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Locke's Moral Man$
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Antonia LoLordo

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199652778

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199652778.001.0001

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(p.25) 1 Liberty
Locke's Moral Man

Antonia LoLordo

Oxford University Press

Chapter 1 examines Locke's notion of liberty and its connection with his views on power. It argues that Locke conceives of will as the only active power, thinks that superaddition may be the correct explanation of the origin of active power, ascribes active power to animals, and hence denies that active power is a constituent of moral agency. Thus the sort of freedom central to moral agency is not merely the counterfactual dependence of actions on will. Rather, to be a moral agent, one must be capable of suspending the prosecution of one's desires. Some scholars have argued that suspension matters because it enables us to transcend the boundaries of the self or introduces an element of agent causation. This chapter argues that Locke is deliberately agnostic about determinism, and that suspension matters because it's the power of suspension that allows us to be governed by reason.

Keywords:   active power, agent causation, animals, determinism, freedom, liberty, power, superaddition, suspension, will

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