Knjižnica Filozofskog fakulteta
Sveučilišta u Zagrebu
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences Institutional Repository

Liberalism and republicanism: Locke's and Rousseau's understanding of the political community


Downloads per month over past year

Jakopec, Petar. (2019). Liberalism and republicanism: Locke's and Rousseau's understanding of the political community. PhD Thesis. Filozofski fakultet u Zagrebu, Department of Philosophy.
(Poslijediplomski doktorski studij filozofije) [mentor Raunić, Raul].

PDF (Croatian)
Download (1MB) | Preview


The dissertation based on a critical analysis and a comparative method tried to establish the concepts of liberalism and republicanism and to approach the mentioned philosophical and political concepts from the point of view of the historical reconstruction of John Locke's and Jean Jacques Rousseau’s political philosophy. Using the reflexive equilibrium method it has been confirmed that Locke and Rousseau contributed to the concept of modern political culture and influenced the institutional structure of modern political community. The thesis is divided into four larger parts and every part consists of a series of related chapters and subchapters. In the first part of the doctoral thesis: Political, social and historical circumstances of John Locke's and Jean-Jacques Rousseau's political philosophy there are six chapters. The first chapter: Historical factors and historical context of the creation of liberalism establishes historical circumstances that influenced the creation of the political philosophy concept of liberalism. Based on the studied literature this chapter analyzes historical events in the seventeenth-century England which created social and political tensions and determined the frames of Locke's political philosophy. The main intention in this chapter is to present political struggles between the king and the parliament, the royalists and the Whigs, which influenced the articulation of the problem of a limited government and the creation of liberalism. English king Charles II had Patriarcha reprinted, Sir Robert Filmer's old work, which advocates the monarch’s divine right to power. The second chapter of the dissertation titled: The beginnings of the philosophical conception of liberalism elaborates Locke's argumentation that questions Filmer's work Patriarcha. Namely, in 1689 John Locke anonymously published his work Two Treatises of Government in which he advocates the principle of limited authority based on individual natural rights and in which he shaped the idea of protoliberalism. The following chapter The features of liberalism as a philosophical and political ideology examines and analyzes in details the fundamental characteristics of liberalism as a philosophical and political ideology. This chapter elaborates in detail the four essential characteristics of liberalism. These are individualism, egalitarianism, universalism and meliorism. The remaining three chapters of the first part of the doctoral thesis point to historical circumstances and the emergence of modern-age republicanism as a political philosophy concept. In this sense chapter four is titled: Historical context of the emergence of modern- age republicanism. This chapter discusses the activities of Louis XIV, Louis XV, and Louis XVI, French kings who ruled arbitrarily in an absolute monarchy thus contributing to the causes of the French Revolution. In this upsetting and restless period of French history Jean-Jacques Rousseau, as an enlightener, but also a critic of the Enlightenment and a philosopher, tried to influence public opinion, in particular through his works Discourse on the Origin and Basis of Inequality Among Men and The Social Contract. The fifth chapter of the first part titled Republicanism as a political philosophy concept analyzes the emergence and origins of the idea of modernage republicanism as a political philosophy concept. This chapter analyzes supporting ideas of modern-age republicanism, such as: political virtue, the principle of equality and freedom of all members of the political community, the values of self-determination and the importance of common good for the stability and improvement of the political community. The last chapter of the first part is titled: The characteristics of republicanism in modern political philosophy. This chapter describes the republican concept more accurately and emphasizes the awareness of individuals especially in their need of a brave civic life and political virtues aimed at the political participation of individuals. The main preoccupation of the second part of the doctoral thesis is a detailed elaboration of Locke's understanding of the political community. This part consists of four chapters and five subchapters. The first chapter: John Locke and the seventeenth century historical upheavals analyzes the impact of Locke's Second Treatise on Government on liberalism and discusses historical circumstances that enabled the establishment of that concept. The second chapter is Locke's protoliberal philosophy of politics and it deals with the foundations of Locke's doctrine, limited authority and recognition of individual rights of each person, later referred to as the doctrine of liberalism. The third chapter is Natural and political situation in John Locke's political philosophy and it includes