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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But what law of the magistrate can give a child liberty not to “ honour his ... so contains nothing of the magistrate's power in it, nor is subjected to it.
To which I answer, that if by “Honour thy father” be meant obedience to the political power of the magistrate, it concerns not any duty we owe to our ...
... must mean a duty we owe them distinct from our obedience to the magistrate, and from which the most absolute power of princes cannot absolve us.
... there we see the possessions of a private man revert to the community, and so in politic societies come into the hands of the public magistrate; ...
... by preserving him from the violence or injury of others, is for the good of the govemed: for the magistrate's sword being for a “terror to evil doers,” ...