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Philosophical Thought

The problem of freedom in the philosophy of John Locke: semiotic interpretation

Ukhov Artem Evgen'evich

ORCID: 0000-0002-0378-7879

Doctor of Philosophy

Assistant Professor, Department of Philosophy and History, Vologda state dairy farming academy named by N.V. Vereshchagin

75 Sovetsky ave., Vologda, Vologda Region, 160022, Russia

Kovrov Eduard Leonidovich

ORCID: 0000-0001-7424-7119

PhD in Philosophy

Associate Professor, Department of Philosophy and History, Vologda Dairy Academy named after N.V. Vereshchagin

160555, Russia, Vologda region, Vologda, Molochnoye, Schmidt str., 2

Simonyan Eleonora Gamletovna

ORCID: 0000-0003-3158-5075

PhD in Philosophy

Assistant professor, Vologda State Dairy Farming Academy named by N.V. Vereshchagin

160555, Russia, Vologda region, Vologda, Molochnoye, Schmidt str., 2










Abstract: The article shows the connection between the social constructions of political liberalism and its ontological justification in the system of J. Locke. With the help of semiotics and comparative philosophical analysis of the views of modern philosophers B. Spinoza, T. Hobbes, J. Locke, R. Filmer, J.-J. Rousseau, I. Kant, such problems as the nature of state power, the concept of freedom, natural law, social contract, the right of the people to revolution are analyzed. The semiotic context of natural law is revealed, and it is concluded that happiness, as the goal of New Age individuals quest, according to Locke, is thought to be a rational and, therefore, a free being. Linking the natural need to be a free being not only with the organization of state power, but also with religious need, Locke concludes that political participation itself can be considered not just as a way to achieve freedom, but also as the purpose for a person to improve themselves morally and politically. For Locke, state power turns out to be an integral part of society, and the balance between them always shifts towards society as the source of the social contract. At the same time, the negative meaning of freedom in Locke prevails over the positive, saving the latter from sliding into totalitarianism of the Jacobin type, as in Rousseau. The conclusion is drawn about the relevance of ideas about the need for free choice of citizens to build a rule of lawful state and develop democracy.


state, freedom, liberalism, personality, law, semiotics, mutual consent, natural right, common good, independence of existence

This article is automatically translated. You can find original text of the article here.

The problem of personal freedom remains one of the most pressing problems of human existence. Ultimately, how a person understands personal freedom depends on whether he recognizes himself responsible for his own fate, for the fate of other people, society and culture to which he belongs. To solve this problem, it is necessary to turn to the philosophical classics of Modern times because it was in the XVII and XVIII centuries that the idea of personal freedom was established in Europe and social institutions based on the awareness of this freedom were born. During this period, an attempt was made to rebuild the social order on the basis of the individual freedom of the human personality, its free self-determination in relation to the society of which it (the personality) is a product.

The object of the study is the philosophical and political views of one of the brightest classics of Modern philosophy, J. The subject is the problem of individual freedom in J. Locke's philosophy. Locke. Taking into account that within the framework of Modern philosophy, the problematics of a particular problem still retained the ancient tradition of syncretic reading, was thought inseparably from other general philosophical problems, it is of interest to trace the origins and formation of the idea of freedom in J. Locke through the prism of his personal philosophical worldview, so to speak, his "life world". In other words, the hypothesis is put forward that the idea of a social contract, the understanding of freedom as the inalienable rights and freedoms of an individual a separate element of society, is inseparable from the general philosophical approach of empiricism and faith in science as a transforming force of society. The purpose of this article is to show the connection of social constructions of political liberalism, in which civil freedom is the main spiritual value with its ontological justification. A semiotic approach should help in this, depicting any text as a system of symbols and signs, signals and ideologies encrypted into a code [16, p.414], which can only be deciphered antidogmatically - in the author-reader dialogue. According to R. Barth, the task of such an approach is "not to penetrate the motives of the narrator or to understand the effect produced by the story on the reader," but to "describe the code by which the narrator and the reader are identified throughout the entire process of storytelling" [1, p.220].

Thus, the starting hypothesis will be the nonrandom, socially conditioned nature of the liberal idea itself the dominant idea of modernity, and liberalism - the predominant type of political consciousness of Western society. Freedom is proclaimed by liberalism as the highest value and condition for the development of society and the state. But freedom is not the only value that needs to be affirmed. Both at the level of slogans and at the level of deep connections, the indispensable companion of freedom is political equality, that is, the participation of all citizens in the formation of a common will. Political participation itself can be considered not just as a way to achieve freedom, but also as an end in itself of the process of moral and political self-improvement of a person. Then we can talk about democracy as an idea, democracy, for which the very freedom of the individual is a consequence of the establishment of universal equality.

The origin and analysis of the concept of freedom of J. Locke and the possibilities of their application in the modern model of the state have been the object of attention of Russian philosophers relatively recently. Among the authors: T.L. Belkina, A.S. Komarova, N.G. Osipova, G. I. Koroleva-Konoplyana, A.A. Yakovleva, A.V. Kovaleva, V.V. Mayorov, V.A. Kupriyanov, G.Yu. Knokh, A.A. Isakov, I. Berlin, A.S. Abrahamyan, L.V. Chesnokova, R.N.. Parkhomenko, J. Dunn, J.W. Gough, R. Ashcraft and other domestic and foreign researchers. For example, R.N. Yenikeev comes to the conclusion that "there is a need for a full perception of the ideas of the rule of law in our country", since then "not only the legitimation of the state, but also the problem of the historical fate of such a state: the rule of law is a state formed by free citizens themselves, and this state will function until while civil society itself will function"[5, p.19].

Locke's theory of freedom is a natural synthesis of the ideas of the "natural" philosophy of the XVII century, extending the new methodology to all, without exception, aspects of society.

