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.
In them Locke develops arguments about freedom of conscience and belief, ... that have become perennials of political argument in the modern West.
... fit hand in glove with the concluding arguments of the Second Treatise, ... validated by the right to resist that lay at the heart of Locke's argument.
... that fighting over his corpse is one of the forms political argument takes. ... to be Locke's arguments have often been sources of political inspiration ...
... we find Locke struggling— less than altogether successfully—to render arguments from nature, reason, and Scripture mutually compatible.
If Locke's Letter speaks directly to these concerns by arguing against toleration for Catholics (along with atheists and “Mahometans”) at the same time as ...