The Second Treatise of Government: And, A Letter Concerning Toleration

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Courier Corporation, Aug 14, 2002 - Political Science - 153 pages
In "The Second Treatise of Government, John Locke answered two objectives: to refute the concept of the monarchy's divine right and to establish a theory reconciling civil liberties with political order. His "Letter Concerning Toleration rests on the same basic principles as his political theory; Locke's main argument for toleration is a corollary of his theory of the nature of civil society. The basis of social and political philosophy for generations, these works laid the foundation of the modern democratic state in England and abroad. Their enduring importance makes them essential reading for students of philosophy, history, and political science. Unabridged republication of a standard edition.

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User Review  - madepercy - LibraryThing

Locke is one of the many philosophers I am familiar with through secondary sources. but this was my first reading of his work. In the Second Treatise of Government, Locke painstakingly covers power in ... Read full review

Contents

AN ESSAY CONCERNING THE TRUE ORIGINAL EXTENT AND END OF CIVIL GOVERNMENT
1
Of the State of Nature
2
Of the State of War
8
Of Slavery
10
Of Property
12
Of Paternal Power
23
Of Political or Civil Society
35
Of the Beginning of Political Societies
44
Of the Extent of the Legislative Power
60
Of the Legislative Executive and Federative Power of the Commonwealth
66
Of me Subordination of the Powers of the Commonwealth
68
Of Prerogative
74
Of Paternal Political and Despotical Power Considered Together
78
Of Conquest
81
Of Usurpation
90
OfTyranny
91

Of the Ends of Political Society and Government
57
Of the Forms of a Commonwealth
59
Of the Dissolution of Government
96
A LETTER CONCERNING TOLERATION
113

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About the author (2002)

John Locke's works of political and social philosophy, written in the 17th century, have strongly influenced intellectuals ever since - including the founders of the United States of America. Born in 1632 in Wrington, England, Locke studied at Christ Church, Oxford, where he earned his B.A. and M.A. degrees in the late 1650's. He also studied medicine and earned a medical license. His studies led to an interest in contemporary philosophers influenced by science, such as Rene Descartes. Locke read widely among them while teaching at Christ Church over the next few years. In 1667, Locke became personal physician and adviser to Anthony Ashley Cooper, who later was appointed Earl of Shaftesbury. Through Shaftesbury's patronage, Locke earned some government posts and entered London's intellectual circles, all the while writing philosophy. He was one of the best-known European thinkers of his time when he died in 1704. In An Essay Concerning Human Understanding (1690), Locke established the philosophy of empiricism, which holds that the mind at birth is a blank tablet. Experience, Locke believed, would engrave itself upon the tablet as one grew. He felt humans should create theories according to experience and test them with experiments. This philosophy helped establish the scientific method. Locke codified the principals of liberalism in "Two Treatises of Government" (1690). He emphasized that the state must preserve its citizens' natural rights to life, liberty and property. When the state does not, Locke argued, citizens are justified in rebelling. His view of liberalism comprised limited government, featuring elected representation and legislative checks and balances. While a Christian, Locke believed in absolute separation of church and state, and he urged toleration of those whose religious views differed from the majorities.

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