The historical roots of Locke's theory are obvious. He published his "Treatises on Government" in 1669, 18 years after Hobbes published his epoch-making Leviathan. This book not only started a number of social theories of Modern times, but determined their character and even structure. Locke is no exception: he refers to Hobbes and polemics with him. At the same time, he understands the main thing Hobbes' political program has been fulfilled. The war of "all against all", at least in England, is over. Absolutism has coped with the task of restoring elementary state order. Semiotically, this can be deciphered as follows: after the "Glorious Revolution" of 1668, England entered a creative phase of life and theories were required from the social sciences that deny the absolutist claims of the state to the freedom of its subjects.

Locke's concept of freedom is based on several iconic objects: freedom of conscience, freedom of will, rights to property and life, freedom from state violence. To decipher the code of Locke's understanding of freedom, it is necessary to consider each element separately.

Locke saw his main task in the metaphysical substantiation of the idea of human freedom. He believed that freedom stems from the awareness of the inner ability of a person to "start some actions or refrain from them, continue them or put an end to them" [8, p.288]. Being an idea of power, freedom is the result of the action of both sensation and reflection: "Since all actions, the ideas of which we have, are reduced to ... thinking and movement, then, since a person has the power to think or not to think, to move or not to move, according to the preference or order of his own mind, so far he is free" [8, p.289].

Locke's approach differs significantly from that of Thomas Hobbes, who believed that the cause of every human action should be sought in external influence. For Locke, "there can be no freedom where there is no thought, no will, no will" [8, p.289]. In this Locke gets closer to J.-J. Rousseau, who believed that the desire to be master of oneself makes an individual free: freedom correlates with the ability to make decisions according to one's will, that is, freedom is a person's desire to be free from external pressure. At the same time, Locke, like Hobbes, denies free will, but does not deny the existence of a person's will itself. The concept of "free will" has no meaning for him because both freedom and will have different abilities: the power to perform actions is freedom, and the power to motivate oneself to perform, continue or stop any action is will. In fact, he recognizes what other philosophers would call "free will", meaning by this the ambiguous non-determinism of choice.

The concept of "free will" is the result of a confusion of concepts that stems from the hypostasis of the concept of "will". Both the will and the mind are modes of thinking, with the help of which the action of perception and choice is performed. Neither the power of thinking acts on the power of choice, nor the power of choice on the power of thinking. The will manifests itself in the act of willing, but "a person is not able to want or not to want, because he cannot refrain from wanting, and freedom consists in the power to act or refrain from acting and only in this" [8, p.297].

Locke understands that psychic laws are just as causally necessary as physical ones, but they are not reducible to mechanical influences. If, on the other hand, a push is considered the cause of the sensation, as Hobbes does, then every act of a person and any of his desires will be conditioned by the mechanical influence of the external world on the human body. Since the original cause is outside of man, the action itself is not in his power. In an attempt, if not to solve, then at least to circumvent the psychophysical problem, Locke turns to religious justification. Locke himself does not see the source of motion in the bodies themselves, because by themselves they do not give us the idea of force, but, at best, a vague idea of activity. The mind gets the idea of an active force as a result of reflection on its own activity. Answering the question: what are the motives that motivate the mind to act, Locke calls as such "some anxiety of the mind due to the lack of an absent good" [7, p.301]. It is this, and not the highest good, that determines the activity of an individual. The position that Locke takes on this issue in the "Experience of Human Understanding" differs significantly from his own position in the "Experience of the law of nature". In the last work, he recognizes the existence of a positive good that exists objectively and is comprehended by man through knowledge of the "law of nature", indicating the ways to achieve this good. Since there are no innate ideas, we do not know anything about this good, but with the help of the "natural light of reason" we know this law and understand that there is a God the supreme lawgiver and giver of all goods. In his Experiments on the Law of Nature, Locke came close to deism, but it is still not worth exaggerating this circumstance: Locke does not have a fundamental disagreement with the position of the church. According to J. According to Dann, for Locke, "theology was the key to a consistent understanding of human existence," since freedom of thought was necessary in order to correctly interpret their duties to God, "the human mind had to become free so that people could more clearly realize their inevitable imprisonment in the harness in which God drove people into this world since the time of crimes." their progenitor" [20, p. 263-264]. Thomas Aquinas also recognized the existence of a natural law and believed that people comprehend this law through revelation and through reason. But in the "Experience of Human Understanding" Locke rejects this position: there is no objective and binding law for everyone. Each individual determines himself to act and is not guided by the idea of the highest good. Man is completely autonomous and is guided exclusively by natural law. The principle of selfdetermination is extended by Locke from the field of the theory of knowledge to social philosophy - this is another decoding of the code of Locke's freedom. "Therefore, each person, thanks to his organization as a rational being, is subject to the need for his will to be determined by his own thoughts and judgment about what is best for him to do, otherwise we would obey someone else's, and not our own decision, which means the absence of freedom" [7, p.314-315].

A person has the right to strive for what he himself considers good and to avoid what he considers evil. Locke connects human freedom with the moment of realization of desire and thereby outlines the doctrine of pluralistic liberal freedom. If we can say about Locke's socio-political views that they had predecessors, then in terms of the metaphysical justification of liberal freedom, he has no predecessors. After recognizing that it is not the highest good that determines a person to act, Locke puts forward the position that it is possible for a person to delay the final decision when choosing the best. "In the presence of a multitude of worries that are always disturbing and ready to determine the will, the strongest and most oppressive of them, as I have already said, naturally must determine the will for the next action. This happens for the most part, but not always. After all, if the mind primarily, as is obvious from experience, has the power to postpone the fulfillment and satisfaction of any of its desires and, consequently, all of them, one by one, then it is free to consider their objects, study them from all sides and compare them with others. This is the freedom of man" [7, p.313].

