Books > Reference & Interdisciplinary > Encyclopaedias & reference works > Reference works
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Series: Great Political Thinkers Series, 9
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John Locke (1632-1704), the English philosopher, has had a
wide-ranging influence on modern political thought. Locke's
political philosophy is based on the premise that by nature human
beings are equal and that therefore no-one is under the authority
of another unless by his own consent. In Locke's view, natural law
constitutes and protects rights of life, liberty and property. His
writings are a turning point in the theory of natural rights,
linking constitutionalism and toleration. The impact of his ideas
can be seen in the American constitution, in the French Revolution
and in the development of modern liberalism. His theory of property
is a basis for modern discussion of the subject and its emphasis on
labour as a source of value and entitlement forms the background
for the later economics of both Adam Smith and Karl Marx. The
articles contained in these volumes have been carefully selected in
order to put Locke's work in a wider context. They explore various
aspects of Locke's political theory and investigate his theories on
property, natural law, the `state of nature' and toleration.
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