Thomas Hobbes, an English philosopher, was born on 5th of April 1588 in Wiltshire, England. He was raised by his uncle Francis after his father fled to London; the whereabouts of his mother are unknown. He was a student at Oxford University where he was able to study classics. He worked as a tutor but raveled frequently around Europe where he met different scholars and scientists. During these tours, Hobbes was able to learn about various government forms. He was very eager to discover a form of government that would fit England best. Hobbes believed that the methods which mathematicians and scientists used in the geometry discipline were the bet in regard to promotion of human knowledge (The Political Theories).
He exiled himself to Holland voluntarily where devoted much of his time in development of the philosophy he termed as the 'Mechanistic Operation of Nature' (Thomas Hobbes). Elements of law, /Natural and Politic (1640), were his first publication on political philosophy. His views were based on concept of natural law which was the basically dominated by tradition. Hobbes' philosophy is clearly expressed in the Leviathan (1951). He notes human nature as being highly materialistic and continues to note that man was selfish and self centered. He noted that a state with absolute authority which doesn't abuse its power was the best to manage the selfish human nature in the social contract (Hobbes's Moral and Political Philosophy).
John Locke, an English philosopher as well, was born on 29th august 1632. He was a medical researcher who studied at oxford. He is considered as the father of the idea of liberalism because much of his work opposed authoritarian rule both on individual and institutional levels (John Locke). He believed that people should always seek to know the truth rather than just accepting opinions made by institutions. He wrote various articles including 'An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, which looks at human limits in the understanding of the respect they hold for God. He also wrote 'Two Treatises of Government, Same Thoughts Concerning Education, Letters concerning Toleration and The Reasonableness of Christianity (The Political Theories).In the Two Treatises of Government, for example, he opposes the idea of a monarch with absolute power but opts for a system reconciles the citizens' right to liberty with the political order.
The ideas of these two great political philosophers were very different in many aspects. Thomas Hobbes did not look at man as a social animal arguing that the power of the state is what brought about the society. He believed that subjects should always shut up and follow orders so as to have the right to live. In his thoughts, he promotes a ruler with absolute powers who he believes did no wrong (Beck). He states that one should concede all their rights to the state in return for their life and therefore justice is what the state defined it to be. John Locke on the other hand believed that man is naturally a social animal. He said that subjects had the right to justice and should not have rulers who enjoyed absolute power. He promotes the idea of subjects fighting for their rights even if it requires them to kill their rulers and their servants. He argued that men have rights and further stated that civil society preceded the state in importance because it creates order and later gives legitimacy to the state. According to Locke, the most important role of the state is to ensure that justice is granted to its citizens (The Political Theories).