Tag: Essay Concerning Human Understanding


  • Natural Right and History

    - Leo Strauss, Natural Right and History (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1953).
    In this classic work, Leo Strauss examines the problem of natural right and argues that there is a firm foundation in reality for the distinction between right and wrong in ethics and politics. On the centenary of Strauss’s birth, and the fiftieth… More
  • Locke and the Way of Ideas

    - John Yolton, Locke and the Way of Ideas (New York: Oxford University Press, 1956).
    Summary: Without in any way denying that Locke’s philosophy was influenced by Continental movements of thought, Dr. Yolton in this excellent study argues, and indeed establishes the point,t hat Locke in writing the Essay had in mind the many debates… More
  • A Discourse on Property: John Locke and His Adversaries

    - James Tully, A Discourse on Property: John Locke and His Adversaries (Cambridge: University of Cambridge Press, 1980).
    John Locke’s theory of property is perhaps the most distinctive and the most influential aspect of his political theory. In this book James Tully uses an hermeneutical and analytical approach to offer a revolutionary revision of early modern theories of… More
  • The Politics of Locke’s Philosophy: A Social Study of An Essay Concerning Human Understanding

    - Neal Wood, The Politics of Locke's Philosophy: A Social Study of An Essay Concerning Human Understanding (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1984).
    Among scholars working in the history of ideas, Neal and Ellen Wood hold a special place. For more than a decade, working jointly and alone, they have been discovering the social contexts of philosophical thought. … As Neal Wood summarizes in this… More
  • John Locke’s Liberalism

    - Ruth Grant, John Locke’s Liberalism (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1987).
    In this work, Ruth W. Grant presents a new approach to John Locke’s familiar works. Taking the unusual step of relating Locke’s Two Treatises to his Essay Concerning Human Understanding, Grant establishes the unity and coherence of… More
  • The Anxiety of Freedom: Imagination and Individuality in Locke’s Political Thought

    - Uday Mehta, The Anxiety of Freedom (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1992).
    Summary: Against what he describes as the “all but canonical” reading of Locke as a narrowly political theorist, concerned with erecting institutional fences to prevent naturally free, rational, interested individuals from violating one… More
  • Our Only Star and Compass: Locke and the Struggle for Political Rationality

    - Peter C. Myers, Our Only Star and Compass: Locke and the Struggle for Political Rationality (Lexington, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 1999)
    In Our Only Star and Compass: Locke and the Struggle for Political Rationality, Peter C. Myers reexamines the role of Locke in liberal political philosophy. Myers considers Locke’s philosophy in relation both to contemporary liberalism and to the great… More
  • “Natural Law, Theology, and Morality in Locke”

    - Steven Forde, "Natural Law, Theology, and Morality in Locke," American Journal of Political Science, 45 (2001), 396-409.
    Liberal theorists have always been confronted with the criticism that liberalism lacks a moral foundation adequate to the needs of society. I undertake a reading of Locke that agrees with those scholars who have found greater moral resources in his philosophy… More
  • “Locke’s Doctrine of Human Action”

    - Mark Blitz, “Locke’s Doctrine of Human Action” in The Claremont Review of Books, 26 Aug 2002.
    Excerpt: “The fullest freedom might seem to be dwelling within the fullest suspension or indifference with no choice ever being made. Utter suspension, however, would result in inaction and even in the lack of thought, for unease leads to industry in… More
  • “What Does Locke Expect Us to Know?” by Steven Forde

    - Steven Forde, "What Does Locke Expect Us to Know?" Review of Politics, 68  (2006), 232-258.
    Locke claims that his moral and political teaching is capable of a fully rational demonstration. It would seem then that Lockean citizens are expected to grasp the rational bases of their regime. But Locke was notoriously vague or incomplete on what the… More
  • “Mixed Modes in John Locke’s Moral and Political Philosophy”

    - Steven Forde, "'Mixed Modes' in John Locke's Moral and Political Philosophy," Review of Politics 4 (2011), 581-608.
    The moral theory of “mixed modes” John Locke presents in his Essay concerning Human Understanding is beset with paradoxes. On the one hand, he tells us that all mixed modes, including moral concepts, are “arbitrary” mental constructs.… More