theory, the state would provide comfort.
Thus, Hobbes’s theory is a testament to the western cultural tradition crisis. It sought the rational justification of the politics of that time and the inability of traditional political science methodologies to give a convincing explanation to the challenges. On the other hand, the ideas of the two other scientists were also a search for the theoretical understanding of the social and political world.