Locke believes that man is a reflective being, not a mechanical automaton (here he criticizes Descartes): it is in his power to think over all the circumstances and refuse to carry out any action if it contradicts the happiness of a person, as he himself understands it. Man is a rational being, although inscribed in a certain order of things, but free if he can determine the will by the power of preliminary investigation of the good and bad sides of the object of his desires.

Locke calls true happiness the goal of human actions: "The need to achieve true happiness is the basis of all freedom. Just as the highest perfection of a rational being consists in a thorough and constant search for true and lasting happiness, in the same way our concern for ourselves, not to take imaginary happiness for real, is the necessary basis of our freedom" [7, p.316]. But what is this happiness? It is not easy to answer this question. Sometimes Locke puts a sign of identity between true happiness and the highest bliss, which consists in achieving the heavenly kingdom. Sometimes he believes that: "pleasant taste does not depend on the things themselves, but on their attractiveness to this or that particular palate, in which there is a great variety, and the highest happiness consists in the possession of things that give the highest pleasure, and in the absence of things that cause some kind of anxiety, some kind of suffering. And they are different for different people" [7, p.319].

Here a serious problem arises for the social thinker: as with the fact that the mind has different inclinations, it is possible to harmonize relations between people. Locke believes that this is an achievable task, because a person strives for the best and freedom does not contradict his mind. Given that Locke denies all self-evident axioms of morality, it is unclear from what principle the mandatory assessments of human activity would follow. Locke's positive answer to the question about the possibility of harmonizing the actions of individuals seems paradoxical, if we take into account his statement that neither the power of thinking acts on the power of choice, nor the power of choice on the power of thinking. This idea was brought to its logical conclusion by D. Hume, who believed that "reason itself can never be the motive of any act of will ... that it can in no way prevent affects from exercising their guidance by will" [17, p.554]. It turns out that a person does not contradict reason, even if he undoubtedly prefers a lesser good to a greater one. And who can act as an arbiter in determining which good is considered the highest? This is a rhetorical question, given that "vice and virtue can be compared with sounds, colors, heat and cold, which, according to modern philosophers, are not qualities of objects, but perceptions of our spirit" [17, p.554]. Man becomes absolutely free from all transcendental authority. At the cost of the rupture of the mind and the affective sphere of man, liberalism received the absolute freedom of the individual. For the thinkers of the liberal trend of the XIX century (J. Mill and Bentham), the goal of human life is to achieve individual happiness, understood as obtaining maximum benefit and pleasure. And only the person himself knows what his happiness consists of. For Locke, man is a reasonable being and capable of abandoning his intentions if they do not meet the criterion of reasonableness.

The fact that Locke in his "Experiments on Human Nature" refused to understand the divine will as the source of the "law of nature" should be taken into account when analyzing his socio-political views. The fact is that he retained the term "natural law" in his "Treatises on Government". But here God, who authorizes the natural law, is thought of by Locke purely deistically. Locke refuses to understand natural law as universal and binding for everyone: in a pluralistic system, everyone has their own good and everyone determines the ways to achieve it. Society consists of individuals isolated from each other by their own selfish interests. There are no innate ideas, including the "natural law", but people are able to comprehend the common interest. It consists in creating the best conditions for achieving your goals. On the ways of realizing and realizing this common interest for all, the state arises an instrument for harmonizing the selfish interests of individuals.

Another significant difference between Locke's theory and Hobbes' theory is the radical denial of absolutism's claims to power. The first book of the "Two Treatises on Government" settles the final accounts with the doctrine of the theological justification of absolute power, arguing with the talented defender of absolutism R. Filmer. The fact that people are free does not need proof, as it is an axiom for him. For the Filmer, the opposite view is an axiom. Locke's train of thought is as follows: if the Filmer cannot prove that people are not free, then there can be no question of any power over people that would be established apart from their consent. The monarch rules and commands people only under certain conditions. Namely, on condition of recognition of their inalienable rights. As for the patrimonial theory of the origin of absolute power, which the Filmer uses, then it cannot serve this purpose either. The fact is that the father does not have absolute power over his children. Firstly, because there is also a mother. And secondly, there is a natural law that limits the power of the father. In addition, as S.S. Paciashvili points out, the differences in the concepts of Locke and Filmer are related to the ambiguity of the terms in the interpretation of power as "generosity" and as "avarice" of the father: "Filmer is convinced that the power of the father is based on generosity, not on avarice, paternalism is always a hierarchy of generosity"[11, p.228]. On the other hand, Locke objects to Filmer and insists that the power of the monarch-father is nothing but despotism based on avarice. Since primitive societies are constantly on the verge of hunger and want, the resulting greed leads to inequality, property and legal stratification and dissatisfaction. But "the power of the father can reverse this natural state, since the meaning of fatherhood is generosity, but the father will always remain a man, and therefore will not be able to abolish scarcity until the end," therefore, in order to abolish the primitive state of inequality, people create governments, hence the task of the government "is only to keep everyone equal in their poverty, to protect the natural rights of people" [11, p.228].

In the same way, the right of ownership cannot serve as proof of the rights of absolutism, because people are born free, and property is only for things. Thus, slavery is denied.

Locke's entire social philosophy is variations on the theme of freedom. If in the first "Treatise" Locke explains what freedom is not, then in the second he shows what freedom is and how it is preserved in a civil state. Locke constructs his model of the political structure in accordance with the model proposed by Hobbes. In a society that is in a natural state, natural law operates, but political institutions do not operate. The behavior of people in a natural state is determined by their natural needs, and the role of regulators of relations between people belongs to natural law and natural laws. The natural state for Locke, firstly, is a state of complete freedom with respect to people's actions and "with respect to the disposal of their property and personality in accordance with what they consider suitable for themselves within the boundaries of the law of nature and not depending on anyone's will" [7, p.263]. Secondly, it is a state of equality in which every obligation is mutual because "The natural state has a law of nature by which it is governed and which is obligatory for everyone; and reason, which is this law, teaches all people who wish to reckon with it (highlighted by the author E.K.), since all people are equal and independent, insofar as none of them should harm the life, health, freedom or property of another" [7, pp.264-265].

