Government 1B Week 1

Question 1: What does John Locke mean by self-ownership? How does he think goods in the state of nature come to be owned by individuals?

John Locke description on the state of nature is of a time before government. A time where no one owned land, until someone mixed his labor with that land. By doing something like planting an orchard, or building a house a person can create a claim of ownership over that land they have labored on.

Question: How does the Age of Discovery provide an opportunity for Spanish thinkers to reflect on the idea of rights?

The Age of Discovery, or the Age of Exploration, was a time when Europeans began exploring the seas and other continents. They learnt new trade routes, cultures and knowledge previously unknown. With all these new peoples, and new ways of handling them, many philosophers began thinking of rights. They thought of the natural rights all humans have bestowed on them at birth, and that instead of invading and dehumanizing the natives they met they should treat them with the same respect they would treat a European. They acknowledged the human attributes, that being the ability to use logic, in the peoples Europeans came across. Many began believing that since these people of other cultures were still humans, they should be treated as such.

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