This chapter introduces the main themes of the book by drawing attention to the fragmentation of Locke studies today: Locke is studied by philosophers and political theorists who rarely communicate with each other. Because of this fragmentation, few scholars have investigated the issue of how far Locke’s major writings hang together. It is argued that though Locke is not as systematic as Hobbes, he is a more systematic thinker than has been realized. His three greatest works—An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, Two Treatises of Government, and Epistola de Tolerantia—are unified by a common commitment to promoting the cause of religious toleration. The chapter stresses the importance of Locke’s replies to Proast for understanding the unity of his thought.
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