This chapter concludes the book by emphasizing the importance of Locke’s later letters for toleration for an overall understanding of his thought. It is argued that these writings make two distinct kinds of contribution. First, they allow us to appreciate the range and strength of Locke’s arguments for toleration: Locke argues from the distinction between knowledge and belief, from the function of the state understood in contractualist terms as well as from the involuntary nature of belief, and these arguments can be largely defended against prominent recent criticisms. Secondly, and more importantly, by bringing together arguments from epistemology and political theory, these letters reveal a greater degree of unity and coherence in Locke’s philosophy than has been realized.
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