Locke builds a theory of social atomism, according to which people in their freedom are limited not so much by social ties and relationships as by the laws of nature and the natural state. An attempt on freedom, life and property are inalienable human rights a violation of the law of nature. As A. writes Yakovlev, Locke understands freedom in such a way as "not to be under any other legislative authority than that established, through consent, in the state, and not to be under the domination of anyone's will, and not to be limited by any law other than the one that will be introduced." put into effect by the legislative body in accordance with the trust we place in it" [18, pp.141-142]. The State was created and exists to suppress and prevent these violations. Locke does not contrast the natural, social and state states. Hence the polemical statements directed against Hobbes, who believed that absolute monarchy is preferable to the natural state: "absolute monarchs are just people, and if government should be a means of getting rid of those evils that inevitably arise when people are judges in their own affairs, and the natural state is therefore intolerable, then I want to know what kind of government is this and how much better is it than the natural state, when one person, commanding many people, is free to be a judge in his own case and can act as he pleases in relation to all his subjects, and no one has the slightest right to question the rightness or check those who carry out his whim?" [7, p.269].

It follows from this that Hobbes is mistaken when he considers absolute power to be the best cure for revolutions that return people to the natural state of war of all against all. Where the inalienable rights of the individual are violated, wars and social upheavals are inevitable. Civil war is a consequence of despotism, not the result of a natural state. The war of all against all is the result of the perversion of the state state, when the state violates the social contract and encroaches on human rights. The normal state of political organization means stability and organization of the people into a single whole, when every citizen can count on the help of the entire community in the person of state bodies. The natural freedom of a person, when a person is guided exclusively by the law of nature, is replaced by civil freedom, which "consists in the fact that he is not subject to any other legislative authority, except that established by consent in the state, and is not subject to anyone's will and is not limited by any law, except for with the exception of those that will be established by this legislative body in accordance with the confidence placed in it" [7, p.274].

Locke explains the reason for the transition of society from a natural state to a political one in the traditional way for thinkers of the XVII century a social contract. Its conclusion takes place in two stages. First, individuals renounce their natural right to defend the natural law on their own. They delegate their right to the State. Further, all state power is transferred to a state body the government. Thus, "each person, having agreed together with others to form a single political organism subject to one government, undertakes to each member of this community to obey the decision of the majority and consider it final" [7, p.318].

The supreme power is sacred and inalienable in the hands of those to whom it is entrusted by the people. But for Locke, the establishment of this power "is not created for the sake of the laws themselves, but in order for them to be fulfilled and thereby serve as a bond binding society" [9, p.17]. At the same time, "it is not ... absolutely despotic in relation to the life and property of the peopleThis power is limited in its most extreme limits by the public good"[7, p.340]. As soon as a State body encroaches on the freedom, life or property of citizens, it violates the natural law and thereby puts itself outside the law. Power will remain in his hands, but not the right, which will return to the one who created the state body, to the people. Locke also provides for a mechanism to protect society from abuse by the state, which will later be called a separation of powers mechanism, and a state with such a mechanism is a legal one.

So, the source of power according to Locke is the people. From this point of view, he criticizes Hobbes' point of view on the role and significance of absolute sovereignty. Absolute supreme power preserves the inconvenience of the natural state that someone who is a judge in his own case remains in the state. However, the political community was created to eliminate this inconvenience. If the person exercising supreme power does not obey the law, he is still in a natural state. And if the government relies on brute force, the war of all against all can break out with renewed vigor.

Locke provides for a situation where the authorities can act according to their own understanding, going beyond the law. This is a prerogative, which "is nothing more than the right to create public good without the law" [7, p.360]. In the case when the people are silent, but not in the sense of moral condemnation, but in the sense of support for the supreme power, the prerogative is justified. But "there can be no judge between the legislative power and the people if the executive or legislative body, having received power into its own hands, intends to work, or destroy the people, or will carry it out. The people have no means against this, as in all other cases where there is no judge on earth for them, except for an appeal to heaven" [7, p.361].

Of course, Locke is a supporter of stability and the inviolability of once-established laws, but since the source of power is the people, there may be situations when he wants to replace or eliminate a legislative body that acts contrary to his will. But, since Locke clearly defines the boundaries of the power of the state, the revolution, which is what Locke means when talking about the right of the people to "call to heaven", is legitimate when it protects the natural rights of man his right to freedom, life and property. According to A. Yakovlev, Locke means that if governments "systematically abuse trust and put themselves outside civil society, and obedience is fraught with the death of people and nations, individuals and civil society exercise the natural right to resist in order to preserve life, freedom and property, protect the common good of the country and humanity" [19, p.93].

Freedom is a crucial element of natural law, but it is not guaranteed as long as a person is deprived of the right to place his will in any thing and without the right to own his body. In other words, man is a free being who has the right to dispose of himself and the fruits of his labor. All three rights are inextricably linked to each other. All these are hypostases of the one earthly god, the holy trinity of secularized humanity. All of them condition each other, are absorbed by each other, are unthinkable without each other. Freedom is an absolute value. It is impossible to imagine a society where human rights would be guaranteed, but the right to an independent search for higher truths of reason, which play the role of guidelines in a person's choice between good and evil, the right to an independent personal judgment about God, the universe, the meaning of human life, would be trampled. And what is characteristic of Locke is the right to act, resulting from our free judgments, from the realization of our vocation.

