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Philosophy, Rights and Natural LawEssays in Honour of Knud Haakonssen$
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Ian Hunter and Richard Whatmore

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781474449229

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474449229.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 27 July 2021

Natural Equality and Natural Law in Locke’s Two Treatises

Natural Equality and Natural Law in Locke’s Two Treatises

Chapter:
(p.127) 5 Natural Equality and Natural Law in Locke’s Two Treatises
Source:
Philosophy, Rights and Natural Law
Author(s):

Kari Saastamoinen

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9781474449229.003.0006

This chapter discusses John Locke’s account of natural equality as presented in his Two Treatises of Government. Together with its sister concept natural liberty, natural equality is often associated with the idea of Locke as an early representative of liberal political thought. Locke’s notions of natural liberty and equality are seen as sings of his commitment to the values of individual autonomy and political equality held central in liberal-democratic societies of today, and his political theory is read as a more or less successful attempt to articulate those values. The chapter argues that such approach to Locke’s remarks on natural equality is historically misleading, and they are best understood when we take seriously the fact that he developed his political theory within the parameters of seventeenth-century natural law.

Keywords:   John Locke, Natural equality, Natural law, Jeremy Waldron, Timothy Stanton

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