By John Locke

John Locke - Locke on Toleration. Edited by way of: Richard Vernon. Cambridge college Press, 2010. 224 pages (Cambridge Texts within the heritage of Philosophy) ISBN: 9780521139694

John Locke's Letter relating Toleration (1689) is among the so much widely-read texts within the political concept of toleration, and a key textual content for the liberal culture. even if, Locke additionally defended toleration extra greatly in 3 next Letters, which he wrote in accordance with feedback through 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 thought of toleration through learning either his vintage paintings and crucial extracts from the later Letters. An advent by way of Richard Vernon units Locke's thought in its ancient context and examines the foremost questions for modern political theorists which come up from this significant paintings within the historical past of political thought.

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Additional resources for Locke on Toleration (Cambridge Texts in the History of Philosophy)

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7 In the other Letters Locke normally uses ‘magistrate’ as the English equivalent to magistratus, but he also occasionally uses ‘ruler’. We have preferred normally to translate this word as ‘ruler’.  John Locke Secondly, care of souls cannot belong to the civil ruler, because his power consists wholly in compulsion. But true and saving religion consists in an inward conviction of the mind; without it, nothing has value in the eyes of God. Such is the nature of the human understanding that it cannot be compelled by any external force.

What is a commonwealth? A commonwealth appears to me to be an association of people constituted solely for the purpose of preserving and promoting civil goods. The section headings within the text are supplied by the translator. The equivalent of res publica in Locke’s English Letters is normally ‘commonwealth’, but sometimes ‘state’. In this translation, for the sake of consistency with the other Letters, we have Â�normally used the word ‘commonwealth’. 5 6  ‘A Letter concerning Toleration’ By ‘civil goods’ I mean life, liberty, physical integrity, and freedom from pain, as well as external possessions, such as land, money, the necessities of everyday life, and so on.

These are vices that will probably never be eliminated from human affairs, though they are such that no one wants to be openly accused of them himself; anyone who has been led by them to act badly almost invariably seeks to preserve his reputation by giving them an honourable disguise. But I would not want anyone to use a concern for their country and obedience to its laws as a pretext for persecution and unchristian cruelty; I would not want anyone to seek moral licence and impunity for their crimes under the name of religion; I would not want anyone to deceive themselves or others that they are faithful subjects of the prince or �sincere worshippers of God.

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