Two Treatises of Government

Two Treatises of Government

Paperback, 480 pages

Published October 28th 1988 by Cambridge University Press


This is a new revised version of Dr. Laslett's standard edition of Two Treatises. First published in 1960, and based on an analysis of the whole body of Locke's publications, writings, and papers. The Introduction and text have been revised to incorporate references to recent scholarship since the s......more


Kenghis Khan

Those of us living in liberal democracies owe tremendous intellectual debt to John Locke. His "Second Treatise" in particular helped lay the foundation for a political system that emphasized "life, liberty, and property." The First Treatise is interesting to skim through, though it is in the second ......more


Inoffensive, agreeable, well written, but also rather dull and useless.

Robert Owen

As its title states, John Locke’s “Two Treatises on Government” are two separate treatments on the basis of just and legitimate government; the first of which is structured as a rebuttal to the notion, as articulated in Robert Filmer’s “Patriarcha, or The Natural Power of Kings”, of monarchical powe......more

Natalie Clarke

This book is almost as dense as I am.

Steven Peterson

John Locke's major work of political philosophy is often referred to as a major source for the Declaration of Independence, The Second Treatise of Civil Government. This work, authored in 1690, is a major statement of liberalism. Like Thomas Hobbes, Locke begins with humans living in a state of natu......more

Thomas Mick

One of the volumes that helped our founders form the Republic in the Convention of 1787. I highly recommend that anyone who wishes to understand what principle we started out to live under were and therefore better understand what we've become in ignorance of them.


yes . . . ive read it, and you should too . . . this dude was thomas jefferson's BFF!!!!


Locke was a monstrous evil that made the world a far worse place. He was really clever tho


If I'm being honest, the First Treatise is more fun. Locke is a witty writer, and he rarely misses the mark when poking fun at authoritarianism, but his tone is more barbed when dealing with the absurdity of Divine Right than when developing his own system. (That said, one joke in 2:235 about how an......more

Lovely Fortune

Definitely shows some very fundamental ideas that have shaped our country to this day! I had to read this for class, heavily focusing more so on the Second Treatise. Although, I didn't read the entire thing, what we did read consisted of things I mostly agreed with (inalienable rights and whatnot). ......more

About the author(John Locke)

was an English philosopher. He is considered the first of the British Empiricists, but is equally important to social contract theory. His ideas had enormous influence on the development of epistemology and political philosophy, and he is widely regarded as one of the most influential Enlightenment ......more

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