Locke's definition of miracles in “A Discourse of Miracles” is widely cited by scholars as evidence of his subjectivism on the matter. According to this interpretation, Locke held it to be sufficient that an event seems to be a violation of the laws of nature for it to count as a miracle. Nothing supernatural need actually occur. The principal aim of this article is to argue that Locke can and ought to be read as an objectivist about miracles. A subjectivist (...) reading falls short in two crucial respects: It undermines the function of miracles as evidence for divine revelation, so central to his account, and is at odds with his consistent and explicitly objective use of the term, as an event that necessarily involves a violation of the laws of nature. Indeed, it is from their objective nature that Locke thinks miracles derive their evidential force. A key part of my argument lies in distinguishing between ontological and epistemological issues concerning miracles and demonstrating how this distinction is present throughout his work on the matter. Ultimately, I conclude that what is often interpreted as Locke's subjectivism about miracles is his privileging of these epistemic issues. (shrink)
En Ángel e infancia se presenta la tesis según la cual el Ensayo acerca del entendimiento humano del inglés John Locke defiende una visión de la persona que es el resultado de una ruptura imposible de concluir y, por lo tanto, saturada de tensiones con “la lengua materna”, con lo animal, la infancia y las “anomalías” humanas. El Ensayo presenta, dentro de su teoría de la personalidad, una comprensión de “lo femenino” que permite establecer una polaridad: lo personal es el (...) polo en el que se concentran, en contradicción con “lo femenino” o “maternal”, las virtudes necesarias para la vida común. -/- También, en este libro se realiza una detallada explicación de la crítica lockeana del lenguaje teológico, la cual está relacionada con su ruptura con la lengua femenina, con el consecuente abandono de la infancia y la superación de la animalidad. La persona es, según esto, quien rompe con los límites de todo lo que se estima bajo o terrenal y se eleva sobre el polvo sin llegar, eso sí, a ser igual a un ángel. Con todo, Locke reconoce una serie de “debilidades” de la personalidad que permiten concluir que un viviente humano es, con dificultades, solo en ocasiones también una persona. Tal discontinuidad hace que la persona sea episódica, voluble y carente de un fundamento sólido. La vida personal está dañada desde dentro y, pese a ello, la filosofía lockeana considera que solo dentro de una comunidad de personas es posible el placer y la justicia. La asociación básica de la filosofía de la persona es entre responsabilidad (forense) y personalidad, pero, una y otra vez, el Ensayo deja ver, pese a que no sea tal su propósito, el desfondamiento de lo personal. (shrink)
The portrait of John Locke as a secular advocate of Enlightenment rationality has been deconstructed by the recent 'religious turn' in Locke scholarship. This book takes an important next step: moving beyond the 'religious turn' and establishing a 'theological turn', Nathan Guy argues that John Locke ought to be viewed as a Christian political philosopher whose political theory was firmly rooted in the moderating Latitudinarian theology of the seventeenth-century. Nestled between the secular political philosopher and the Christian public theologian stands (...) Locke, the Christian political philosopher, whose arguments not only self-consciously depend upon Christian assumptions, but also offer a decidedly Christian theory of government. Finding Locke's God identifies three theological pillars crucial to Locke's political theory: (1) a biblical depiction of God, (2) the law of nature rooted in a doctrine of creation and (3) acceptance of divine revelation in scripture. As a result, Locke's political philosophy brings forth theologically-rich aims, while seeking to counter or disarm threats such as atheism, hyper-Calvinism, and religious enthusiasm. Bringing these items together, Nathan Guy demonstrates how each pillar supports Locke's Latitudinarian political philosophy and provides a better understanding of how he grounds his notions of freedom, equality and religious toleration. Convincingly argued and meticulously researched, this book offers an exciting new direction for Locke studies. (shrink)
Over recent decades a new chapter in the book of John Locke’s intellectual path has been opened. For a long period only his works about natural law, politics, tolerance and, above all, epistemology were widely known. Recently, however, the religious interests, which had been alive since his early youth but found full expression in print only in his old age, have received their deserved attention.
