The Great Art of Government: Locke's Use of Consent

The Great Art of Government: Locke's Use of Consent by Peter Josephson

Title: The Great Art of Government: Locke's Use of Consent
Author: Peter Josephson
ISBN10: 070061169X
ISBN13: 978-0700611690
Publisher: University Press of Kansas (June 14, 2002)
Language: English
Subcategory: Politics & Government
Size PDF: 1247 kb
Size Fb2: 1387 kb
Rating: 3.8/5
Votes: 328
Pages: 376 pages
Other Format: lrf lit txt mobi

The Great Art of Government: Locke's Use of Consent by Peter Josephson


pdf epub fb2 djvu



That government should be rooted in the consent of the governed may be the most accepted aspect of John Locke's liberal theory. Yet to this day Lockeans have reached no consensus over what constitutes consent or whether Locke even intended consent to be a standard of legitimacy.Peter Josephson now takes a close look at Locke's writings on both consent and the art of governance to show how each informs the other. Moving beyond previous scholarship, he gives us a Locke as much concerned with the effective functioning of government as with the roots of its moral legitimacy.According to Josephson, if we wish to understand "the great art of government," as one of the founders of modern liberalism presents it, we must examine the principle and practice of consent in Locke's political scheme. In examining the foundation of Locke's political theory, Josephson explores ways in which Locke's government by consent can coexist with the preservation of the law of nature or reason. As Josephson shows, Locke argues that reasonable customs can bridge the divide between the will of the people and the rule of reason.Josephson's work makes important new contributions to understanding Lockean thought. In particular, he shows how Locke joins normative theory with a practical concern for the art of effective government. He also argues that Lockean liberalism is not neutral with regard to conceptions of virtue, character, or the good life: indeed, the liberal regime requires virtues of toleration, civility, and industriousness in order to succeed and must teach its subjects those virtues in order to preserve that regime.While others have variously branded Locke's philosophy as majoritarian, aristocratic, or monarchist, Josephson cuts through these disputes to present a previously unrevealed Locke. His meticulous study pays keen attention to the details of Locke's works, while reconciling many of the disparate and often confusing features of Lockean thought. In sum, it offers serious readers a richer, deeper, and more nuanced understanding of this formative thinker and the liberalism he inspired.