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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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The Project of Demarcation

The Project of Demarcation

(p.37) 3 The Project of Demarcation
Toleration and Understanding in Locke

Nicholas Jolley

Oxford University Press

This chapter argues against Jeremy Waldron that in controversy with Proast Locke defends religious toleration on epistemological grounds. It is shown how Locke draws heavily on his project in the Essay of demarcating the spheres of knowledge and belief; for Locke, since knowledge of revealed religion is not possible, the use of coercion by the state in religious matters is not morally justified. It is argued that Locke’s later letters for toleration throw a flood of light on his epistemological project in the Essay. The chapter further addresses the issue of whether Locke can consistently exclude atheists from the scope of religious toleration; it also addresses the issue of whether Locke can adequately defend his official dichotomy of knowledge and belief in response to Proast.

Keywords:   belief, coercion, demonstration, knowledge, magistrate, Proast, Waldron

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