Una nueva edición en castellano de una obra de John Locke, La razonabilidad del cristianismo tal como es presentado en las Escrituras, sirve no solo para con rmar en el primer plano del pensamiento a un autor cuya in uencia hasta nuestros días es innegable, sino también para advertir la amplitud de sus preocupaciones y el atractivo interés con el que se desenvolvió al ocuparse de las mismas. Aunque para muchos comentadores del pensamiento del lósofo inglés, su mayor mérito -a (...) veces, algunos incluso parece que acaben convirtiéndolo en su mayor defecto-, era haber dado origen y fundamento al liberalismo, hubo un tiempo en el que sus aportaciones más reconocidas fueron las que tenían que ver con el empirismo, el contractualismo, la tolerancia o la educación. (shrink)
Ever since Bishop Stillingfleet accused John Locke of having unwittingly paved the way with his Essay for the alleged heresy promulgated in John Toland's Christianity Not Mysterious, the latter two thinkers and works have been consistently joined in histories of philosophy covering the rise of natural religion in England. While scholars have generally thought that Locke got the better of the good bishop in their subsequent written exchanges initiated by the charge, they appear merely to assume that Stillingfleet correctly read (...) Toland and that Locke accepts that reading. Perhaps the most obvious piece of evidence favoring that stance is that while Locke clearly admits "above reason" doctrines, Toland dismisses them: Christianity is not mysterious! It is curious, however, that Toland scholars readily point out many concepts that Toland used as being the same as or different from Lockean notions about which many Locke scholars are admittedly perplexed. Through patient exposition of relevant texts and letters, deconstruction of scholarly works, and careful reasoning, this book shows that Toland's deviations from Locke regarding reason and faith are far more minor than anyone has concluded. Stillingfleet was correct to connect them, but was incorrect in the way that he did it. (shrink)
This essay argues that Locke’s presentation of justification and the soteriological framework in which it is placed in The Reasonableness of Christianity is broad enough to encompass all “Christian” views on the topics except antinomian ones. In other words, the focus of the treatise is not Locke’s personal views of justification and the broader doctrine of salvation but an ecumenical statement of them. Locke’s personal conclusions on certain theological issues discussed in the opening pages of The Reasonableness of Christianity has (...) led most to assume that the soteriological discussion that follows reveals Locke’s own personal theological position despite clear indications of his ecumenical intent in The Reasonableness of Christianity and elsewhere. (shrink)
Locke, además de justificar un derecho natural a la propiedad privada, también sostiene que todos los hombres tienen un derecho natural a la caridad. En el presente trabajo me propongo defender la hipótesis de que el derecho a la caridad postulado por Locke se explica por la presencia en su teoría de la propiedad de elementos procedentes de la teología cristiana. Cumpliría la función de garantizar que, en el contexto de una economía monetizada donde los individuos son, además, desigualmente industriosos, (...) se cumpla el designio divino de que todos los hombres dispongan de medios para preservarse. (shrink)
This essay investigates the idea of self-proprietorship as the concealed ideological basis beneath our most fraught ethical discourses on bodily matters pertaining to birth, health, sex and death. It questions the sense in which such discourses, and their corresponding societal practices, in turn serve as a practical apology for this troubling anthropology that has come to sustain capitalism. ‘Self-proprietorship’ is analysed for its phenomenological basis in the actual task of learning to own one’s body, and traced in its early philosophical (...) instantiations in Hobbes and Locke. These sources are then contrasted with an account of non-proprietary possession of one’s body, rooted in the astonishing authority granted the spouses in Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, a nuanced treatment of porneia and chastity, and the evocative bodily receptions of Christian worship. (shrink)
Victor Nuovo presents the first scholarly edition of John Locke's A Vindication (1695) and A Second Vindication of the Reasonableness of Christianity (1697), in which Locke defends the New Testament and the Christian Religion against charges of heterodoxy. The texts are accompanied by a wealth of critical and contextual apparatus.