Already in the "Experiments on the Law of Nature" this idea is expressed quite clearly. Although Locke speaks here about the law of nature as a manifestation of the divine will, but man comes to the knowledge of this will himself. In order for a person to know the law of nature, a person does not need a mentor, just as no intellectual tradition is needed.

Since Locke denies the existence of innate knowledge, even if the unanimous consent of all people regarding the due would not be a sufficient basis for confidence in the truth of the universal narrowing of the due.

A person is obliged to independently seek out the truth, independently understand the problems related to his benefit. This is something that a person cannot delegate to anyone. This means at the same time that any attempt by anyone to decide for a person what can only be done by himself is morally unacceptable. As with Descartes, doubt here is the constant companion of Modern man.This doubt is overcome by the efforts of the doubter.Despotism is also unnatural because it turns people into slaves, depriving them of their natural right to find the truth on their own. No good considerations can justify such attempts, no one has the right to claim a person's beliefs. The connection between these reflections of Locke and the reformation movement is obvious. However, Locke's conclusions are more radical. In the "Message on Religious Tolerance", the principle of dissent is brought to the requirement of separating the ideological institution of the church from the state. This position of Locke's social philosophy testifies that Western civilization has entered the path of secular statehood and religion is turning into a private matter of an individual citizen. A little time will pass and atheism will become the same private matter (it is known that Locke did not extend the principle of religious tolerance to atheists). A clear distinction between the functions of the state and the church allows Locke to conclude that civil rulers should not take care of the souls of their subjects. This right remains with the church, but not in the sense of forcing parishioners to believe by force because it is a free association of citizens. Locke also writes about the need to divide the spheres of a citizen's life into private and public, and suggests that religion should be attributed to a private sphere in which the state should not interfere. That is, he refers questions of faith to the private sphere of a citizen. But only as long as it does not pose a threat to the state. Thus, he writes that the non-interference of the state in matters of faith does not concern Catholicism, because the head of the Catholic Church is the pope, and this means possible interference in the affairs of the state by external forces through influence on the minds of Catholic believers who recognize the supremacy of the Roman See, and not the British Crown. That is, Catholics pose a threat to the state as agents of "foreign influence" on state policy. We can talk about the prerequisites (in the future) of the separation of the church from the state, but for now we can definitely talk only about the non-interference of the state in matters of faith under certain conditions.Ultimately, the care of one's own soul belongs to each individual. Anyone can promote their views, but no one has the right to force others to accept them. The fundamental task of the State is to protect the individual from encroachments on freedom of conscience by other citizens and the State. In this he agrees with the representative of rationalism, B. Spinoza, according to which "the goal of the state in reality is freedom" [15, p.392].

But what if the government forces an individual to do something that contradicts his conscience? Locke believes that a person is obliged to refuse to carry out an order that contradicts his beliefs. At the same time, he must be ready to be punished for disobedience. This means that a person cannot, under any circumstances, sacrifice his freedom because it is a moral value and as such requires an individual to act in accordance with duty. A person is not only obliged to respect the freedom of others, but also to respect his own freedom and not allow anyone else to claim it. Even if it is an omnipotent state, this raises the question of the legitimacy of the state itself: violence, according to Locke, "negates the purpose of state power ensuring universal security, and the essence of freedom of conscience liberation from violence" [2, p.41]. Here he follows both Spinoza and Hobbes, who also shared private freedom from public freedom. As L.V. Polyakov writes, "Publicly a subject is obliged to follow a state-established cult, but alone with himself he is obliged only to God"[12, p.8], since private "is free only when it happens in secret"[4, p.281]. According to Spinoza, "there is nothing safer for the state than that piety and religion should be limited only to the fulfillment of love and justice, and that the right of the supreme authorities in relation to sacred and worldly affairs should relate only to actions, and otherwise that everyone should be given the right to think what he wants and say what he wants." thinks"[15, p.403].

The main criticism of Locke's understanding of freedom is that by separating the private and the public, following Hobbes and Rousseau, Locke demonstrates the impossibility of resisting the sovereign as an expression of the people's own will (since the former just serves the interests of the latter). According to Rousseau, "The permanent will of all members of the state is a common will; thanks to this common will, they are citizens and free" [13, p.92]. However, this "positive freedom" (freedom for) is easily refuted by history: the Jacobins created a bloody totalitarian regime on these ideas. I. Berlin pointed out that the sovereignty of the people could easily become disastrous for individuals, since throughout the XIX century liberal thinkers argued: "if freedom implies that someone has the right to force me to what I don't even supposedly want to do, whatever the ideal in the name of which I am being forced, I am not free; in other words, the doctrine of absolute sovereignty is a tyrannical doctrine in itself" [3, pp.84-85], since such a "positive" understanding of freedom "is not like "freedom from" (italics of the author. A.U.), and as "freedom for" (italics of the author. A.U.) in order to lead a certain, prescribed way of life adherents of the "negative" view sometimes consider just a plausible cover for ruthless tyranny"[3, p.65]. On the contrary, genuine freedom should "Undoubtedly, any interpretation of the word "freedom", no matter how unusual it may be, should include at least a minimum of what I call "negative" freedom. There must be a space where no one infringes on me. No society suppresses literally all the freedoms of its members" [3, p.82].

