Similarities:

1. To them, contract is the source of state and is based on consent of individual.

2. Both conceive of a minimal-negative state concerned with maintenance of individual rights. 3.

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In their scheme, reason plays a vital role. While for Hobbes laws of nature are ‘dictates of reason, for Locke it interprets the law of nature. 4. Generally speaking, both of them emphasize on permanent nature of contract.

Differences:

1. The approach of two thinkers is different.

While Hobbes bases his philosophy on mechanics, Locke is no where clear in his approach. He compiles different ideas into a coherent whole. 2. In their concept of human nature, there is striking difference between the two thinkers. Hobbes believes that human beings are egoistic, selfish and quarrelsome. Locke, on the other hand, believes that they are selfless, peace loving and good creature.

3. While Hobbesian state of nature is a state of war of every man with every other, state of nature in Locke is a state of peace, goodwill and mutual assistance. 4. As regards the nature of contract there are differences. While Hobbes creates an all powerful, inalienable sovereign, Locke limits the power of sovereign only to interpret and enforce the law of nature for protection of natural rights. 5. There is no right to rebel in Hobbes’s scheme, but Locke grants this right to the individual.

The government is a trust which can be overthrown the moment it violates their trust. A comparison between the two thinkers not only shows their philosophical differences but also signify their time and problems that were more damaging. Hobbes witness to civil war and beheading of a Prince convinced him of badness of human nature. But, his greatness lies in logical approach.

Locke on the other hand was more practical than logical and continues to influence the liberals even today.