Two Treatises of Government and A Letter Concerning Toleration
Two of Locke’s most mature and influential political writings and three brilliant interpretive essays combined in an outstanding volume
"The new standard edition of Locke for students of political theory. Dunn, Grant, and Shapiro combine authoritative historical scholarship and contemporary political theory to give us Locke for our time."—Elisabeth H. Ellis, Texas A&M University
Among the most influential writings in the history of Western political thought, John Locke’s Two Treatises of Government and A Letter Concerning Toleration remain vital to political debates today, more than three centuries after they were written. The complete texts appear in this volume, accompanied by interpretive essays by three prominent Locke scholars. Ian Shapiro’s introduction places Locke’s political writings in historical and biographical context. John Dunn explores both the intellectual context in which Locke wrote the Two Treatises of Government and A Letter Concerning Toleration and the major interpretive controversies surrounding their meaning. Ruth Grant offers a comprehensive discussion of Locke’s views on women and the family, and Shapiro contributes an essay on the democratic elements of Locke’s political theory. Taken together, the texts and essays in this volume offer invaluable insights into the history of ideas and the enduring influence of Locke’s political thought.
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28; from whence our author concludes, “that Adam, having here dominion given
him over all creatures, was thereby the monarch of the whole world :” whereby
must be meant, that either this grant of God gave Adam property, or, as our author
28, as our author would have it; methinks sir Robert should have carried his
monarchical power one step higher, and satisfied the world that princes might eat
their subjects too, since God gave as full power to Noah and his heirs, ch. ix.
But our author goes on to prove, that “it may best be understood with a
subordination, or a benediction in succession; for, says he, it is not probable that
the private dominion which God gave to Adam, and by his donation, assignation,
And therefore, says he, “there is a considerable difference between these two
texts; the first blessing gave Adam a dominion over the earth and all creatures;
the latter allows Noah liberty to use the living creatures for food: here is no
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