Locke on the Law of Nature and Natural Rights

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


As controversial as Lockean interpretation relating to the ideas of the law of nature and natural rights has always been, few would dispute the inextricable connection between them in the context of John Locke's thought. The historical development of natural rights language out of the natural law tradition is mirrored to a certain extent in the order within and between Locke's own writings. Locke intimates a persuasive account of the concurrent univocal property of God and the human being in the particular human being herself. The particular human being is the property of God and herself in the very same sense of the word "property", i.e. the product of workmanship or labor. Both slavery and suicide fall foul of Locke's doctrine of the law of nature and natural rights: slavery is a violation of self-ownership, and suicide is as direct a violation of divine ownership as one can imagine.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationA Companion to Locke
Number of pages23
ISBN (Electronic)9781118328705
ISBN (Print)9781405178150
StatePublished - Oct 21 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Divine ownership
  • Human workmanship
  • John Locke
  • Law of nature and natural rights
  • Locke's approval of slavery
  • Locke's approval of suicide
  • Potter-God
  • Self-ownership

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Arts and Humanities


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