lunedì 29 agosto 2016

1 God, Locke, and Equality: Christian Foundations in Locke's Political Thought by Jeremy Waldron

God, Locke, and Equality: Christian Foundations in Locke's Political Thought by Jeremy Waldron
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Last annotated on August 29, 2016
Read more at location 55
Note: messaggio cristiano: creati di base...raccolto da locke domanda consueta: quale uguaglianza? nostra domanda: xchè l uguaglianza Dworkin: l eguaglianza data x scontata (il dibattito è su quale). Ma xchè tanta sicumera? xchè giustificare l uguaglianza?: nessuno la nega. ai tempi di locke era negata: filmer x locke l assioma dell eg. è un assioma teologico che fatica tradurre locke nel linguaggio di oggi il ponte: anche x noi l eguaglianza è un valore difficilmente relativizzabile... col relativista qui casca l asino il ponte: l uguaglianza come valore pre politico il fondamento cristiano: secondo l a. è necessario x difendere la causa dell e. alternative:isaia berlin e la difesa utilitaristica... argomento circolare confutazione di filmer: 1 primo trattato: sulla base delle scritture 2 sec. trattato: sulla base della ragione 1 trattato: fissa l eguaglianza 2 trattato: spiega l eguaglianza filmer e aristotele... inegalitarismo particolare e generale... diritto divino dei re contro schiavi naturali l argomento religioso x la libertà è spesso caricaturizzato... cpn locke c è l occasione di prenderlo sul serio INTRO@@@@@@@@@@@@@ Edit
My topic is equality: the proposition that humans are all one another's equals created equal, perhaps, or (whether created or not) just equal, in some fundamental and compelling sense.Read more at location 55
Note: TOPIC Edit
I propose to explore in the company ofthe seventeenth-century English political philosopher John Locke. Read more at location 57
Note: LOCKE Edit
I believe that Locke's mature corpusRead more at location 57
is as well-worked-out a theory of basic equality as we have in the canon of political philosophy.Read more at location 58
Philosophers ask whether we should be aiming for equality ofwealth, equality ofincome, equality of happiness, or equality of opportunity;Read more at location 62
Much less has been devoted to the more abstract philosophical question: "What is the character of our deeper commitment to treating all human beings as equalsRead more at location 66
Ronald Dworkin's work on equality provides a fine illustration. Dworkin has done a tremendous amount to explore and articulate the nature of our commitment to equality in the social and economic realm.5Read more at location 74
He provides a useful account of the relation between equality and market mechanisms, in terms of a distinction between "choice-sensitive" and "luck-sensitive" aspects of social and economic distribution.?Read more at location 77
Note: CONT Edit
So the distinction between basic equality and equality as an aim is fundamental to Dworkin's work. Yet Dworkin has said next to nothing about the nature and grounding of the principle of equal respect. '° He has devoted very little energy to the task of considering what that principle amounts to in itself, what (if anything) evokes it in the nature of the beings it proposes to treat as equals,Read more at location 82
Note: CONT Edit
This is not peculiar to Dworkin. He maintains that it is an obvious and generally accepted truth that governments must treat their citizens as equals,Read more at location 85
Note: OVVIO Edit
If he is right and I think he is then there is a failure of argument on a very broad front indeed.Read more at location 87
Note: LACUNA Edit
No doubt part of the reason for reticence here has to do with the unpleasantness or offensiveness of the views - sexist and racist views, for example that one would have to pretend to take seriously if one wanted to conduct a serious examination of these matters.12Read more at location 89
By contrast John Locke and his contemporariesRead more at location 97
Note: AMENTRE NEL 1600 Edit
were confronted with such denials, and with real political systems built upon them.Read more at location 98
Note: C Edit
Sir Robert Filmer, the great proponent of patriarchalism and the divine right of kings, wrote, in the 1650s, "that there cannot be any Multitude ofMen whatsoever, eithergreat or small, . . . but that in the same Multitude ... there is one Man amongst them, that in Nature hath a Right to be king of all the rest,"Read more at location 101
Note: FILMER Edit
It was the contrary position the principle of equality that seemed radical,Read more at location 106
Note: C Edit
It was rather like communism in America in the 195os. There was no denying that people held this position; but those who held it were widely regarded as unsound and dangerousRead more at location 107
Locke, beyond doubt, was one of these equality-radicals.Read more at location 109
Note: c Edit
Political correctness argued the other way, and Locke knew perfectly well that neither the premise basic equality nor the enterprise of figuring out its ramifications was a passport to political or philosophical respectability.Read more at location 111
Note: P.C. Edit
Locke accorded basic equality the strongest grounding that a principle could have: it was an axiom of theology, understood as perhaps the most important truth about God's way with the world in regard to the social and political implications of His creation of the human person.'?Read more at location 114
