Political Essays

We know more about the development of John Locke’s ideas than we do about almost any other philosopher’s before modern times. This book brings together a comprehensive collection of the writings on politics and society that stand outside the canonical works which Locke published during his lifetime. In the aftermath of the Revolution of 1688 the three works by which he is chiefly known appeared: the Two Treatises of Government, An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, and A Letter Concerning Toleration, and the themes raised in these works had been reflected upon over many years. Mark Goldie’s edition makes possible the fullest exploration of the evolution of Locke’s ideas concerning the philosophical foundations of morality and sociability, the boundary of church and state, the shaping of constitutions, and the conduct of government and public policy.

• A most comprehensive collection of John Locke’s essays on politics, morality, and the law of nature • Contains 5 major essays and 70 shorter essays and fragments, including government memoranda, lectures and philosophical meditations • Excellent bibliography, suggestions for further reading and biography of Locke’s life


Acknowledgements; Introduction; Principal events in Locke’s life; Further reading; A note on the selection; A note on the texts; Abbreviations and conventions; Part I. Major Essays: 1. First Tract on Government (1660); 2. Second Tract on Government (c. 1662); 3. Essays on the Law of Nature (1663–4); 4. An Essay on Toleration (1667); 5. The Fundamental Constitutions of Carolina (1669); 6. An Essay on the Poor Law (1697); Part II. Minor Essays: seventy shorter essays and fragments on a wide range of subjects; Appendix: Extract from ‘Draft B’ (1671) of Human Understanding; Extract from ‘A Letter from a Person of Quality’ (1675); Extract from ‘Study’ (1677); Extract from ‘Critical Notes on Stillingfleet’ (1681); Locke’s reading list; Checklist of Lockeana in print; Bibliography; Index.