Tuesday, April 21, 2009

John Locke

Locke would not have wished to be read as though he were infallible, since he believed in reason, not authority. But his doctrine of general toleration is the more persuasive because he recognises that some things are not tolerable. --William Rees-Mogg, Tolerating the intolerable: Even Locke, our greatest prophet of liberty, would never have defended those offensive cartoons, London Times, February 6, 2008 (via Roger Kimball at ArmaVirumque)

Recommended reading:
by John Locke at Reading Rat

Criticism (articles, essays, reviews):

The question regarding the Hobbianism of the young Locke may be said to be of sonic importance with a view to the fundamental question regarding the political philosophy of the mature or old Locke, to the question which would have to be stated as follows: is the natural law teaching of the mature Locke fundamentally traditional (say, Hookerian) or is it a modified version of Hobbes’s natural law teaching? --Leo Strauss, John Locke as 'Authoritarian', Independent Review, November-December 1967, review of John Locke: Two Tracts on Government, edited by Philip Abrams (1967), First Principles, August 1, 2008

Mr. Locke, after having destroyed innate ideas; after having fully renounced the vanity of believing that we think always; after having laid down, from the most solid principles, that ideas enter the mind through the senses; having examined our simple and complex ideas; having traced the human mind through its several operations; having shown that all the languages in the world are imperfect, and the great abuse that is made of words every moment, he at last comes to consider the extent or rather the narrow limits of human knowledge. --Voltaire, On Mr. Locke, Letters on the English (Lettres Philosophiques), Harvard Classics (1909–14), Vol. 34, Part 2, Bartleby

Locke in modern English, by Jeremy Pierce, Crooked Timber, March 6th, 2005 at 1:48 pm

2nd Treatise Rap, Crooked Timber, March 4th, 2005 at 10:27 pm

Wolterstorff's Philosophical Archaeology: Locke and Reid as our epistemological forebears, by John G. Stackhouse, Jr., Books & Culture, July/August 2004

In the Beginning Was the Word, by Joshua Mitchell, First Things, January 2003, review of Launching Liberalism: On Lockean Political Philosophy, by Michael Zuckert

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