Note: TESI DI L Edit
In what follows we will see Locke attempting to think through the consequences of this radicalism. And we will watch him respond to the charge of radical unsoundness, sometimes holding fast to what he knew was a counter-intuitive position,Read more at location 119
His writings have nothing to say about affirmative action or universal health insurance or minority culture rights. If we imagine John Locke plonked down among us to talk about equality,Read more at location 128
We are not accustomed to debate public controversies about equality using Old Testament sources;Read more at location 132
Note: BIBBA Edit
So, someone may ask, with all this potential for anachronism and misunderstanding, what could possibly be the point of lining up John Locke alongside an array of twentieth- and twenty-first-century thinkers- say, Bernard Williams, John Rawls, Ronald Dworkin, and Amartya Sen as a leading theorist of equality?Read more at location 143
Our thinking about equality is undeniably entangled with the issues of the day, and large parts of it or, at the very least, large parts of the way we present it are more or less inseparable from contexts, understandings, and political stakes that would not survive transposition to another time and place.Read more at location 149
But we are also conscious that part of our discussion addresses something enduring: it addresses the possibility that equality may be grounded on something rather general in human nature and something permanentRead more at location 151
And many of us believe that this business of respecting one another as equals might have to be referred, in turn, to the idea of something important in or about human nature.Read more at location 154
John Locke and his contemporaries were conscious of much the same duality - the duality between surface issues of equal treatment in politics and economy and a deeper idea of respecting people as equals.Read more at location 156
Note: c Edit
Locke was exploring the possibility that humans were by nature worthy of respect as one another's equals, not just one another's equals in the politicsRead more at location 164
Note: NATURA Edit
The sort of fact that basic equality must be grounded on if it is grounded upon anything must be a fact that is discernable in different ages, and one whose discernability in one age is not inaccessible to another.Read more at location 175
The title of my Carlyle Lectures and the sub-title of this book refer to the Christian foundations of Locke's political thought. I am conscious that there is something vaguely embarrassing, even badform, in this characterization. Why "Christian"? Why not just "Religious Foundations of Equality"? Or why not just "Locke's Theory of Equality"?Read more at location 199
Locke was intensely interested in Christian doctrine, and in the Reasonableness he insisted that most men could not hope to understand the detailed requirements of the law of nature without the assistance of the teachings and example of Jesus.Read more at location 204
tators.John Dunn has argued that the whole frame of discussion in the Two Treatises of Government is "saturated with Christian assumptionsRead more at location 206
Note: ASSUNTI Edit
He wrote in his famous study of Locke: Jesus Christ (and Saint Paul) may not appear in person in the text of the Two Treatises but their presence can hardly be missedRead more at location 207
I want to ask, not only whether we can discern the influence of Christian teaching in Locke's normative doctrine of the "equality of all men in virtue of their shared species-membership," but also whether one can even make sense of a position like Locke'sRead more at location 211
Note: DOMANDA Edit
apart from the specifically biblical and Christian teaching that he associated with it. Read more at location 213
Note: c Edit
For Dunn, I suspect, the theological and specifically biblical and Christian aspects ofLockean equality are features of Locke's theory that make it largely irrelevant to our concerns. Teasing out and putting on display the indispensability to Locke's political theory of its theological foundations is a way of confining Locke to the seventeenth century. To paraphrase Dunn's famous title, they are part of "what is dead"Read more at location 214
the deep philosophical commitments of a modern theory would likely be oriented to secular values such as autonomy or dignity or human flourishing, values that are thought to command our respect quite independently of any conception of the sacred or of our relation to God.Read more at location 221
I actually don't think it is clear that we now can shape and defend an adequate conception of basic human equality apart from some religious foundation.3°Read more at location 224
Note: TESI Edit
Isaiah Berlin, for example, imagines that there might be a utilitarian defense of basic equality:Read more at location 227
But that is hopelessly confused.Read more at location 229
Note: c Edit
"Every man to count for one, nobody for more than one"32 is partly constitutive of utilitarianism, and so cannot be defended on utilitarian grounds except in a question-begging way.Read more at location 229
