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Major thinkers in welfareContemporary issues in historical perspective$
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Vic George

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9781847427069

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781847427069.001.0001

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Absolutism Thomas Hobbes (1588–1679)

Absolutism Thomas Hobbes (1588–1679)

Liberalism John Locke (1632–1704)

(p.84) (p.85) Five Absolutism Thomas Hobbes (1588–1679)
Major thinkers in welfare

Vic George

Policy Press

This chapter discusses the two main political ideologies that resulted from the civil war and its aftermath during the mid-17th-century England. The first is the absolutism of Thomas Hobbes, while the second is the liberalism of John Locke. It identifies the central issues that divided these political ideologies, which include the nature of law, religious tolerance, and social policy issues, the latter being the main focus of this chapter. It is noted that the ideas of Locke, such as his views on human liberty and his support of the rule of law, are major contributions to human welfare. Hobbes, on the other hand, contributed his basic theoretical argument that there is no such thing as ‘society’ with a collective interest, but rather a number of egoistic individuals who are following their own interests.

Keywords:   political ideologies, civil war, absolutism, liberalism, Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, social policy issues

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