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"political philosophy" - UVA- College of Arts and Sciences


sidbush 3 / 26  
Dec 28, 2010   #1
What work of art, music, science, mathematics, or literature has surprised, unsettled, or challenged you, and in what way?

I chose Literature- John Locke's Second Treatise on Civil Government

John Locke, an influential Enlightenment thinker and philosopher of the late seventeenth century, made several contributions to western thought regarding political philosophy. Specifically, Locke's Second Treatise on Civil Government had monumental influence on the views of our Founding Fathers, as evidenced by their inclusion of his principles in the American Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution. In Second Treatise, Locke states that humans abide by the laws of nature which restrain individuals from invading others' rights. Due to the selfish nature of man, however, citizens are willing to abdicate sovereignty to maintain social order and protect their property. This philosophy has influenced my thought regarding the extent to which a government should exert control over society, a topic I had previously given little thought. Rather than questioning government regulation of certain aspects of American life, I simply accepted it as commonplace. Though I have always identified with a conservative ideology, Second Treatise has challenged my sentiments regarding United States governmental control over social issues. According to Second Treatise, humans are capable of logic and reason and can resolve social matters on their own. Therefore, government should not interfere with the routine affairs of the people. The principles detailed in Second Treatise have greatly influenced my outlook on human beings and their interactions with an administration. John Locke's political philosophy that man is naturally free and government exists solely to preserve order has reinforced my fiscal conservatism and has fundamentally altered my views of governmental involvement in social issues.
yenna 9 / 23  
Dec 28, 2010   #2
No major grammatical errors so yay.
I like your essay. It's not a piece of literature most people would pick and I think you did a great job. One thing I would do is shorten the beginning and put more of youuuuu in there. The part about you and how Locke has impacted you is good, very good - but I think there should be more than what you have. Right now I see more about Locke which isn't necessarily bad.

But, overall great essay! Great ideas, great personalization and I think you're in the word requirement :)

Good luck and hopefully we both get accepted to UVA :D
nikamonster 9 / 38  
Dec 28, 2010   #3
hmmm, i enjoyed the essay.
i think a work by john locke will stand out (:
the essay is well-written, and i didn't find any grammatical errors either.
in the last sentence, though, i feel like the and should be replaced with but
John Locke's political philosophy that man is naturally free and government exists solely to preserve order has reinforced my fiscal conservatism but has fundamentally altered my views of governmental involvement in social issues.

i think if i were to point out one flaw, it would be the seemingly drastic change on your views on government control regarding social issues. you went from accepting it to objecting it after one book. personally, i would make it more like- i used to accept it, but now i question it. surely there are different facets to every political issue, i think it would be nice if you could portray yourself as someone open to new and different ideas but also someone who takes everything with a grain of salt.

good job overall (:


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