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A Companion to Locke

Matthew Stuart (Editor)
ISBN: 978-1-4051-7815-0
592 pages
November 2015, Wiley-Blackwell
A Companion to Locke (1405178159) cover image


This collection of 28 original essays examines the diverse scope of John Locke’s contributions as a celebrated philosopher, empiricist, and father of modern political theory.

  • Explores the impact of Locke’s thought and writing across a range of fields including epistemology, metaphysics, philosophy of science, political theory, education, religion, and economics
  • Delves into the most important Lockean topics, such as innate ideas, perception, natural kinds, free will, natural rights, religious toleration, and political liberalism
  • Identifies the political, philosophical, and religious contexts in which Locke’s views developed, with perspectives from today’s leading philosophers and scholars
  • Offers an unprecedented reference of Locke’s contributions and his continued influence
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Table of Contents

Notes on Contributors ix

References to Locke’sWorks xvi

Introduction 1
Matthew Stuart

Part I Life and Background 25

1 Locke’s Life 27
Mark Goldie

2 The Contexts of Locke’s Political Thought 45
Jacqueline Rose

3 Locke and Natural Philosophy 64
Peter R. Anstey

4 Locke and Scholasticism 82
E.J. Ashworth

5 Locke and Descartes 100
Lisa Downing

Part II Metaphysics and Epistemology 121

6 The Genesis and Composition of the Essay 123
J. R. Milton

7 The Theory of Ideas 140
David Soles

8 Locke’s Critique of Innatism 157
Raffaella De Rosa

9 Locke on Perception 175
Michael Jacovides

10 Primary and Secondary Qualities 193
Robert A.Wilson

11 Locke on Essence and the Social Construction of Kinds 212
Kenneth P.Winkler

12 Locke’s Theory of Identity 236
Dan Kaufman

13 Liberty and Suspension in Locke’s Theory of theWill 260
Don Garrett

14 Language and Meaning 279
E.J. Lowe

15 Locke on Knowledge and Belief 296
Antonia LoLordo

16 Sensitive Knowledge: Locke on Skepticism and Sensation 313
Jennifer Nagel

17 Locke on Thinking Matter 334
Martha Brandt Bolton

18 The Correspondence with Stillingfleet 354
Matthew Stuart

Part III Government, Ethics, and Society 371

19 Locke on the Law of Nature and Natural Rights 373
S. Adam Seagrave

20 Locke on Property and Money 394
Richard Boyd

21 Locke on the Social Contract 413
A. John Simmons

22 Locke on Toleration 433
Alex Tuckness

23 Locke on Education 448
Ruth W. Grant and Benjamin R. Hertzberg

Part IV Religion 467

24 Locke’s Philosophy of Religion 469
Marcy P. Lascano

25 The Reasonableness of Christianity and A Paraphrase and Notes on the Epistles of St Paul 486
Victor Nuovo

Part V Locke’s Legacy 503

26 Locke and British Empiricism 505
Louis E. Loeb

27 Locke and the Liberal Tradition 528
Richard J. Arneson

28 Locke and America 546
Mark Goldie

Index 564

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Author Information

Matthew Stuart is Professor of Philosophy at Bowdoin College. He is the author of Locke's Metaphysics (2013), which examines Locke's views about ontology, primary and secondary qualities, essence and accident, substratum, mind and matter, constitution, personal identity, and agency. He has also written articles on Locke's philosophy of science and his theory of ideas.

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 “A Companion to Locke is a splendid collection of essays by an international team of distinguished scholars. The breadth of its coverage will make it an invaluable resource for specialists and students alike.”

       Nicholas Jolley, University of California, Irvine

 “This is an extremely valuable resource both for entry-level students and for experts. Stuart has put together a distinguished group of scholars writing on a wide range of topics; the resulting volume will prove a springboard for the next stage in the development of studies of Locke’s philosophy.”

      Edwin McCann, University of Southern California

“The volume offers a very valuable commentary on most aspects of Locke's philosophy. Broadly conceived and written by leading and younger Locke scholars, it offers what is perhaps the best available commentary of its kind on the founder of both modern empiricism and liberal political philosophy.”

      John Rogers, Keele University

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