Main Article Content

John Locke’s concept of paternal power: The parents’ formative prerogative for the children’s Social and Political Roles

Longino Rutagwelera


Paternal Power is among the key concepts which John Locke used to expound his epistemology and social-political doctrine. While used to refute the Cartesian epistemological innatism the concept also served the purpose of ruling out political innatism which the then British nobility used as a ground to claim a natural and innate right to rule. The concept exposes the formative role that parents have to play over their children, its non-absolute nature and its aim of leading children into maturity rather than being a ground for claiming absolute political control. The concept is viewed in its social-political dimensions in its relationship with the principle of separation of powers, its instrumental role of refuting absolute monarchical rule, its applicability in civic education and formation into mature and responsible freedom. The paper hinges on the argument that social roles are neither natural nor innate, they come with worked and lived experience.
Keywords: Paternal power, John Locke, social roles, philosophy

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2591-6955
print ISSN: 2507-7783