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Political thought of John Locke : relevance and fragility of modern identity

McGill University
Publication Date
  • Locke
  • John
  • 1632-1704 -- Contributions In Political Science
  • Communication
  • Political Science


The purpose of the thesis is to situate John Locke's political ideas in the context of the debate of the late seventeenth-century. In recent scholarship, it is argued that Locke held only a marginal position in the debate. However, this view is improper; there were rich intellectual exchanges between Locke and his contemporaries. They shared strong concern with modes of communication and those of moral cultivation, and a set of concepts in terms of which these issues were discussed. The thesis examines similarities and dissimilarities between Locke's ideas and those of four of his contemporaries: Edward Stillingfleet, Algernon Sidney, Samuel Pufendorf, and William Temple. Through this analysis the thesis shows both the significance and the limit of Locke's liberal ideas in the late seventeenth-century.

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