Locke on Toleration (Cambridge Texts in the History of by John Locke

By John Locke

John Locke - Locke on Toleration. Edited through: Richard Vernon. Cambridge collage Press, 2010. 224 pages (Cambridge Texts within the historical past of Philosophy) ISBN: 9780521139694

John Locke's Letter bearing on Toleration (1689) is among the so much widely-read texts within the political idea of toleration, and a key textual content for the liberal culture. despite the fact that, Locke additionally defended toleration extra greatly in 3 next Letters, which he wrote in line with feedback via an Anglican cleric, Jonas Proast. This variation, which incorporates a new translation of the unique Letter, by way of Michael Silverthorne, permits readers to evaluate John Locke's idea of toleration via learning either his vintage paintings and crucial extracts from the later Letters. An advent via Richard Vernon units Locke's idea in its old context and examines the main questions for modern political theorists which come up from this significant paintings within the historical past of political thought.

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Extra info for Locke on Toleration (Cambridge Texts in the History of Philosophy)

Example text

I believe the following arguments demonstrate these points. First, the civil ruler has no more mandate than others have for the care of souls. He has no mandate from God, for it nowhere appears that God has granted men authority over other men, to compel them to adopt their own religion. And no such power can be given to a ruler by men; for no one can abdicate responsibility for his own eternal salvation by adopting under compulsion a form of belief or worship prescribed to him by another person, whether prince or subject.

Epistola de Tolerantia:€A Letter on Toleration (Oxford:€Clarendon Press, 1968). The former contains the Latin text and Popple’s 1690 translation on facing pages; the latter contains the Latin text and a new translation on Â�facing pages. Popple’s translation is available in many editions. The edition published by Hackett (1983), edited by James H. Tully, is widely used. A volume edited by John Horton and Susan Mendus, John Locke:€ A Letter Concerning Toleration in Focus (London:€Routledge, 1991), contains not only the text but also six valuable interpretative essays.

Such is the nature of the human understanding that it cannot be compelled by any external force. You may take away people’s goods, imprison them, even inflict physical torture on their bodies, but you will not achieve anything if what you are trying to do by this punishment is change the judgement of their minds about things. But you will say:8 a ruler can make use of arguments to bring heterodox persons to the truth and assure their salvation. True, but he shares this approach with others. In teaching, instructing, and using arguments to recall a person who has gone astray, he is certainly doing what a good man should; a ruler is not required to cease to be either a man or a Christian.

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