Locke: Two Treatises of Government Student Edition

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Cambridge University Press, Oct 28, 1988 - History - 464 pages
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This is the revised version of Peter Laslett's acclaimed edition of Two Treatises of Government, which is widely recognised as one of the classic pieces of recent scholarship in the history of ideas, read and used by students of political theory throughout the world. This 1988 edition revises Dr Laslett's second edition (1970) and includes an updated bibliography, a guide to further reading and a fully reset and revised introduction which surveys advances in Locke scholarship since publication of the second edition. In the introduction, Dr Laslett shows that the Two Treatises were not a rationalisation of the events of 1688 but rather a call for a revolution yet to come.
 

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Contents

INTRODUCTION
3
2 LOCKE THE MAN AND LOCKE THE WRITER
16
3 TWO TREATISES OF GOVERNMENT AND THE REVOLUTION OF 1688
45
4 LOCKE AND HOBBES
67
5 THE SOCIAL AND POLITICAL THEORY OF TWO TREATISES OF GOVERNMENT
93
THE DATING OF THE COMPOSITION OF TWO TREATISES
123
EDITORIAL NOTE
127
THE TEXT
135
PREFACE
137
FIRST TREATISE
141
SECOND TREATISE
265
SUGGESTED READING
429
BIBLIOGRAPHY
433
INDEX
451
Copyright

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About the author (1988)

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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