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From a philosophically rigorous perspective, Locke’s justifications are a copout to constructing a normative frame. But at a descriptive level, he may be correct: both Hobbes and Locke agree that it is through reason that mankind transcends the state of nature and enters a state of sovereignty. An elementary comparison of these two versions of the state of nature boils down to the fact that Hobbes’s interpretation is one that begins with a lack of reason and Locke’s starts with reason programmed into mankind by a maker. Is it not possible that the Locke’s state of nature simply follows Hobbes’s? Indeed, in Hobbes’s model, man must come upon reason prior to entering the social contract, meaning as a collective, they must eventually reach some form of Locke’s state of nature. Whether God exists or not, a social consciousness must develop for both authors to successfully continue their theories. This returns us to the epistemological contradiction presented earlier in the fourth paragraph: why do men lose their ability to analyze the benefits of subjugation to a sovereign, if they needed to attain this level of rational deliberation to have accepted the social contract to begin with? It is because Hobbes ignores this concern, but Locke answers it (albeit with God, rather than a development of rationality, as I suggest), that Locke’s interpretation of sovereignty is far more convincing.


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