A very strange doctrine: The natural right of resistance in John Locke's "Second Treatise of Government"
Contributor(s)Mullins, John Patrick.
Florida Atlantic University (Degree grantor)
Lowe, Ben (Thesis advisor)
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AbstractWithin his own intellectual context, John Locke's argument for the people's natural right of resistance in the Second Treatise of Government was profoundly original. But he derived its conceptual foundation and rhetorical ornament from the six political texts immediately available to him when he wrote the Second Treatise in 1681-82. Locke based his "very Strange Doctrine" of popular resistance to political tyranny upon the natural right of rational individuals to judge and punish criminals in the state of nature. Textual analysis demonstrates that none of his six texts presented this argument. Locke did, however base his resistance theory upon such moral concepts as natural law, natural equality, and natural liberty, which--as textual analysis further indicates--he derived from texts by Samuel von Pufendorf and Richard Hooker. Locke's radical argument further benefited from Ciceronian and Biblical rhetoric. He intended this rhetoric to be comfortingly familiar to his intended readers, the English gentry of the 1680s, and therefore effective in persuading them to resist the invasion of their rights by King Charles II in 1681-82.
Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters
FAU Electronic Theses and Dissertations Collection
Thesis (M.A.)--Florida Atlantic University, 1998.