Now, it does not follow from any of this that basic equality must be grounded in a religious conception. But the possibility should surely be given serious consideration, if only because generations of our predecessors in this enterprise have been convinced of it.Read more at location 235
Note: IPOTESI Edit
How much we can justify or, to put it provocatively, how much of our egalitarian heritage we can imitate with the spare resources of a secular moral vocabulary (not to mention the even more meager vocabulary of a Rawlsian "political" liberalism) remains to be seen. Read more at location 237
Locke confronted the claim, put forward in his own time, that these fundamental, apparently transcendent positions, could be understood on a purely secular basis. He had grave reservations about these claims, and he conjectured that among his seventeenth-century audience "many are beholden to revelation, who do not acknowledge it" (RC: 145).Read more at location 242
Locke confronting more or less exactly the issue we have to confront as we consider possible grounds for basic equality.Read more at location 245
Note: c Edit
To treat Locke's argument as though it were a secular argument, and thus on a par with our patterns of secular argumentation, is one sort of anachronism.Read more at location 247
One has only to read the first of Locke's Two Treatises to become aware that we are in a quite different intellectual worldRead more at location 255
Note: PRIMO Edit
views the methods and substance of the First Treatise as strange and disconcerting,Read more at location 256
Note: c Edit
Of course, part of John Locke's interest in the specifically biblical part of his argument is connected with the determination, driving his work in the Two Treatises, to refute the specific claims of Sir Robert Filmer, whose Patriarcha and other works were republished in the 167os to provide powerful scriptural support for a thesis of basic inequality.Read more at location 263
"reason" part of the argument is mostly presented in the Second TreatiseRead more at location 267
Note: RAGIONE Edit
So it is tempting to say that the First Treatise is just irrelevant to our modern concerns.Read more at location 273
Note: c Edit
Filmer actually rejected what must have been in his day the most familiar philosophic defense of general inegalitarianism, namely Aristotle's theory of natural slavery.Read more at location 275
Note: RIGETTO DI A. Edit
Filmer's primary interest is in identifying specific individuals who have authority over others, rather than classes or types of individual in some general hierarchy.4° A theory of the divine right of kings is particularisticRead more at location 280
A racist or a sexist theory by contrast would be a general inegalitarianism, implying as it does that all humans of a certain type are superior to all humans of some other type. So this too seems to deprive Filmer's theory and its refutation of most of its interest for us.Read more at location 282
I don't believe, though, that the particular and the general strands of Locke's answer to Filmer can be disentangled so easily. For one thing, as Locke points out, Filmer is not consistent in his particularism.Read more at location 285
Note: MA LOCKE SÌ Edit
much ofthe time he seems to be arguing for absolute authority in the abstract, an argument that he seems to think does important political work whether we can identify an Adamite heir or not. Locke's attack at this point is one of the most powerfulRead more at location 288
Locke like us is interested in the meta-theoretical questionRead more at location 299
Note: c Edit
Locke also sets out to reproach his particularism with a biblically based general egalitarianism, an egalitarianism which holds that nobody in particular could possibly have the authority that Filmer says Adam and his heirs have had because of the relation that God has established among people in general.Read more at location 303
Note: DIO E L UOMO Edit
First Treatise is an indispensable resource in the reconstruction of Locke's theory of equality. My book is about the relation in Locke's thought between basic equality and religious doctrine and that is exactly what the First Treatise is devoted to. The First Treatise is nothing but a defense of the proposition that humans are, basically, one another's equals; it is a defense of the basis on which the Second Treatise proceeds.Read more at location 306
Secular theorists often assume that they know what a religious argument is like: they present it as a crude prescription from God,Read more at location 313
they contrast it with the elegant complexity of a philosophical argument by Rawls (say) or Dworkin.Read more at location 314
I suspect that it might be as caricatural of religious argumentation in Locke's day as it is of religious argumentation in our own.Read more at location 317
Religious arguments are more challenging than most, and for many people they are as foreign when they occur in contemporary political theory as they are when they are found in a seventeenth-century tract. One virtue, then, of devoting all this time and all this space to an analysis and elaboration of Locke's religious case for equality is that it promises not only to deepen our understanding of equality, but also to enrich our sense of what it is like to make a religious argument in politics. Read more at location 320