The interpretation of Locke's Two Treatises in Britain, 1778-1956
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This paper describes how Locke's Two Treatises of Government was read in Britain from Josiah Tucker to Peter Laslett. It focuses in particular upon how Locke's readers responded to his detailed and lengthy engagement with the patriarchalist political thought of Sir Robert Filmer. In the second half of the eighteenth century, the debate between Locke and Filmer continued to provide the framework within which political obligation was discussed. A hundred years later that had changed, to the point where Locke's readers found it unintelligible that he argued against Filmer and not Hobbes. I explain this in terms of the development in nineteenth century Britain of a new conception of the history of political philosophy, the product of interest in the Hegelian theory of the state. The story told here is offered as one example of how understandings of the history of philosophy are shaped by understandings of philosophy itself.
Harris , J A 2020 , ' The interpretation of Locke's Two Treatises in Britain, 1778-1956 ' , British Journal for the History of Philosophy , vol. 28 , no. 3 , pp. 483-500 . https://doi.org/10.1080/09608788.2019.1677215
British Journal for the History of Philosophy
Copyright © 2019 Taylor & Francis. This work has been made available online in accordance with publisher policies or with permission. Permission for further reuse of this content should be sought from the publisher or the rights holder. This is the author created accepted manuscript following peer review and may differ slightly from the final published version. The final published version of this work is available at https://doi.org/10.1080/09608788.2019.1677215