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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: 27 September 2021

Natural Law

Natural Law

(p.143) 9 Natural Law
Toleration and Understanding in Locke

Nicholas Jolley

Oxford University Press

This chapter seeks to solve the puzzle of why Locke does not argue directly from natural law for religious toleration in the Epistola de Tolerantia. Locke’s failure to do so is puzzling since the doctrine of natural law plays a key role in the argument of the Second Treatise of Government. Various possible solutions to the puzzle are reviewed and found to be inadequate. It is argued that the most convincing solution is that Locke was reluctant to draw attention to his opposition to the ‘judicious Hooker’, a natural-law theorist who had argued that the promotion of the true religion is among the legitimate functions of government. It is also shown that, under pressure from Proast, Locke is forced to discuss the role of natural law in his thought about toleration.

Keywords:   Hooker, natural law, Proast, state of nature, Tyrrell

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