Thus, freedom is the foundation for all other rights. Freedom of conscience, understood in a broad sense as freedom of self-determination, and as an element of the general New European (and empirical) approach to freedom, is the highest value for the individual, for society, and for the state. But this freedom must be realized. A person has the right to life a right without which freedom cannot be realized. Locke understands this right very broadly. This is not just a right to biological existence. By violation of this right, Locke understands "... any enslavement of an individual, any forcible appropriation of his productive abilities" [14, p.160]. If a person is initially free, then any slavery, including economic, is unacceptable. Even when a person sells himself for hard work, he is not under the unlimited power of the owner because he does not have the right to transfer to another the inalienable right to his life. Thus, by the right to life, Locke understands a person's right to a decent life, if a person has the right to freely choose the goals of activity for himself, then he should also be completely free in this activity. The task of the state is to protect a person from excessive guardianship from other people and from the state itself. Later, this principle received the name of the principle of free economic activity, l?issez-f?ire.

But the right to life remains an empty declaration if a person's right to the products of his labor is not realized, that is, the right of ownership is not realized. Locke entered the history of European social thought as the author of the labor theory of value. Similar ideas can be found in G. Grotius and S. Pufendorf, but in Locke's predecessors, labor as a path to property is not mandatory. Locke's case is different: for him, labor is the substance of property. "It is labor... that takes things out of the state of common ownership and turns them into its own property. It is labor... that creates differences in the value of all things... if we correctly evaluate the things that we use and distribute what their property consists of, what is in them directly from nature and what is from labor, then we will see that in most of them ninety-nine hundredths should be attributed entirely to labor"[7, p.285].

These are three rights that a person cannot alienate in favor of the State and which the state itself is obliged to protect. But here the problem arises that the state itself cannot express universal interest if power and wealth are concentrated in the hands of a small part of society and the state itself is turned into an instrument of corporate interest. Solving this problem, Locke develops mechanisms that can ensure the rule of Law, that is, the general interest. The starting point for Locke is the fact that the supreme power obtains its rights through the general consent of citizens. In addition, every citizen has the right to use force in self-defense when the State is unable to do it on its own. Unlike Hobbes, his social contract includes the contract of the people with the state power. This becomes possible only due to the fact that there is no complete alienation of power from its real bearers. Locke rightly believes that if "the consent of the majority is not reasonably perceived as an action of the whole and is not binding on each individual, then nothing, except for the consent of each individual, can do anything by the action of the whole, but achieving such an agreement is hardly possible ... because if the majority cannot decide for everyone, then such societies cannot act as a single whole" [7, pp.318-319].

The most important thing is that Locke thinks of the people as a majority, which can be accurately calculated if necessary. In this case, it is impossible to abuse the concept of "the will of the people", since this will can be revealed as a result of voting. Locke places the democratic principle of free expression of will at the foundation of every State. This means the adoption by the people of the basic law of the state mandatory for all citizens of this state. This law is also mandatory for "those in power", that is, for those representatives of the people to whom the right to approve the power of laws for each of the citizens is transferred by the majority. This very power of representatives is accountable to the people who periodically elect it. Finally, the famous "separation of powers" into legislative and executive. The authorities are in strict accordance with each other, Locke considered the legislative power to be the highest authority. This is understandable: the creator of the legislative power is the people. "Since from the moment of the unification of people in society, the majority had ... all the power of the community ... it could use all this power to create laws for the community from time to time and to implement these laws by officials appointed by them, in this case the form of government is a perfect democracy" [7, p.337].

For Locke, democracy becomes the beginning of all state power, since it is by the decision of the majority that every state is born. Locke believes that "no decree has the force and binding force of law unless it has received the sanction of the legislative body, which is elected and appointed by the people ... and no one has the right to make laws except with the consent of this society and on the basis of the power received from its members" [7, p.339]. Thus, only the consent of citizens gives force to the law. Then, if the law expresses my will, it seems to receive the character of the will of all. It makes sense to bear the burden of the law if a person is involved in this law, when the law is expressed by his will. If there is no such understanding, then a person will try to evade the law. If there is a majority of such people, the state power will become alien to the people and lose its legitimacy. For example, we can observe such a situation in the course of local government reforms in Russia, when "the democratic balance of power and society at the third stage of local government reform has changed in favor of the federal government" [6, p.193]. In this case, the supreme power begins to violate the principles by which it is obliged to be guided in its activities. Therefore, the supreme power "is not and probably cannot be absolute despotic in relation to the life and wealth of the people" [7, p.340]. She cannot command by despotic, arbitrary decrees. For the same reason, "the supreme power cannot deprive any person of any part of his property without his consent" [7, p.343]. The supreme power is also responsible to the people, which means that it has no right to transfer power to other hands.

Locke's doctrine of the subordination of authorities, as well as the idea repeatedly emphasized by him about the exercise of state power through an elected representative body and the inadmissibility of this body itself to be engaged in the execution of laws, constitute the core of the liberal theory of the "separation of powers" the main mechanism for protecting the constitutional rights of the individual.

Summing up the characterization of Locke's political theory, it is necessary to point out its powerful democratic potential. Let us recall Locke's original thesis, put forward by him to explain the emergence of the state. The citizens of the state are united and form a single political organism, "where the majority has the right to act and decide for the rest ... where it is necessary that this whole moves to where it is attracted by a large force, which is the consent of the majority" [7, pp.317-318]. This means that at the moment of transition to a political state, there is a restriction of the "freedom of all" by the freedom of the majority. A person is only free in a civil society when he belongs to the majority. This follows from the terms of the original contract. If it were otherwise, the state could not exist. At the same time, Locke repeatedly emphasizes that the act of consent, which presupposes the beginning of the state, is absolutely free. The state arises in order to overcome some inconveniences of the natural state. Every person is free from nature, and no one has the right to subordinate him to any earthly authority, except with his own consent. Locke leaves out of consideration those who have not expressed their consent to the creation of a state (neither by their voice, nor by tacit recognition of an already accomplished treaty). Here arises the problem of the minority, which is threatened by the despotism of the majority this problem will be realized later, but not by Locke.

