The Annuals of Japanese Political Science Association
Online ISSN : 1884-3921
Print ISSN : 0549-4192
ISSN-L : 0549-4192
Pride and Civil Society in John Locke's Political and Educational Thought
Author information

2008 Volume 59 Issue 1 Pages 1_263-1_282


  ‘There is something troubling in this type of case, in that the desire for honour, command, power and glory usually exist in men of the greatest spirit and most brilliant intellectual talent. Therefore one must be all the more careful not to do wrong in this way,’ Cicero said in On Duties referring to Julius Caesar. Agreeing with him, John Locke tries to tame the dangerous aspect of ‘the desire for honour, command, power and glory,’ that is, human pride. However he sees this passion as indispensable to human freedom and therefore a free civil society, in contrast to Thomas Hobbes, who attributed the cause of the Civil War to this passion. In Some Thoughts Concerning Education, Locke outlines a free civil society on the basis of human pride. In a polite and civilized society where the ‘Law of Opinion or Reputation’ prevails, human pride can be moderated and cultivated into public spirit based on individual autonomy and freedom. For Locke, civil society is not merely a counterpart to absolute monarchy, but also a basis of human civility, that is, a civilized society.

Information related to the author
© 2008 Japanese Political Scienece Association
Previous article Next article