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Locke on Toleration


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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements; Introduction; Chronology; Further reading; Note on the texts and translation; Locke: A Letter Concerning Toleration; Locke: Second Treatise on Government (excerpt); Locke: Essay Concerning Human Understanding (excerpt); Proast: The Argument of the Letter Concerning Toleration, Briefly Considered and Answered; Locke: A Second Letter Concerning Toleration (excerpts); Proast: A Third Letter Concerning Toleration (excerpts); Locke: A Third Letter for Toleration (excerpts); Proast: A Second Letter to the Author of the Three Letters for Toleration (excerpt); Locke: A Fourth Letter for Toleration (excerpts); Index.

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Enables students to assess critically the development of Locke's theory of toleration and its importance for liberalism.

About the Author

Richard Vernon is a Distinguished University Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Western Ontario. His previous publications include The Career of Toleration: John Locke, Jonas Proast, and After (1997).


"....This slim volume in the Cambridge Texts in the History of Philosophy series brings together Locke's mature writings on toleration.... Richard Vernon has written an excellent introduction, which helps the reader identify the main set of arguments in the first Letter and through the evolution of the debate.... Most importantly, Vernon provides a useful analysis of the link between Locke's toleration and social contract theory (in particular a crucial passage in the Third Letter encapsulating the core argument of the Second Treatise), and demonstrates the profound anti-paternalism of Locke's theory of state authority.... This volume will be essential to students of the history of toleration but also for those studying contemporary issues regarding prerequisites of a pluralist society, such as the nature of public reason and background political culture. It provides a close look into elements of the emergence of consequentialist and deontological arguments for liberal rights. More broadly, it also offers one of the most important examples of normative transformation at the grand rhetorical level and in the intricacies of conceptual combat." --Ingrid Creppell, George Washington University, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews

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