The most significant step after Locke in establishing a new understanding of European statehood is taken by Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Rousseau brought to its logical end the potencies rooted in the Locke system. It was thanks to Rousseau that the state began to be viewed as a mechanism for protecting the inalienable rights of the individual. It was Rousseau who raised the question of creating conditions for the real assertion of freedom by giving each member of society the right to political participation in the affairs of the state, achieving formal equality and equality of citizens. In other words, the creation of conditions under which the people act as a sovereign. According to Rousseau, the true nature of man can manifest itself only in conditions of socio-political equality of people.

If Locke understood freedom as a subjective right having priority over the will of the majority, then Rousseau believed that human rights, and therefore his freedom, are rooted in the sovereign will of the people. The fact is that simultaneously with the idea of individual rights, the idea of selfdetermination of society is also being revived - the idea of democracy. In addition to the moment of distinguishing oneself and society, there is a moment of identity between the individual and society In this case, the individual considers himself in unity with others. At the same time, freedom remains the highest value for Rousseau, but a change in the point of view on the relationship between the individual and society also changes the nature of understanding this freedom. For Rousseau, it is the will of a democratic legislator expressing the universal will that takes precedence over the constitution, and the separation of powers is no longer considered an instrument for the protection of freedom because it contradicts the universal will.

All of the above does not mean that Rousseau demands the complete alienation of the rights of individuals in favor of society, nor does he recognize the absolute domination of the supreme power over the individual. According to Rousseau, a person is born free, and this freedom is the content of natural law. When Rousseau speaks of the complete and unconditional subordination of individuals to the social whole as a condition of the social contract, he means that individuals do not renounce their natural rights and their freedom, but the freedom of selfwill (renunciation of natural impulses - instincts). The social contract itself aims to protect the inalienable rights of individuals. But unlike Locke, he believes that inalienable natural rights are not brought by individuals from the natural state, but are generated in state communication.

Rousseau's moral teaching is especially important for the establishment of the democratic ideal: with his teaching Rousseau opposed the intellectualism of the XVII century and opposed the external rational culture with an internal, moral culture. Rousseau thinks of this step as necessary for the establishment of an anthropocentric worldview. There is no supreme legislator who would externally harmonize the relations of people united in a social whole. A person must find in himself the power capable of fulfilling the role that the idea of God had previously performed. The disintegrating social cosmos needs a new idea that could consolidate individuals being immanent to them. Rousseau answers the question that Locke left him as a legacy: how can a new society be built if an objective moral law is not sent to the human community. Rousseau's final answer: inalienable natural rights are protected by the state, guided in its policy by the law the highest expression of the universal will. These words of Rousseau had a decisive influence on the Declaration of 1789. In this he approaches Kant, who, in turn, combined the ideas of Locke and Rousseau.

Kant rethought both the positive and negative experience of the revolution in France and tried to combine practically reason and the sovereign will of the people, human rights and democracy, freedom and equality of the individual. But the most important thing is that, justifying the autonomy of individuals, he raises the question of the universal grounds for their actions. Rousseau believed that the activity of an individual can be harmonized by civil religion, while Kant speaks about the assertion of moral principles in relation to people. The legal legislation itself was considered by Kant as a private consequence of the categorical imperative, and as a prospect for social development, he put forward the requirements of the moral association of individuals. In other words, in his socio-political theory, Kant tried to combine the achievements of the liberal (Locke) and democratic (Rousseau) thoughts.

Thus, having made a semiotic and comparative philosophical analysis of the concept of freedom, J. Locke, we identified the elements of the latter and deciphered their possible semantic codes. This experience could be useful for rethinking the current situation of the crisis of liberalism, the "post-liberal" era, when old approaches to this concept require rethinking. As A. Pabst writes, for example, postliberalism proceeds from the recognition of the failure of the liberal projects of Hobbes and Locke, but at the same time the need to preserve the most attractive aspects of liberalism in a new form. "The problem also lies in the fact that freedom, once detached from self-restraint and mutual obligations, gradually turns into unfreedom or even tyranny, since unlimited freedom will work in favor of the strong against the weak, the rich against the poor, those with power against those deprived of a voice" [10, p.202]. In this regard, in our opinion, Locke's moral and political concept has an enduring constructive significance as the foundation of post-liberalism, which does not allow us to judge "Western values" as if they have lost their role in the life of mankind. Locke's political and legal doctrine is a program of radical actions to transform social reality. After Hobbes, he makes the most significant contribution to the establishment of Western statehood, offering a liberal program for the protection of human rights. It includes: the elimination of State terrorism and all violence against the conscience of citizens, the establishment of a firm legal order based on the consent of citizens, the assertion of inalienable rights of the individual.


