Year: 1984 Source: The Journal of Politics, v.46, no.1, (February 1984), p.80-105 SIEC No: 20011449

This essay argues, contrary to some interpretations, that Locke does teach men have inalienable rights. This teaching is contained in his argument that suicide is absolutely forbidden by nature. Furthermore, through the prohibition of suicide, Locke shows the limits of the individual’s right to consent, & this prohibition is the indispensable logical & moral basis of: his argument against slavery, his defense of the right of revolution, his argument that men have some duty of care toward their fellow man, & his teaching that the legitimate powers of government are limited. Locke’s teaching about freedom is argued to be superior to the currently influential teaching that one is free to do as one wishes with oneself, limited only by the equal right of others to do the same. (38 refs.)