John Locke — Libertarian Anarchism

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This introductory text focuses on the development and core ideas of Locke’s political philosophy and outlines a few relevant, current controversies among Locke scholars. After an introduction to Locke’s writings on tolerance and their development over time, I shift to his theory of justice as presented in Two Treatises of Government. Of particular importance in the latter work are Locke’s defense of a so-called “voluntarist understanding” of political legitimacy and the right to revolution, which centrally involves the claim that political power originally belongs to each individual (the individual’s natural executive right). To justify this claim, Locke provides us with a theory of laws of nature and individual rights, where he emphasizes private property, which is why special priority is given to understanding these aspects of his theory and contemporary developments of them.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationPhilosophy of Justice
EditorsGuttorm Fløistad
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9789401791755
ISBN (Print)9789401791748
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015

Publication series

NameContemporary Philosophy: A New Survey


  • private property
  • political authority
  • fair share
  • executive power
  • global justice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Arts and Humanities


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