Locke vs. Hume

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Locke vs. Hume (Question 2) Property is an entity, physical or intangible, that is owned by a person or a group of people. Owners can do with their property what they see fit - sell it, consume it, destroy it, etc. Most everyone can agree that property is off-limits when someone has claim on it. But under what grounds are "things" rightly someone else's? From where do property rights arise? Several philosophers have answered this question, each one elaborately expanding on their individual ideas. But Locke and Hume have taken on interesting perspectives to provide an explanation. Locke believes in the state of nature’s natural rights, but Hume’s understanding is that the very idea of “property” comes from causal need. Exploring the logic behind these theories, both philosophers make valid points about justice when it comes to property. Locke, however, presents a more applicable rationalization in recognizing that humans have an innate right to property and that God created the world in such a fashion that society can function only with unchangeable laws. Hume bases his theory off of personality and people’s natural relationships with one another. He understands that “sexual and familial affection forms the primordial or original relationships among persons… The natural concern men have for their families and their friends demands a more limited generosity or benevolence in dealing with others” (Cohon). Our inherent desires for goods combined with a moderate scarcity of availibity prompts greed. There is no world in which men are affectionate and caring for everyone, so in order for a society to flourish, property rights have to exist. If humans were abundantly generous, then justice and property would be unnecessary. But rules of ownership of property are created in order to “satisfy our avidity for possessions for ourselves and our loved ones” (Cohon). Hume’s

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