Date of Degree

2-2015

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Program

Philosophy

Advisor

Bernard Baumrin

Subject Categories

History | History of Religion | Philosophy | Religion

Keywords

God-intoxicated, human liberty, liberty of indifference, Locke, power, secularization, religious wars, uneasiness

Abstract

Notorious among philosophy texts, Locke's Essay stands between the God-intoxicated 17th century and the science-intoxicated 18th century and has had a significant role in the transition of the one intoxication to the other. That the Essay itself underwent major revisions before it emerged in the posthumous form we've canonized for our enlightenment today obscures many of the issues Locke was contending with at the time to which he may not have found the kind of final answers we've come to attribute to him. This dissertation attempts to justify an examination of one particular chapter in the Essay -- the "Of Power" chapter of II.xxi -- in terms of its troubled creative history and with regard to some of the particular individuals who were most instrumental in its changes, with an eye to the possibility that what has been seen as Locke's final and "fixed" account of human liberty may actually be a posthumously-executed editorial distortion of it.

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