An Essay On Toleration

An Essay On Toleration-83
But as Jolley points out, the distinction is incomplete.

But as Jolley points out, the distinction is incomplete.As Proast observed, Locke overlooks the possibility of belief that verges upon knowledge, which he terms 'full assurance' or the certainty of faith. Wiley Online Library requires cookies for authentication and use of other site features; therefore, cookies must be enabled to browse the site.

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Its aftermath caused Locke to seek refuge in the Netherlands.

While Locke was there, Louis XIV revoked the Edict of Nantes (1685), thereby terminating religious liberty to French Protestants.

That argument turns on the claim that coercion is of no use whatever in establishing belief of any sort, and that any attempt to do so is futile and irrational.

This is the argument that Jeremy Waldron has seized upon as the 'crux' of Locke's defense, along with Proast's qualified denial of it, which Waldron accepts, and which therefore leads him to characterize it as fatally flawed.

Locke supposes that all knowledge is certain and incorrigible, whereas belief is not, and that the positive doctrines of any revealed religion cannot be known but only believed.

This allowed Locke to avoid the following situation.Jolley has confused unity of thought with continuities within it, which may include abiding concerns.He has, I believe, clearly shown that toleration is a continuous thread running through Locke's major writings, but it is not the warp and woof of it that draws all parts together.A principal purpose of Nicholas Jolley's book is to demonstrate the unity of Locke's thought, especially as expressed in his major works.The sort of unity he has in mind is thematic not systematic, for he acknowledges that these works arose under different occasions, were meant to address diverse problems, practical and theoretical, and so were not designed as expressions of a single intellectual project.This is a concept that Locke also had: assurance beyond doubt, belief bordering upon certainty; yet it is not knowledge.Chapter 4 introduces the notion of cognitive individualism, and its analogue, doxastic individualism.However, they were written by a profound philosophical thinker who thought broadly and deeply about whatever concerned him, and who was disposed by his philosophical nature to base his judgements on principles that were far-reaching and fundamental.It seems reasonable, therefore, to suppose that these writings, however diverse, should express an underlying unity of thought and a unifying purpose.Locke was also a moralist with an acute awareness of the times in which he lived and the challenges they presented to living a virtuous life; hence, it is not surprising that the common theme Jolley identifies as running through these works and drawing them together is a practical one: toleration.Toleration, as Locke conceived it, is a public policy that obliges governments to grant individuals and groups within their domains liberty to practice and profess their religion as they see fit so long as by doing so they do not infringe upon the liberty of others, jeopardize the social welfare, or presume to exercise civil power.


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