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Moral Philosophy - Essay Example

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Locke shows in Part V of the Second Treatise that in essence, the right to property springs from natural law, and is ordained in so many words by God himself. He begins by saying that all of the earth after all is given to men so that he may find in it his home and his sustenance, and in so far that he enjoys all the fruits of the earth without his interventions he shares all of the earth with his fellow men as common property. Then he goes on to say that be that as it may, the work of the hands of men in his own capacity is and the fruits of his own labors must be his own property. The distinction is that whatever it is that he fashions out of the common lot in nature, removed from that which nature provides in common with all other men, is his. This is the spring of the notion of property as it is envisioned by Locke. It is something inalienable to private persons in their own capacity, as something that is in the natural state of things too. It is the labor that he adds to the work that he undertakes on nature and its constituents that creates ownership and the notion of property....
On the other hand, by the same argument, whatever else that exceeds the needs of a particular man by his own labor, exceeding his enjoyment, is beyond his property, and this excess is therefore something that goes back in essence to the common realm, as the property of all. Whatever is in excess that can spoil, is beyond what man can enjoy, and is therefore beyond his own capacity to own. This is also according to Locke part and parcel of what he considers the self-evident bounds of one man's property (Locke). This is not a capitalistic notion, though it lends itself well to capitalistic lines of thinking, because in the main what Locke is saying is that there ought to be a limit to what a man can own beyond his needs, and that the bounds are there to make sure that man does not own anything beyond what he can cultivate presumably with his own labor. This applies too to the idea that there is enough to go around for everyone, if everyone works hard to secure his own needs and enjoyment with his own labors rather than the labors of others (Locke). Question 1 Machiavelli in Chapter 8 makes an example of the Sicilian known as Agathocles to say that although the man rose through the military ranks by his own cunning and skill, yet he is not someone who can be considered as possessing virtu. Yes he achieved his success without the help of anybody, and that in itself is admirable, but he did that by cunning and by betraying friends among others. He killed and he deceived, he had no mercy and no religion, and he had no faith. Machiavelli implies that the man of virtu achieves glory too, and Agathocles may have gained the world so to speak, but he falls short of virtu and his victory and success lacks ...Show more


Locke shows in Part V of the Second Treatise that in essence, the right to property springs from natural law, and is ordained in so many words by God himself. …
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Moral Philosophy essay example
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