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Liberating JudgmentFanatics, Skeptics, and John Locke's Politics of Probability$
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Douglas John Casson

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780691144740

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691144740.001.0001

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The Great Recoinage

The Great Recoinage

(p.1) Introduction The Great Recoinage
Liberating Judgment

Douglas John Casson

Princeton University Press

This introductory chapter discusses how John Locke remains important for contemporary liberal theory because he explains that the liberal subject is not simply an unencumbered, originating source of political legitimacy, but rather an uncertain, incomplete, and fragile achievement. Locke helps reconsider the type of intellectual cultivation necessary for sustaining meaningful commitments to liberty within the constraints of political order. By emphasizing the importance of a new type of probable judgment, Locke recoins a political vocabulary that enables citizens to agree on the terms of their relationship with the government and to hold that government accountable when it fails to live up to those terms. The point of Lockean reasonableness is not to eradicate disagreement, but to ensure a common vocabulary within which disagreement can take place.

Keywords:   John Locke, contemporary liberal theory, liberty, political order, probable judgment, political vocabulary, disagreement

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