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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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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 23 October 2021

Enthusiasm

Enthusiasm

Chapter:
(p.91) 6 Enthusiasm
Source:
Toleration and Understanding in Locke
Author(s):

Nicholas Jolley

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198791706.003.0006

This chapter explores the contribution made by Locke’s late addition to the Essay, ‘Of Enthusiasm’, to promoting the cause of a more intellectually tolerant society. It is argued that Locke is not concerned with the issue of whether the ‘enthusiasts’, or Puritan fanatics, should be tolerated; Locke is concerned rather to attack the intolerance displayed by the enthusiasts themselves. It is shown that ‘Of Enthusiasm’ has both a diagnostic and a critical side: Locke seeks to explain the enthusiasts’ claims in terms of self-conceit and to criticize the circularity of their arguments. It is argued, against Passmore, that Locke’s critical claims are not inconsistent with his other teachings in the Essay. The chapter concludes by suggesting that one motive for Locke’s addition of ‘Of Enthusiasm’ may have been a desire to defend his theory of knowledge against the objection that it is too close to the claims of the enthusiasts.

Keywords:   dogmatism, enthusiasm, individualism, knowledge, Malebranche, Molyneux

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