What's the meaning of "removes out of the state" in the context of following passage?

Whatsoever ... [a man] ... removes out of the state that nature hath provided, and left it in, he hath mixed his labour with, and joined to it something that is his own, and thereby makes it his property.

This is a passage from John Locke's Second Treatise of Government.

  • 1
    nature has provided a state for [some thing].
    – Lambie
    Feb 23, 2021 at 19:09

2 Answers 2


Removes means "takes out of".
state, in this sentence, means "a condition or way of existing".

Taken together, this sentence is saying that someone takes a thing out of the condition that nature provided it in. For example, iron is found in nature as iron ore. But if you dig it up and refine it so that it is now pure iron, you have removed it from the state that you found it in.

  • Thanks, I was translating state as "land", but your translation makes more sense.
    – Tayyab
    Feb 24, 2021 at 15:28

It means something like:

If someone has changed the physical state of something natural and has, using their time and effort, attached it to their property, that thing is also their property.

So for example, if someone cuts down a tree and uses the wood to build an extension to their house, that wood is their property.

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