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Toleration and Understanding in Locke$
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Nicholas Jolley

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198791706

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198791706.001.0001

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Conclusion

Conclusion

Chapter:
(p.162) 10 Conclusion
Source:
Toleration and Understanding in Locke
Author(s):

Nicholas Jolley

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198791706.003.0010

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.

Keywords:   belief, contractualism, knowledge, revealed religion, Waldron

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