Locke on consent [BOOK CHAPTER]

Locke on consent [BOOK CHAPTER]
Richard Vernon
The Lockean Mind [Routledge 2021]
Abstract
The idea of consent plays an important role in both Locke’s basic political theory and in his defence of toleration. In the former context the idea is notoriously plagued by the difficulties set by his distinction between’express’ and ‘tacit’ consent, which has given rise to several lines of interpretation, none of which is fully convincing. In the latter context, an idea of ‘hypothetical’ consent emerges more clearly, as Locke faces an issue that requires citizens to stand back from the controversies that divide them and to adopt a standpoint of reasonableness.

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