a subchapter Locke's understanding of ownership and realization of ownership rights in natural condition. As can be seen from the title, the third chapter and the subchapter refer to the essential elements of Locke's philosophy of politics and crucial points that make Locke's philosophy of politics protoliberal. Namely, this chapter discusses Locke's idea of the natural and political situation and Locke's understanding of ownership as a natural right. Locke claims that the role of the state is to preserve property, which in the narrower sense represents the acknowledged properties and in a broader sense it encompasses life, liberty and the possessions of citizens. The fourth chapter The political community in Locke's political philosophy includes four subchapters that further elaborate Locke's understanding of the political community and his influence on the political philosophy concept of liberalism. Thus, in the first subchapter the focus is placed on the way of constituting the political community, while the discourse of the second subchapter refers to Locke's principle of limited authority and the idea of shareholder sovereignty according to which only those individuals who have confirmed property are entitled to political participation. The third subchapter is about the right of the political community to resist arbitrary and rebellious rulers. If rulers do not rule according to established laws, they themselves become rebels against established laws and the political community has the legitimate right to overthrow such rulers who do not rule according to the common interest of the community. The last subchapter of the fourth chapter in the second part of the doctoral thesis analyzes the concept of justified war in Locke's Second Treatise on Government. Locke's concept of justified war, in addition to its main aim against the rebellious ruler, is used to justify colonial conquests and the right of conquerors to conquered areas that resisted the conqueror. This chapter completes the second part of the dissertation, and it is followed by the third part in which the main theme is Rousseau's understanding of the political community. The third part consists of seven chapters, without subchapters, and focuses on Rousseau's philosophy of politics, namely on studying his works, firstly Discourse on the Origin and Basis of Inequality Among Men, then The Social Contract and finally Discourse on Political Economy. The first chapter discusses historical conditions of Rousseau's philosophy and elaborates historical factors that influenced the creation of Rousseau's philosophy of politics. The title of the second chapter is Rousseau's two kinds of inequality and this chapter describes Rousseau's two types of inequality among people: physical as well as moral and political inequalities. The third chapter deals with the relation between private property and civilization, and discusses Rousseau's understanding of property which enables civilization and which at the same time gains its recognition only in civilization and civil society. The fourth chapter refers to Rousseau's understanding of the state. According to Rousseau, the state has the form of a substantive good, because only in the state a man achieves rightful freedom and mutual recognition. The fifth chapter is Freedom and self-legislation of a man, and Rousseau considers the issue of freedom within the framework of citizen autonomy. It is particularly emphasized that for Rousseau freedom in the state is inseparable from equality of people. The sixth chapter discusses Rousseau's democratic affirmation of individual freedom. Rousseau wants to affirm individual freedom united with the unique moral and political body of the people, namely the people's or folk sovereignty. The last chapter of the third part of the doctoral dissertation is The role of a sovereign in the discourse of political economy. This chapter presents Rousseau's Discourse of Political Economy, in which Rousseau in a rudimentary form indicated sovereign’s role and the idea of common will in the political community. The fourth and final part concisely depicts Locke’s and Rousseau’s fundamental ideas of political philosophy, which marked their understanding of the political community. The research plan in the doctoral thesis is based on critical comparison between Locke’s and Rousseau’s political philosophy and the basis of the research rests on the original creative interpretation of Locke’s and Rousseau’s works on political philosophy. The methodology in the dissertation is directed to the argumentative and critical approach to explanations of scientific assumptions that consider Locke and Rousseau proponents of political philosophy concept of liberalism and republicanism. Finally, the dissertation presents essential ideas which Locke and Rousseau agree or disagree with and which affect modern and contemporary political culture.

Item Type: PhD Thesis
Uncontrolled Keywords: John Locke, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, liberalism, republicanism, natural state, property, political community
Subjects: Philosophy
Departments: Department of Philosophy
Supervisor: Raunić, Raul
Additional Information: Poslijediplomski doktorski studij filozofije
Date Deposited: 04 Feb 2019 13:06
Last Modified: 04 Feb 2019 13:06

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item