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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Locke as a Thinker

"A study of Locke as a thinker would have to explore the vast shadowy field of half thought that sur­rounds the rather small nucleus that in itself is not too clear. His mode of philosophizing was characterized by a good deal of whim.

"Spurts of irritation by contemporary evils would push his thought in a direction he would not have moved, could he have seen the end of the road. And he could follow the road with complacency because the energy of the push gave out long before the end came into view. It is an interesting mental constitution. The men who have the happy gift can indulge in irresponsible boutades of thought, can pro­duce considerable havoc and misery, and can nevertheless sincerely protest that their intentions have been misunderstood when the mischievousness of their indulgence is held up to them.

"Speaking less metaphorically: Locke's spiritual gifts and intellectual abilities were no match for the problems he tried to solve, and his ethos as a thinker was deplorably weak."

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3 comments:

  1. Voegelin makes a valid point -- Locke was, indeed, a poopyhead.

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  2. One strange thing is when Locke begins to speak of marriage.

    I wonder why he didn't leave topics outside his scope be.

    "...the wife has in many cases a liberty to separate from him, where natural right or their contract allows it: whether that contract be made by themselves in the state of nature or by the customs or law of the country they live in..."

    Seriously? This man trying to reduce marriage to a...contractual relationship? Like a contractual relationship you have between an aluminium supplier and a shipping company?

    Where mother and father can split at will, interests of the children, the four grandparents, and other close relatives be damned? As if it was only the married couple's interest to remain married and not anyone else's?

    Scary, no?

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  3. Only scary if you are a newbie around here. This is the libertarian ideal of marriage. Nothing more, nothing less.

    I wonder what the fuss is about gay marriage, then. Cannot they sign such contracts already, without the state?

    ReplyDelete