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"Who shall be Judge?"

John Locke's Two Treatises of Government and the Problem of Sovreignty

Roland Marden

This article considers the extent to which Locke's defense of a right of resistance in Two Treatises was formulated in close engagement with contemporary concerns regarding the requirements of effective political authority. Though Locke deals with the issue of “sovereignty” discreetly, differentiating between the theory and problem of sovereignty, the article contends that his theory nonetheless assumes a significance that is often overlooked in modern commentaries. Using Filmer's attack on consent theory as a benchmark, Locke identifies weaknesses in the idea that political order requires a single and indefeasible locus of authority, and argues that his theory is neither morally nor practically sustainable. Similarly, Locke rests a large part of his defense of conditional government on an explanation of how this arrangement of authority can withstand the “sovereignty” criticisms leveled by Filmer. Locke's attention to the problem of sovereignty reflects how influential the critique of popular sovereignty theory, developed by Bodin and others, was at that time. Thusly, the notion of hierarchical authority promoted by these writers represented a formidable obstacle to limited government that Locke was obliged to address.

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Travel, Authority, and Framing the Subject

Elizabeth Justice’s A Voyage to Russia and Amelia

Matthew W. Binney

circumstantial” ( 1968: 289 ; see also Carson 2007: 29–31 ; Pearce 1998: 94 ). The notion that circumstances differentiate people, Jordan (1968: 287) stresses, originates from John Locke and indicates how people’s environment at once defines their experiences

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Personal Identity and Tory Commercialism in John Campbell’s The Travels and Adventures of Edward Brown (1739)

Matthew Binney

Although it has attracted little attention in travel writing scholarship, John Locke’s notion of personal identity has been examined by literary scholars (Borsing 2017; Fox 1982, 1988; MacLean 1962: 99–102; Tuveson 1960: 27–30; Watt 1957: 18

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Molyneux's Problem in the Scottish Enlightenment

Charles Bradford Bow

natural philosopher William Molyneux (1656–1698) proposed for the consideration of John Locke partly explains why the Wise Club and Stewart valued his works. In correspondence with Locke on 2 March 1693, Molyneux wrote: Suppose a man born blind, and now

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Rescuing Indigenous Land Ownership

Revising Locke's Account of Original Appropriation through Cultivation

S. Stewart Braun

As part of his account of original appropriation, John Locke famously argued that uncultivated land was open to acquisition. Historically, this account has played a large role in justifying the seizure of indigenous land. In this article, I contend that despite the past acts of dispossession Locke's account seemingly justified, a complete rejection of Locke's idea of original appropriation would be a mistake since a generalised account can be constructed that does not subvert indigenous ownership. I also contend that the revised account can be used to critique the current legal and political situation regarding native title in Australia.

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John Clare in the Anthropocene

Richard D.G. Irvine and Mina Gorji

This article explores what it might mean to interweave social and natural history, taking as its inspiration the work of the English poet John Clare (1793-1864). If Dipesh Chakrabarty (2009) is right in suggesting that the recognition that we are now in the Anthropocene - a geological epoch of our own making - will force us to re-read human history in the light of planetary history and deep time, John Clare's work provides us with a way of thinking how this might be done. Clare's explorations of human and natural temporalities, and his challenges to our dominant sense of value, may help us to think beyond anthropocentricism and to re-evaluate assumptions of economic progress. With this in mind, we conclude by placing Clare's poetry in conversation with John Locke and his labour theory of value.

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Consensual Foundations and Resistance in Locke's 'Second Treatise'

Rory J. Conces

One of the problems that has dominated Western political thought for the past four hundred years is the tension within the body politic between the ‘will of the collective’, as it is expressed by those vested with authority and power, and the ‘will of the individual’. Among political theorists who have examined this problem, Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679) and John Locke (1632-1704) viewed this potentially ruinous tension in radically different ways. In his famous work Leviathan (1651), Hobbes presents the problem of how we are to socially conduct ourselves as a society, an apparent dilemma whose horns are none other than anarchy and servile absolutism. Either we submit to the constraints imposed upon us by government, or we accept the dire consequences of his infamous state of nature. Since he was well acquainted with the strife of war-torn seventeenth-century Europe (including the Thirty Years War [1618-48] in Central Europe, the Scottish Revolt [1638-40], and the First Civil War [1642-46] as well as the Second Civil War [1648] in England), the choice was an easy one for Hobbes. He leaves no doubt that the dissolution of government is the single worst misfortune that could beset man, resulting in an anarchic condition in which ‘the life of man, [is] solitary, poore, nasty, brutish, and short’.1 It is therefore to man’s advantage to leave this state by accepting absolute sovereignty as the only rational alternative.

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An Intellectual Genealogy of the Revolt against “Esprit de Système”

From the Renaissance to the Early Enlightenment

Jeffrey D. Burson

-century writers) over the burgeoning lust for grand systems positing the rational perfectibility of man at the center of the cosmos afflicted numerous writers across the late-seventeenth-century crisis as well. Among them was John Locke, who wrote his much

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Clarifying Liquidity

Keynes and Marx, Merchants, and Poets

Rolf Hugoson

of exchange.” The dictionary quotes a text by John Locke, who in the 1690s explained the authority of a currency such as the pound by comparing coins with words: “Tis the receiving of them by others, their very passing, that gives them their authority

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The Cultural Transformation of the Trope of the Renegade in Late Seventeenth- and Early Nineteenth-Century English Drama

John Dryden's Don Sebastian and Frederick Reynolds's The Renegade

Hussein A. Alhawamdeh

development'. 83 Muslims were not excluded from the Enlightenment's vision of tolerance when philosophers like John Locke advocated for tolerating Muslims: ʻBy the end of the seventeenth century, John Locke called for the inclusion of Muslims (and other non