Midterm Paper Prompt: It is often said that our only constant is change. Things

Midterm Paper Prompt:
It is often said that our only constant is change. Things are always changing and in flux. This
semester we have read two theorists of change. John Locke outlined a radical liberal vision of
individual rights and rights of rebellion that were perhaps most forcefully manifested in the
American and French revolutions (momentous events that marked tremendous political and
philosophical changes in the modern world). Edmund Burke warned against the dangers of
rapid or radical change and advocated measured pragmatism while embracing the wisdom of
tradition.
In this essay, I’d like you to compare and contrast these two thinkers and their reflections on
change. More specifically, how does John Locke’s vision of individual rights, rights of rebellion,
and the right to appropriate nature with our labor square with Edmund Burke’s reaction to the
revolutionary upheavals in 18th century France, his opinions on the American Revolution, his
attitude towards tradition, common sense, and his wariness of philosophical systems?
In your essays, be sure to show an understanding of John Locke’s liberalism and Edmund
Burke’s conservatism. Where possible, distinguish their brand of liberalism and conservatism
not only from each other but also from contemporary iterations of these paradigmatic political
outlooks

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