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The Political Thought of John Locke
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Book description

This study provides a comprehensive reinterpretation of the meaning of Locke's political thought. John Dunn restores Locke's ideas to their exact context, and so stresses the historical question of what Locke in the Two Treatises of Government was intending to claim. By adopting this approach, he reveals the predominantly theological character of all Locke's thinking about politics and provides a convincing analysis of the development of Locke's thought. In a polemical concluding section, John Dunn argues that liberal and Marxist interpretations of Locke's politics have failed to grasp his meaning. Locke emerges as not merely a contributor to the development of English constitutional thought, or as a reflector of socio-economic change in seventeenth-century England, but as essentially a Calvinist natural theologian.

Reviews

‘… a highly original and brilliantly argued study … Dunn’s approach yields something entirely new in Locke scholarship: a full-length portrait of Locke's mind, shown in its evolution in all its stresses and inconsistencies. The result is a book equally outstanding in its learning and its intelligence.’

Source: The American Historical Review

‘… an outstanding book which should be read by every serious student of the history of philosophy for its historiographical good sense’.

Source: Philosophical Quarterly

‘Important, fascinating.’

Christopher Hill Source: Durham University Journal

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