This volume makes available for the first time critical editions of John Locke's A Vindication and A Second Vindication of the Reasonableness of Christianity, in which Locke defends his interpretation of the New Testament and of the Christian Religion against charges of heterodoxy. These works contribute greatly to our understanding of Locke's Christian commitments, which it is now recognized played an important role in shaping his philosophical opinions; they also demonstrate his sophistication as a biblical scholar, and the breadth of (...) his theological learning. The texts are accompanied by a historical introduction explaining the origin of the works and setting them in context. In addition to a textual introduction and critical apparatus, editorial notes help to clarify the text. The volume also includes a French translation and abridgment by Pierre Coste, a Huguenot scholar, who was patronized by Locke and worked on his translations while residing in Locke's household. This definitive edition is an important contribution to an understanding of the development of modern enlightened Christian attitudes. (shrink)
John Locke was considerably interested and actively involved in the promotion of Protestant Christianity among American Indians and African slaves, yet this fact goes largely unremarked in historical scholarship. The evidence of this interest and involvement deserves analysis—for it illuminates fascinating and understudied features of Locke's theory of toleration and his thinking on American Indians, African slaves, and English colonialism. These features include (1) the compatibility between toleration and Christian mission, (2) the interconnection between Christian mission and English geopolitics, (3) (...) the coexistence of ameliorative and exploitative strands within Locke's stance on African slavery, and (4) the spiritual imperialism of Locke's colonial vision. Analyzing evidence of Locke's interest and involvement in Christian mission, this article brings fully to light a dimension of Locke's career that has barely been noticed. In so doing, it also illustrates how the roots of toleration in the modern West were partly evangelical. (shrink)
The Catholic polemicist John Sergeant published three major works of philosophy towards the end of his literary career, The Method to Science (1696), Solid Philosophy (1697) and Metaphysics (1700). They were highly critical of what Sergeant saw as the idea-grounded epistemology of the Cartesians and John Locke, whom he labelled 'ideists'. Previous scholars have interpreted Sergeant's texts as manifestations of his lifelong obsession with certainty, as initially developed in his Restoration polemics against Anglican divines. Using a previously neglected autobiographical letter, (...) it is demonstrated that Sergeant's intentions were very different. Like Edward Stillingfleet and other critics, Sergeant saw Locke's philosophy as inspiring contemporary heterodoxy. The article identifies the specific channels by which Sergeant saw Lockeanism seeping into irreligion. Moreover, unlike Locke's Anglican critics, Sergeant resorted not to polemical accusations, but to abstract philosophy. This must also be explained contextually: Sergeant wished his works to become textbooks at the universities, concerned as he was by the pedagogical impact of the Essay. A premise of this article is that reception history is less useful for elucidating on the meaning of the received text than for telling us something about the intentions of the receiver, and about the intellectual culture in which the process of reception occurs. With this in mind, the article finishes by recontextualizing Sergeant's works within a broader narrative: his was an attempt to reassert the place of philosophy as a propaedeutic to theology in an age when such a conception of philosophy's social role was coming under intense scrutiny. (shrink)
RECENT STUDIES OF CHRISTIANITY'S RELATION TO LIBERAL POLITICS HAVE recognized the importance of specifying clearly what type of liberalism is being considered. Jeffrey Stout's critique is one such example. Unfortunately, Stout fails to engage the one thinker who arguably is the most influential in how Americans relate Christianity and politics: John Locke. Political arguments of today's Christians are premised, often unconsciously, on rival interpretations of Locke's political theology.
The aim of my paper is to show links and parallels between Lockes concept of the state of nature and the Unitarian (Socinian) denial of original sin. At first I will give an overview of the Unitarian history and thought, then I will logically and philologically demon- strate a parallelism of Lockes hidden anthropology and the Unitarian doctrine on human being, with data of Lockes Unitarian readings, especially writings of a Transylvanian theologian in the late 16th century, György Enyedi.
This is a concise and profound book from one of the world's leading political and legal philosophers about a major theme, equality, and the proposition that humans are all one another's equals. Jeremy Waldron explores the implications of this fundamental tenet for law, politics, society and economy in the company of John Locke, whose work Waldron regards 'as well-worked-out a theory of basic equality as we have in the canon of political philosophy'. Throughout the text, which is based on the (...) Carlyle Lectures given in Oxford in 1999, Jeremy Waldron discusses contemporary approaches to equality and rival interpretations of Locke, and this dual agenda gives the whole an unusual degree of accessibility and intellectual excitement, of interest to philosophers, political theorists, lawyers and theologians around the world. (shrink)
A new and manageable edition of Locke has been badly needed. Professor Ramsey's judicious editing of these important texts fills the need and greatly enhances the value of the texts for the modern reader. Included are _The Reasonablesness of Christianity_, _A Discourse on Miracles_, _A Further Note on Miracles_, and some passages from _A Third letter concerning Toleration_. Each work is prefaced by an introduction,giving the background of its writing and indicating its contemporary significance.