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The reviewed article is an interesting and fairly professionally executed study on the concept of freedom by J. Locke. It may seem that addressing this topic is difficult to recognize as relevant. It would seem that Locke's legacy has been commented on many times and seems to be well studied. But the fact of the matter is that the appeal to classical philosophy may be due not only to gaps in our knowledge, but also to those changes in society and culture that encourage us to think over already well-known plots on new grounds. This fully applies to the moral and political philosophy of Locke, one of the pioneers of "classical liberalism." Today, when the attitude of our society to the heritage of Western culture has to be rethought, the author justifiably refers to the theme of freedom and democracy in "classical liberalism" as a universal cultural heritage, the significance of which should not be questioned. It seems that the author managed to show the enduring constructive significance of Locke's moral and political concept, which does not allow one to judge "Western values" as if they had lost their role in the life of mankind. It depends on ourselves whether we can learn from the classics, no matter what national culture we belong to, or are doomed to follow today's superficial Western ideology, which, in fact, could not take anything from the ideas of "classical liberalism" except cliched formulas degenerated into abstraction. Of course, there are significant comments when reading the article. Thus, the author does not pay due attention to the specifics of the historical period in which Locke worked. Comparing him with Hobbes, the author should have pointed out that Locke develops his teaching after the "Glorious Revolution", as a result of which he manages to become a step above his predecessor in understanding socio-ethical issues. Time itself helped Locke to see the prospects that Hobbes, who had witnessed the horrors of the bourgeois revolution, could not yet pay attention to. The article lacks a comparison of Locke's doctrine of freedom with modern metaphysical concepts of freedom developed by rationalists. Further, the list of references in the article turned out to be unreasonably scarce, although the author mentions other researchers in the text who for some reason are not included in this list. Unfortunately, there are also many technical errors in the article. The author's style generally makes a good impression, but punctuation sometimes lags behind the requirements imposed on the author by complex syntactic constructions. In many cases, there are no dashes ("but freedom is not the only value...", "Locke's political and legal doctrine is a program of radical action ...", etc.), in some cases, commas are incorrectly placed ("... to the philosophical classics of Modern times because it is ..." a comma should stand before "because" The errors that manifested themselves in the following sentence are characteristic: "The idea of such a restructuring is a liberal idea, it has become the dominant idea of modernity, and liberalism is the predominant type of political consciousness in Western society." The correct form of this sentence should be as follows: "The idea of such a restructuring the liberal idea has become the dominant idea of modernity, and liberalism is the predominant type of political consciousness in Western society." Unfortunately, the poverty of the bibliographic list does not allow us to recommend the reviewed article for publication, although on the whole it makes a very favorable impression. I recommend sending the article for revision.

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The subject of the article "The Problem of Freedom in John Locke's Philosophy: a semiotic reading" is the interpretation of the philosophical aspects of the problem of freedom by an English philosopher. Considering the philosophical and political views of one of the most prominent thinkers of Modern times, J. The author of the article refers to the analysis of his works such as "Two treatises on government" and "The Experience of human Understanding", conducting an examination in a broad historical and cultural context. The researcher sees his task as the discovery and demonstration of the connection between the social structures of political liberalism, in which civil freedom is the main spiritual value, with its ontological justification, which is successfully implemented in the article. The author of the work is sure that it will be interesting for the reader to trace the origins and formation of the idea of freedom in J. Locke through the prism of his personal philosophical worldview. The research methodology is based on a semiotic approach that considers any text as a system of symbols and signs, "signals and ideologies encoded in code that can only be deciphered antidogmatically - in the author-reader dialogue." The second methodological basis of the work is the comparative philosophical analysis of the concept of freedom by J. Locke, its comparison with the views of T. Hobbes, J.J. Rousseau, B. Spinoza. The author's understanding of the relevance of the research is also connected with the application of the semiotic approach. He believes that the experience of such an analysis could be useful for rethinking the current situation of the crisis of liberalism, the "post-liberal" era, when old approaches to this concept require rethinking. The problem of freedom, indeed, requires an up-to-date understanding in the light of the next "restructuring of the world order" and referring to the legacy of the "father of liberalism" looks quite appropriate in this light. Scientific novelty is associated with the substantiation of the hypothesis that the idea of a social contract, the understanding of freedom as the inalienable rights and freedoms of an individual, is inseparable from the general philosophical approach of empiricism and faith in science as a transformative force of society. Locke's theory of freedom is considered as a natural synthesis of the ideas of natural philosophy of the XVII century and the confrontation of the practice of empiricism and rationalism in epistemology, extending the new methodology to all, without exception, aspects of society. The style of the article is typical for scientific publications in the field of humanitarian studies, it combines the clarity of the formulations of key theses and their logically consistent argumentation. The structure and content fully correspond to the stated problem. The article is logically structured and although it does not have internal subheadings, it is easy to distinguish the introduction, the main part and the conclusion in it. The sequence of presentation is determined by the elements included in Locke's concept of freedom, the author consistently addresses the topics of freedom of conscience, freedom of will, rights to property and life, freedom from state violence. The bibliography of the article includes twenty titles of works by both domestic and foreign authors devoted to the problem under consideration. Appealing to opponents is the strength of the analyzed work. The philosophy of J. Locke has been sanctified by many studies, much of which reflects his understanding of freedom. In this regard, it would look ridiculous for a paper whose author would start discussing this topic from a "blank slate", without taking into account existing research experience. The author of the article at the very beginning mentions the most representative list of publications on this topic, including the works of T.L. Belkina, A.S. Komarov, N.G. Osipova, G.I. Koroleva-Konoplyana, A.A. Yakovlev, A.V. Kovalev, V.V. Mayorov, V.A. Kupriyanov, G.Yu. Knokh, A.A. Isakov, I. Berlin, A.S. Abrahamyan, L.V. Chesnokova, R.N. Parkhomenko, J. Dunn, J.W. Gough, R. Ashcraft. In the text of the article, we meet with the author's appeal to the researchers, with whose conclusions he associates himself. Thus, in the question of Locke's understanding of monarchical power, the author cites the opinions of S.S. Paciashvili, Locke's attitude to the duties and duties of a citizen is analyzed with the involvement of L.V. Polyakov's opinion, I. Berlin's position is mentioned in connection with the interpretation of ambivalence in understanding the sovereignty of the people, which can become disastrous for individuals, justifying the tyranny of the supreme power. The author repeatedly refers to the approach of A. Yakovlev in the understanding of freedom according to Locke. At the end of the article, A. Pabst's opinion on the influence of the English philosopher's philosophy on postliberalism is reflected. The interest of the readership will provide the article with its easy and understandable style of presentation, the presence of appropriate direct quotations, the relevance of the topic of freedom. The article will be of interest both to students who are just starting to study Locke's philosophy or the ideas of a liberal interpretation of freedom, and to sophisticated researchers who can find something new in it for themselves.
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