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By Locke, John; Stuart, Matthew

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

  • Explores the impression of Locke’s notion and writing throughout more than a few fields together with epistemology, metaphysics, philosophy of technological know-how, political idea, schooling, faith, and economics
  • Delves into crucial Lockean issues, comparable to innate rules, notion, common forms, unfastened will, traditional 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 best philosophers and scholars
  • Offers an remarkable reference of Locke’s contributions and his persisted influence

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On the view he seems to be endorsing, the meaningful utterance of a word is the sign of an idea in that person’s mind. This would seem to be a radically subjectivist theory of meaning, though one who sees Locke as endorsing it might be quick to point out that he also allows that the members of a linguistic community generally associate pretty much the same ideas with the same words, as the practical ends of communication would seem to require. J. Lowe takes in Chapter 14. Instead, he challenges the whole notion that Locke is much interested in offering a semantic theory (though Lowe does not deny that he has the resources to offer such a theory).

Jonas Proast, an Oxford chaplain, quickly published a response, arguing that 17 MATTHEW STUART although force could not produce belief directly, moderate applications of it might do so indirectly. For, he said, it might lead men to “consider those Reasons and Arguments which are proper and sufficient to convince them, but which, without being forced, they would not consider” (Proast 1690, 4). Proast’s response initiated an exchange with Locke that ended only with the philosopher’s death. Locke’s side of that exchange ran to hundreds of pages, and in these, Tuckness tells us, he largely sets aside the argument about the impossibility of forcing people to believe the true religion.

This puts the notion of property right at the heart of Locke’s political philosophy. So perhaps it is not a surprise that he sees the need to explain how property first comes into being, and how this ultimately gives rise to the invention of money and the establishment of political commonwealths. As Richard Boyd recounts in Chapter 20, Locke holds that private property comes into being as soon as people begin to collect nature’s bounty, to section off or enclose land, to modify and improve the things they find in nature.

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