On the Achilles Heel of John Locke's Second Treatise: Slavery and Land Ownership

  Link to the Wikipedia page "Achilles heel"

Link to the Wikipedia page "Achilles heel"

As the Wikipedia article on "Achilles heel" currently begins, "An Achilles' heel is a weakness in spite of overall strength." John Locke's Second Treatise on Government: Of Civil Government is an amazing achievement, that unlike Achilles, remains standing and strong to this day. But its weakest chapters are those where John Locke discusses slavery and land ownership. Even there, there a points where John Locke's arguments are very strong. But there are other points where he is trying to make a case that is difficult to make.

It has been very interesting for me to wrestle with both the strong and weak points of John Locke's treatment of slavery and land ownership in a series of blog posts every other week for six months. I have disagreed with John Locke much more in these posts than in the posts on earlier chapters that you can see laid out in "John Locke's State of Nature and State of War." Here are my posts reacting to John Locke's treatment of slavery and land ownership in his Second Treatise:

Chapter IV. Of Slavery

Chapter V. Of Property


John Locke posts on later chapters:

Chapter VI: Of Paternal Power

Chapter VII: Of Political or Civil Society