John Locke’s thoughts on human rights: Exploring the contemporary discourse in the West
Hoa Thi Kim Do – Michal Valco
Our paper examines John Locke’s legacy pertaining to the topic of human rights as it is exemplified and manifested in the contemporary philosophical discourse in the West. Besides core philosophical issues, we also notice the ethical and/or religious-ethical aspects of the current debates. Our assessment starts with identifying significant contextual influences on Locke’s thinking. In the next section, we provide a concise summary of Locke’s key contributions with implications for philosophy and ethics and the existing socio-political models of governance. The final section of our paper focuses on analyzing critical themes of the contemporary discourse related to Locke’s ideas (with the primary focus on property rights) in the West.
Key words: John Locke, natural rights, state of nature, epistemology, right to property, the value of human labor