A Companion to Locke by Locke, John; Stuart, Matthew

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By Locke, John; Stuart, Matthew

This selection of 28 unique essays examines the varied scope of John Locke’s contributions as a celebrated thinker, empiricist, and father of recent political theory.

  • Explores the impression of Locke’s notion and writing throughout various fields together with epistemology, metaphysics, philosophy of technology, political concept, schooling, faith, and economics
  • Delves into an important Lockean themes, corresponding to innate rules, belief, average forms, loose will, normal rights, non secular toleration, and political liberalism
  • Identifies the political, philosophical, and non secular contexts during which Locke’s perspectives built, with views from today’s prime philosophers and scholars
  • Offers an exceptional reference of Locke’s contributions and his persevered influence

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Iii, “Of the Extent of Humane Knowledge,” the chapter that sets out to answer the question that impelled him to write the Essay in the first place. There Locke argues that knowledge is sometimes impossible because we cannot get the relevant ideas, and other times impossible because we cannot perceive the relations between ideas that we do have. It is in illustrating this last point that Locke makes a claim that was to prove one of the most controversial of the whole book. 6). What startled many of Locke’s readers was the suggestion that it might be possible that we are wholly material.

Both works emerged from long periods of gestation. The Two Treatises – whose central message is that the king’s authority comes not from a divine favor inherited through Adam, but from the consent of the governed – was originally written as a forward-looking justification of a possible revolution against Charles II, then recrafted and presented to its readers as a backward-looking justification of the Glorious Revolution of 1688 (Laslett 1956). Yet whereas the Essay was Locke’s first foray into epistemology and metaphysics, the Two Treatises did not represent his first foray into political philosophy.

If there is a Lockean justification for imperialism, he argues, it would be an “agriculturalist” argument grounded in his theory of property, not an argument grounded on Christian evangelism or claims of racial superiority. Perhaps Locke thinks that native peoples are in a state of nature? If so, he could argue that they do not own the land on which they live, and that this land could legitimately be claimed by colonizers. Whether or not Locke means to endorse this argument, Goldie shows that others before and after him did.

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