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Locke (Oneworld Thinkers) Paperback – April, 2007


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Product Details

  • Series: Oneworld Thinkers
  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Oneworld Publications (April 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1851684891
  • ISBN-13: 978-1851684892
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.6 x 7.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #441,957 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Edward Feser provides an excellent introduction to the philosophy of John Locke, who 'made a bigger difference to the whole intellectual climate of mankind than anyone since Aristotle' (Gilbert Ryle). Especially illuminating is Feser's account of the relation between Locke's liberal political philosophy and his empiricist epistemology and metaphysics." -- Fred Miller - Social Philosophy and Policy Center, Bowling Green State University

"The book opens the door on Locke's thinking as if on a long dormant factory whose machinery is still gleaming and ready to run...striking and instructive." -- Graeme Hunter - Professor of Philosophy, Ottawa University, Canada

Edward Feser provides an excellent introduction to the philosophy of John Locke, who 'made a bigger difference to the whole intellectual climate of mankind than anyone since Aristotle' (Gilbert Ryle). Especially illuminating is Feser's account of the relation between Locke's liberal political philosophy and his empiricist epistemology and metaphysics. -- Fred Miller - Social Philosophy and Policy Center, Bowling Green State University

The book opens the door on Locke's thinking as if on a long dormant factory whose machinery is still gleaming and ready to run...striking and instructive. -- Graeme Hunter - Professor of Philosophy, Ottawa University, Canada

About the Author

Edward Feser is the author of Oneworld's Beginner's Guide to The Philosophy of Mind. He teaches philosophy at Pasadena City College, Pasadena, California, and lives in North Hollywood.

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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Neil Parille on July 1, 2007
Format: Paperback
As Edward Feser tells us, few philosopher would place John Locke among the top ten greatest philosophers of all time. Yet few people have influenced the course of history as he did. This is an accesible overview of Locke's life and thought. In particular, Feser emphasizes the importance of Christianity on Locke's thought. Locke's minimalist view of religion places him somewhere on the conservative side of Enlightenment thought, but it should not be ignored much less denied (as in the case of Straussians).
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A. Momney on May 27, 2011
Format: Paperback
I came to the reading of this book with almost no knowledge of Locke's thought, but with an attraction to Feser's intriguing first line: "Of all modern philosophers, John Locke has had the profoundest influence on the world we live in, and most embodies its guiding principles." As one makes one's way through the book, the truth of this statement becomes manifest. Feser is a very capable writer, able to explain the concepts in Locke's thought in a very helpful and understandable way. Feser is clearly an afficionado of the Aristotelian/Scholastic tradition, and knows it well. In this book he does an excellent job of explaining some of the key ideas of that tradition, and how Locke was attempting to move away from it's premises. What I found particularly helpful was the constant and ongoing comparison that Feser makes between the thinking of the Scholastics, and Locke. This allows Feser to not only show how Locke's thought is different from the Scholastics, but it also enables him to point out the places where Locke, in his attempt to reject that earlier tradition, ended up in contradictions and philosophical incoherence. For me, this book was a fine introduction to an important philosopher who continues to influence the thinking of our own day.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Rooney P. on July 27, 2011
Format: Paperback
I'm sympathetic to the Straussian view of Locke, especially as articulated in Rahe's "Republics Ancient and Modern" (volume II) and in my view, there was not much in Feser's book to directly contravene that thesis (except perhaps as a matter of emphasis, or in speculation about motives, on which Feser does not focus). Feser's book is actually very forward looking and was great in helping round out and clarify my understanding of the *significance* of Locke's thought. In my view, Feser has pegged the whole problematic meaning of Locke's philosophy as the deafult (not to say "knee-jerk") political philosophy of our modern world. He shows that the modern settlement that seems so utterly commonsensical to us on questions such as science, perception, God, and religious tolerance, is actually quite incoherent. This is much needed medicine. As always, Feser has an eye for what really matters in philososphy. As always, he is a pleasure to read and both asks and gives convincing answers to all the right questions. I love his remark at the end about (paraphrasing) how one must be either a reactionary or a radical, but that it is no longer possible "if it ever was" to a "Lockean."
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Bobby Bambino on March 5, 2013
Format: Paperback
In this book, philosophy professor and Catholic Ed Feser discusses the ideas of John Locke. One of Feser's main points is that much of our "modern American" way of thinking, especially when it comes to political ideas and man's relationship to government, is heavily influenced by Locke. Feser traces these ideas back to Locke by placing them in their historical context. In part, we see that most of Locke's philosophy is simply a reaction against the popular and influential scholasticism of his time. As has been one of Feser's theses for some time now, Feser claims (and I believe shows) that Locke's philosophy was mostly inspired by a desire to free himself from scholastic language and ideas. In other words, there seems to be no good reason for Locke to have rejected the scholastic worldview in favor of the "modern" wordview he adopted other than a simple bias. This is a strong point which people defending Aristotelian-Thomistic metaphysics need to be aware of. In addition to comparing Locke's view with the (correct) A-T picture of the world, Feser carefully scrutinizes much of Locke's writings. Locke is notorious for being unreadable, but Feser does a good job of bringing out Locke's ideas. Feser is also quite fair and balanced towards Locke, offering not only points of disagreement, but point of agreement as well. Feser reads Locke charitably, and does not assume without careful analysis that Locke contradicts himself.

This is a very good book to introduce the philosophy and thought of Locke, an otherwise difficult to understand philosopher. While Feser certainly comes at this from a Catholic and in particular scholastic point of view, he is fair and balanced, and he does not simply name-call or bash Locke for bringing about all the problems of modern society. The book is short and easy to read.
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